The LEGO games have come on quite a lot since the series first began way back in 2006. In the past, we’ve been partnered with Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Bilbo Baggins and many more, but one of the more popular entries into the LEGO series was definitely 2013’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, a game that allowed players to jump in and control their favourite superheroes from the Marvel universe. 3 years on LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 builds on that first game but ultimately, it all feels like a step back for the popular series.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2: Xbox One [Reviewed], PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 14 November 2017
Price: £49.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
As always in these kinds of games, there has to be a big bad villain who wants to take over the world. In this case, it’s Kang the Conqueror, and after a few little fights and altercations, Kang transports a number of different cities into a new place he has named Chronopolis. Some of the highlights include Manhatten, K’un-Lun (Iron Fist), Asgard (Thor) and the Old West, which you can simply fly or walk between, making for a pretty exciting hub world that is interesting to explore. It’s definitely one of the better hubs in a LEGO game and offers hundreds of quests to complete and hidden secrets.
Kang has a unique power that allows the villain to fast forward and rewind time at will, which can make for quite a confusing story at times, but ultimately your objective is to take him down. You have the choice to go directly from level to level, or you can hang about in the hub for a bit instead if you like. There are more levels to complete this time around, where you’ll be forced to play as certain characters the first time through as usual. Although there are more levels to complete, they are actually considerably shorter in length, which works better all round.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 looks slicker and more polished than the previous games, it looks more cartoon styled than any of those before it too, but unfortunately, this does little to hide the number of glitches. On more than one occasion the game completely glitched out, pushing me back to the main menu of the console. On other occasions the game would cut out in the middle of quests in the hub. On top of this, in the middle of certain levels, characters would become stuck and bosses wouldn’t finish their attacks, meaning the game again had to be restarted. This entry feels like one of the more buggiest in the series, which is a real shame as it really does affect the gameplay.
The actual gameplay itself is another area where the series feels like it’s taken a bit of a step back. Combat feels rougher than ever, with combo attacks mapped to the Y button meaning you’ll often change character instead of performing an attack. The enemies have gotten tougher as well, which is actually an improvement over previous games, but your ability to be able to fight them has definitely worsened. The flying controls, which have always been a sour point for the LEGO games, is OK but not at its best. As always the camera struggles to follow the player around and is often in the wrong place, leaving you staring at a wall, or worse, a close up of your characters face.
Exploring the hub, as always, will take up a huge chunk of your time, as will collecting everything such as pink bricks (replacing the red), minikits and character tokens. You’ll also rescue a whole load of Stan Lees. Finishing the game will be a huge grind, but taking the time to collect every available item is part of the fun of the LEGO games. A handy addition inside the hub is map points, which not only allow you to fast travel between the different areas of the hub they also ping all the different questions and interaction points straight onto your big map. Along with this, you’ll also have a mini-map on screen, but it serves as little use to the player as it doesn’t track the places to pick up the quests in the hub, which is rather annoying.
Another new addition to the hub is a set of challenges to complete, that will have you searching around the hub for things to do or items to collect such as shooting silver hats off the top of statues or saving cats from curious predicaments. Although the new set of challenges offer the player extra incentive to explore the hub, there’s no way to track where you need to go in order to complete these, and as such, you are left pretty much to your own devices. Some of the puzzles also feel just that little bit harder and require a little bit more brain power, and with this too you might find the game leaves you on your own a bit more than usual.
Overall, if you enjoy the LEGO series then this is another to add to your buy list. It’s another fun story to play through with enjoyable levels and a pretty hefty hub to explore. Unfortunately, the game is spoilt by a whole load of bugs, glitches, awkward controls and bad camera angles that combine to make the whole experience feel like more of an effort than it should be. Don’t let it put you off buying the game, but be prepared to be met with a few walls while you try to play.