The LEGO games are very near and dear to my heart, in fact various titles in the series are some of my most favourite games ever, such as The Lord Of The Rings and Jurassic World. What keeps me coming back is that I know I’m going to experience something full of charm and humour and from a gameplay standpoint, something genuinely fun.
This all new story brings Kang the Conqueror to a wider audience who serves as the main super villain, the head honcho, the mastermind if you will. Kang is creating Chronopolis, a city that is a mash-up of the most famous cities and lands from varying realities and timelines through which he’s travelling. Places like New York, Asgard and Wakanda, all make an appearance and with these various locales it allows for a deeper look into the Marvel universe.
Whilst this is all going on, superheroes are taken from their respective realities and forced to work together to overcome Kang. The cast of main or even recurring characters through-out are diverse in the sense that not all are the most popular with many not being represented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. Mainstays such as Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy are joined by the lesser known Ms. Marvel, White Tiger and Spider-Gwen. I love that this allows players to become introduced to so many new faces if they aren’t already familiar with the comics.
The overall character list is expansive with over 200 characters not including the different versions and skins. I feel you are constantly kept interested by either playing as or facing off against these new heroes and villains through-out. Many coming complete with voice acting and of course boasting their signature looks. If you want to jump into the Marvel universe and interact with all your favourite characters, then this is for you.
To truly invest in the superheroes, they have to feel right, their attacks and abilities need to mirror what previous lore and canon dictate. This does that excellently, each hero and villain play exactly how they should, making use of any weapons they are designed to wield or powers they control. Thor uses his hammer to smack foes around, charge and then shoot lightning and even to fly, much like the films which is much to my enjoyment. What’s impressive about this is the fact that in a LEGO game you can become immersed in the world, story and the characters.
There’s a fine balance in gameplay between combat and platforming which this treads carefully. I never felt as though there was too much or not enough action, some levels would focus more on boss fights and others would be more reliant on puzzle solving and platforming. There’s a chunk of levels throughout the middle that are interchangeable in the order they can be done in. The context for this is that there are separate teams of heroes tasked with different objectives and as such you can choose which team you want to go with first. You set the pace, which can be both good and bad dependent on how you choose.
One issue I have to address in regards to combat, boss fights are uninspiring and in some ways boring. Their health is super high and your attacks do little damage in comparison, using the same attacks aren’t quite as satisfying after fighting for a few minutes. It’s like you just go through the motions. Some will mix it up and add some forms of strategy but even then, it only slightly improves the fun in those parts.
I love the LEGO aesthetic as it just makes everything from the levels to the characters look great. The worlds aren’t entirely made of the LEGO bricks either, mixing in a more standard visual style as the basis and then adding the bricks on top as more decorative pieces, to accentuate certain buildings and structures. If you removed these pieces, you still have a world that looks good and would be right at home in a AAA current generation game.
It feels a little weird for me to listen to many of the voices for some of the characters, that’s because I know who I see as Captain America, Thor, Star-Lord etc. That is a personal issue more than a game issue, but if you are coming from the films and looking for the same experience, just bare in mind that there are different actors voicing the various heroes in this. On a plus side though, the voice acting, it makes it easier to get into the fun and relate to the characters. The charm is delivered mostly through the sound design, be it the acting, effects or music. Defeating enemies and hearing the shatter of bricks as they come apart is just so smile inducing. Traversing through the missions whilst being subject to the epic heroic background music is satisfying.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 brings together all the charm we are used to seeing from these games, adds in a sprinkle of good sound design, a dash of interesting story and multiple servings of awesome Marvel heroes and villains. A true feel-good kind of game.
OVERALL: 8/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)