27th Nov2017

‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2’ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat


After a brief sojurn down Avengers avenue, Warner Bors. and TT Games return to the LEGO Marvel universe with a sequel to the 2013 original that takes place in the same timeline… Sort of. You see this games villain is the time-travelling Kang the Conqueror, who is gathering an army of supervillains from across time and space to help him with his masterplan to take over the universe. Stealing entire cities from across time Kang brings everything together in Chronopolis, a nexus of realities that sees Egypt sat next to the Old West, Manhattan spanning both the present and 2099. A perfect excuse then to bring together superheroes from all eras of Marvel Comics – from old-school pre-Marvel Timely Comics characters to the superheroes of the future and Marvel’s 2099 series of comic books.

By utilising Kang and his time-travel capabilities and in particular the creation of Chronopolis, along with some of the stranger, lesser seen heroes AND villains, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 feels like a much bigger, more well-rounded LEGO Marvel title than the LEGO Avengers one. And speaking of bigger – this game is HUGE. Having played for 6 hours straight in our first sitting we had still only completed 5% of the game! More [very] lengthy sessions – in both story mode and free play – and that percentage shot up, but believe me when I say there’s plenty of game here for the money. Much moreso than some of the previous LEGO video game titles.

Now it has been quite some time since I’ve had *real* fun with a LEGO game (as I keep repeating ad nausem – I think the LEGO game franchise peaked with LEGO Batman 2), I wasn’t that much of a fan of the last LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game or the LEGO Avengers either; but this game brought back some of the fun to the franchise – undoubtedly because this game mines some of the wackier and weirder superheroes to make up it’s roster and in doing so it refreshes the game a lot: there’s more chances to find a superhero you love playing as, more powers to explore and by having a wider variety of characters there’s more creativity to be had when it comes to completing levels, especially in free play mode.

Graphically LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 doesn’t look any different from what has come before and why should it? After all these are still LEGO characters running round a LEGO world. The only real changes here, visually, are the new heroes and villains and the new worlds you can explore – some of which look fantastic, places like Doctor Strange’s abode, the Wild West saloon, the black and white Spider-Man Noir levels, etc. all add more interest to a game, and a franchise, that some would say has run it course. Though if TT Games can keep up the world-building they have started here, mining various Marvel heroes, villains and books that AREN’T in the movies (try maybe leaving over-sed characters like Iron Man and Captain America out of the next one?) and creating all-new stories, then I can’t see the LEGO Marvel series going away any time soon.

Though that’s not to say this game doesn’t suffer from a few… quirks. Take for example the early undersea level. There’s a particular order you HAVE to do things and if you don’t? Well, let’s just say restarting the level is the ONLY option; and not just restarting that one portion of level but the entire chapter leading up to it! And that’s only one of the games frustrations. The major one, at least for those that don’t like to game alone, is the 2-player mode.

Having played through the game both in single and two-player modes, it’s safe to say I’m definitely not a fan of the new split-screen mode, which is permanently locked to a vertical split. At least in the previous game you had the option of dynamic split, which I think works a lot better – especially on a smaller screen. It can be hard enough seeing all the details in a LEGO game and in a permanent split-screen multiplayer it’s even worse, in some cases there wasn’t enough screen real estate to aim at items/villains correctly without some guesstimation… and in 99% of the big boss battles the split screen ruins the gameplay entirely ands adds frustration to what should be fun – so much so that I doubt I’ll return to LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2’s two-player mode any time soon!

A great update to the LEGO Marvel franchise that is let down by some poor creative decisions and bad planning, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 did, at least for me, bring back some of the what made those early games fun. Now maybe if TT Games were given more time to polish their LEGO titles (and didn’t have to crank out so many games at once) we might return to the same quality too.


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