The long-awaited sequel to 2013’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes arrives this week, and it delivers more LEGO fun with a huge cast of Marvel characters.
This time around, the world is under threat from Kang the Conqueror, a being of immense power who breaks the boundaries of space and time to combine a variety of locations into a new place called Chronopolis. It includes present Manhattan, past Manhattan and future Manhattan, Egypt, Knowhere, K’un Lun, Attilan, the old west, medieval Europe, and many more. Naturally it’s up to the Marvel super heroes who protect these different areas to put a stop to Kang’s rather bizarre scheme.
Yes, your Kangliness
As a villain, Kang is not particularly interesting, and as such, the storyline of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is nothing special, but in creating Chronopolis, Kang creates a huge open world playground for players to explore and a story that takes players all over the Marvel universe. This also allows the inclusion of a number of more obscure (assuming you haven’t read the comics) Marvel heroes and villains as part of the main story. This also means these characters feel like they belong in the story, rather than being random heroes you do quests for around the place.
Characters from the films and TV series make an appearance as well, so you might find yourself completing a mission with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Thor, Dr Strange, Spider-man, or She-hulk, Medusa, Black Bolt, Wasp or Stingray, or just about any combination you can think of. The character roster includes 236 characters, many of which have multiple outfits, and you’ll only unlock a fraction of those by playing through the story. The voice actors do their jobs well, though none of them were recognisable to me, but this game is apparently one of those affected by the voice actor strike.
The character roster includes 236 characters, many of which have multiple outfits, and you’ll only unlock a fraction of those by playing through the story.
There’s also a robust custom character creator that lets you create completely unique minifigures for use in the game, by selecting their appearance, and their abilities and weapons. The possibilities are just about endless as you have fine control over passive abilities and what ability or power you want on pressing X, square and circle as well as when you hold those buttons.
The story takes place over 20 chapters, as you follow different groups of heroes as they try to stop Kang’s evil schemes. In several instances, you’ll need to choose which group of heroes you’ll follow first. While you do end up playing every level at some point, you at least have the illusion of choice. The open world area between levels is immense, and it’s filled with quests, races, crimes to fight, Stan Lees to rescue, places to discover, and plenty to unlock. There’s even a couple of knowledge quizzes along the way! Most story levels also require you to complete a puzzle or defeat some enemies before you can begin the level, so there’s always something interesting to do in the open world. And because of the way Kang has brought Chronopolis together, the entire open world is in one place – no more mini areas between load screens.
Liberty Island? How about Liberty Kangland?
The interface of the game, from the font used for text to the level complete screens, carries the comic book feel throughout. This helps when you’re presented with characters in some of their rather ridiculous comic book costumes. The combat system keeps things fun throughout, with different characters having their own unique fighting styles and special abilities. Combo moves between characters are back, and there’s quite a variety, depending on who initiates the move and who they’re comboing with. Armoured enemies present some interesting challenges, requiring certain moves or character abilities to destroy their armour before they take any damage. This is great, except for fights where it’s overused and defeating an army of henchmen starts to feel like a chore, especially when they have armour that comes back after a few seconds or they have an unreasonably large health pool. Similarly, boss battles are both fun and challenging, but border on annoying if you’re not quick enough to get some damage in while their shields are down.
Similarly, boss battles are both fun and challenging, but border on annoying if you’re not quick enough to get some damage in while their shields are down.
The game does have its quirks. On PS4, we experienced some framerate issues here and there, a few odd camera angles that made solving puzzles are bit tricky, and the odd character voice that was way louder than the other character voices. There were also a couple of levels that bugged out, forcing us to restart the level. Fortunately, the levels in LEGO Marvel 2 are not extremely long, especially once you know the solution to the puzzles. The game also has some rather long load times, but once you’re in the game, you don’t see load screens anywhere in the massive open world.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a massive game with lots to do. With a 20-chapter story and a massive open world area, it should keep any LEGO or Marvel fan engaged for hours. With so many characters to choose from, you’ll no doubt find an overpowered super hero (or villain) to suit your tastes.