It’s true that a lot of people have already gotten fed up with the immense amount of LEGO games out there, especially given the fact we usually get two to three new games from the franchise every single year. Even I, someone who actually enjoys most of these games, can admit that Traveller’s Tales should either reduce the amount of releases a year or make one game every two years or so, as a lot of these titles are nothing but the same game with a different roster, LEGO Jurassic World being a major example. Despite this, one game from the franchise that the vast majority of gamers can point to as the series’ best is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, released in 2013. The game had it all: a funny plot, hours upon hours of gameplay, and the greatest collection of Marvel characters ever put into a video game. Naturally, that made me look forward to its true sequel, after the average-at-best LEGO Avengers, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.
Have you ever played a LEGO game before? If yes, you know exactly how this game plays. If not, here’s a quick summary: you traverse through linear levels with a group of 3 to 5 characters, each one with a specific set of skills used in order to get through a series of easy puzzles, while partaking in very simple combat. Another main element of those games is the fact you can destroy nearly everything in order to collect studs, the currency of the lego world, which is then used to purchase new characters, vehicles and cheat codes. While you’re not in a linear level, you have access to a huge open world full of puzzles for you to enjoy. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 doesn’t bring anything new to the table in this aspect, and it’s not much of an improvement in terms of graphics, sound, or gameplay. The game is adorable and full of vibrant colors, but it still retains a somewhat wonky framerate.
The game takes place right after LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, and it introduces Kang the Conqueror as this game’s main villain, using his powers to alter the fabric of time and space to unite various places from all dimensions into one big sandbox world. Manhattan lies right next to Wakanda, which lies right next to K’un Lun, and so on. There’s even a noir version of Manhattan inhabited by the more serious characters of the ultraviolent Netflix shows, such as Iron Fist and Daredevil. Kang is portrayed by Peter Serafinowicz (the titular character in The Tick, Darth Maul’s voice in The Phantom Menace), who knocks it out of the park with his performance, managing to be equally intimidating and downright hilarious in a role that reminded me of Dark Helmet from Spaceballs in some moments.
One main improvement this time around lies in boss battles. Previous LEGO games were full of boss battles, but they were usually limited to mashing buttons around until the enemy’s heart meter was totally depleted, devoid of any strategy or creativity. Boss battles were really revamped this time around, full of much more unique strategies to defeat them, definitely not as simple as previous games, but also not immensely challenging, given the franchise’s focus on a younger demographic. You can see that right from the first level, with a boss battle that reminded me of a simpler (and much more colorful) fight against a Shadow of the Colossus boss.
Another nice aspect of the game is the size of the roster. Yes, it’s a LEGO game, so you know there will be tons of characters, but LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 might easily have the biggest roster so far in any LEGO game. Besides your tyical Cinematic Universe favorites, such as Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy, the game goes really overboard in more obscure characters, being an especially great addition for more hardcore comic book fans. Attuma? Kid Colt? I still have no idea who they are, but they are all here, and they are all a blast to play and hear.
If you really want to know what my biggest disappointment with the game was, however, that’d be the complete absence of anyone or anything X-Men related. Just like in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Marvel keeps its neverending quest to make us forget that the X-Men (and the Fantastic Four, may I add) exist. There’s no Wolverine here. No Xavier School. Not a single mention about mutants. Heck, not even Deadpool managed to make the cut, leaving us with Gwen Stacy dressed up as a white-wearing Deadpool, a much less meta and much less entertaining character than our favorite lunatic merc with a mouth. While the roster is still immense, the lack of those characters from such important Marvel franchises make the game look more like a sequel to LEGO Avengers than the phenomenal LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is far from being an innovative or revolutionary game in the LEGO franchise, but it succeeds in doing what people know it for: it’s an easy but enjoyable game with a hilarious story and a stupidly immense amount of characters and overall content. It may not be as good as the first one (the lack of X-Men really bummed me out), but it’s still a very good game, especially after you beat the main story.
Also available on: PC, Xbox One, Switch