LEGO video games have been around for quite some time, but managed to really take off when they began to incorporate licensed franchises to make hilarious action adventures out of them. Since then, LEGO has managed to find their place when it comes to these crossovers with the latest being Marvel Super Heroes 2, a sequel to their 2013 entry which puts players back in the role of their favorite Marvel heroes as they attempt to complete their heroic duties.
Four years after the events of the first title, Kang the Conqueror has appeared in Chronopolis in an attempt to do what he knows best, conquering entire worlds. Unfortunately for him, the Avengers have ears around the world and begin their attempt to stop him. In the midst of their fighting, Kang manages to create portals to alternate dimensions and worlds that invites in all manner of allies and enemies alike. It’s up to the Avengers and other Marvel heroes to team up in order to put an end to his treachery and put the world right again. For those who are up to date with the Marvel films, a lot of these characters will be immediately familiar. It doesn’t stop there, however, as Marvel Super Heroes brings in many more that comic fans will be delighted to see when it comes to variety.
Anyone who has played the most recent LEGO titles will immediately be familiar with the general setup. Levels allow players to run through as a handful of characters which vary based on the mission. It’s their job to smash, thrash and break their way through any blocks and enemies in their way. Missions are linear with occasional stops between fights in order to solve puzzles using the characters that have tagged along. This could be using Captain America in order to bounce his shield off objects or charging up Thor’s electricity in order to charge a malfunctioning machine. Each character comes with their own unique abilities, which makes it fun to switch between them frequently as required. After managing through a gauntlet of enemies, there will almost always be a boss at the end of each stage to conquer who often requires solving a quick puzzle in order to take down. Although each character has health, losing all of it is hardly a consequence as the heroes quickly bounce back to life and only lose a small amount of the blocks they’ve gathered. There is no numbered life system either, which is fortunate as accidental deaths can be frequent when exploring or getting caught between rapidly firing enemies.
After the first introduction missions, players will be able to explore the open city of Chronopolis. This acts as the hub to progress to the next mission, in addition to offering side quests. Exploring Chronopolis is easily one of the most enjoyable things to do, as there is plenty to be found and discovered while roaming the area. While a handful of quests will be able to be fulfilled from the beginning, many can only be completed after certain characters with key abilities have been unlocked by progressing through the story. Aside from side quests, there are also a load of collectibles that can be discovered while roaming the area.
Upon first starting, it will seem as through there are a seemingly endless amount of items to be collected in each level. After each mission a score is given based on how much was found and collected, but a first run of a level will always be missing something. This is due to the fact that certain heroes are needed in order to 100% complete each mission and they often can’t be used until completing it at least once or need to be unlocked. Luckily everything that is collected is kept track of, so playing through a level again will on require players to find everything they haven’t already and doesn’t expect them to collect every last item in one run. Replaying missions is as simple as going to the Avengers mansion and selecting Free Play, which then allows any unlocked character to be selected to replay the mission.
Aside from using the available super heroes, there is also a character customizer which allows a player to create their very own hero from scratch. Customizing a character is one of the ways to get the most out of exploration, as everything from the appearance to abilities can be selected individually when creating them. The variety is quiet impressive and only limited on what’s been unlocked. If making an entirely new character isn’t wacky enough, which it should be considering the amount of options, players can also recreate their favorite super hero and give them entirely new powers. If Thor’s lightning ability seems a little too boring, give him the ability to sling spider webs at enemies and then rocket boost to fly away. A randomizer is also available for those who need some fresh ideas, but the character customizer is a great way to create a hero that will truly stand out from the crowd.
While not every last inch of the world is made out of LEGO, everything that is looks great. The backdrops take a more realistic approach, which surprisingly works well and helps the heroes stand out. Although it’s still easy to lose track of who is being controlled during chaotic fights when blocks are being scattered, a moment of mashing the attack button will usually help figure out where the player is. The voice acting is all great, although there are a few instances where the audio is abruptly loud. The humor is spot-on and there are plenty of references to both films and comics for fans to enjoy. Breaking the fourth wall is frequent, and Stan Lee’s cameos have turned him into a straight up collectible that must be rescued. While the music doesn’t stand out much, it does fit in well among the battles and hero action.
There are a lot of missions to be completed in Marvel Super Heroes and those who do them all in a row will notice that they quickly feel repetitive. While they do have quite a wide variety of differing locations, they follow the same exact pattern of button mashing through enemies with no real threat. Even boss enemies, who can do tons of damage, don’t feel like much of a threat after realizing that heroes quickly pop into action after losing their hearts. While this is great for younger audiences, older players may get tired after realizing there isn’t much challenge in combat or puzzles. It would have been nice if there were a second difficulty to make things feel a little more strategic instead of simply throwing heroes at enemies until the battle is over.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has a core audience in mind and is especially great for younger players or those looking for a fun co-op experience. While it’s a bit on the easy side, it works well for the genre and creates a fun time for anyone looking for a more simplistic experience with a lot to do. Anyone who enjoys completing LEGO titles will have plenty to do and get a lot of enjoyment out of playing as their favorite Marvel characters, whether from the actual series or their very own custom creation. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 delivers on a fun time in a world made of LEGOs and remains over the top in all the right ways.