LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 | Xbox One | Review
Picking up where the first game left off, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
is an all-new original adventure that sees obscure super villain, Kang the Conqueror, hatch a typically outlandish plot for world domination. Thusly, it falls to you and Marvel Comics’ best and brightest heroes to set things straight.
As part of Kang’s nefarious plan, he pulls together eighteen mismatched locations and time periods to construct Chronopolis, an open-world hub area in which the likes of Ancient Egypt, Medieval England, and future New York City are within reasonable walking distance. As worlds collide, so too do super heroes and villains from different eras and realities, accommodating a bonkers narrative that’s packed with nods and direct references which comic book and cinema fans will enjoy.
Narrated by Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson (though, sadly, not J.K. Simmons), you’ll have no problem following along if you’re joining the series fresh for its second outing. Writing from award-winning comic author Kurt Busiek keeps Marvel Super Heroes 2
true to its license, while it also maintains the endearingly self-aware LEGO
It’s somewhat odd to hear the well-penned dialogue coming from cinematic universe renditions of characters without the respective voice talent attached, but the delivery is confident enough to stand up. That said, performances are all too often let down on the technical front by wildly inconsistent sound levels and mixing.
As worlds collide, so too do super heroes and villains from different eras and realities, accommodating a bonkers narrative that’s packed with nods and direct references.
While much of the game’s cast has been pulled directly from recent films - even as current as Thor: Ragnarok
, which is presently taking big screens by storm - there’s an additional glut of characters that get so bizarre they’ll have you whipping your phone out to check whether or not they’re for real. Their presence makes a few notable absentees all the more pronounced, namely Logan and the X-Men, but you can at least attempt to create your own versions of them with the relatively complex character creation suite.
If the depths to which the folks at TT Games delved in building their roster wasn’t evidence enough that these developers love this licence, the impressive amount of distinction between each plastic lump makes it totally clear. Minifigures expressively animate and boast a range of abilities to match their super power, or lack thereof, injecting them with real personality.
You'll use their abilities in conjunction with one another to solve simple environmental puzzles and progress through Marvel Super Heroes 2
’s self-contained levels. While it’s disappointing to see a return to the more fragmented structure of a central hub with the main missions offshooting from it, after it was ditched in favour of a more fluent throughline in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game
, it’s not a death knell when both elements of the game are entertaining in their own right.
While the areas that comprise Chronopolis aren’t nearly as detailed as some of their videogame counterparts - coming directly from Assassin’s Creed Origins
’ take, Ancient Egypt fell more than a little flat - the variety is engaging and there are fun optional activities on just about every corner. Easily the highlight amongst these are the substantial Gwenpool (an amalgamation of Gwen Stacy and Deadpool) side quests that burst with energy.
While the areas comprising Chronopolis aren’t nearly as detailed as some of their videogame counterparts, the variety is engaging and there are fun optional activities on just about every corner.
Along the way you’ll engage enemies in combo-building combat, which is a step above the more typical LEGO
game fare without matching NINJAGO
’s considered freneticism. Even with additional methods of offence at your disposal though, it’s easy just to mash the standard attack button until you inevitably win. This obviously caters to the game’s younger audience, but, when you basically face no repercussions for dying (as usual in this series), adding a little more nuance wouldn’t do any harm. Set-piece battles against some gargantuan bosses are at least a genuinely cool spectacle.
You can bring a local buddy along for the ride in drop-in/drop-out co-op, or sample the game’s competitive modes if you’d rather battle against than alongside each other. With no restrictions on the characters up for selection the latter mode can be unbalanced, but that’s all part of the fun. You can also play against the AI, should you be on your lonesome.LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
very much follows the established template, warts and all, with issues like an obstructive camera, clumsy control mapping, and performance blips remaining present and accounted for. None of the issues are invasive enough to undo the game’s consistent charm and fun factor, however; if you’re a Marvel fan, of any age or gaming skill level, there’s a lot here you’ll like.Pros
+ Huge selection of emotive playable characters from the iconic to the unheard of
+ Story lets loose & has fun, as the best comic book narratives often do
+ Visit wacky locations & time periods filled with interesting activities
+ Local co-op & competitive multiplayer
+ Lots of replay value and a lengthy overall runtimeCons
- Missing a few firm Marvel favourites
- A step backwards from NINJAGO in terms of combat & structure
- The sound’s all over the place8/10Achievements
The achievements are typical LEGO
fare, requiring you to clear all main missions and side content whilst gathering all of the many, many collectibles. Commit ~50 hours to doing that, as well as a few simple miscellaneous tasks, and you're well on your way to both a hefty 200G achievement
and 100% completion.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Originally written for Pass the Controller, a physical copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.
You can check out my PlayStation reviews over at TrueTrophies
Thanks for reading!