LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 could not have released at a better time. With the hype from the latest Thor movie, which has received excellent reviews across the world, and with Christmas being around the corner, Warner Bros’ latest LEGO game allows you to take control of the Marvel superheroes once again to wreak meaningless, but hugely entertaining havoc. If anything, I often felt that this game is able to replicate the personalities of certain individuals like Star Lord, better than superhero games that are designed to be more realistic. Just like many of the characters in the Marvel universe, the LEGO superheroes also don’t take themselves seriously. Yes, if at any point you want to stop what you’re doing and just listen to random music on Star Lord’s headphones, you can do that as you watch your LEGO minifugure jam to the beat.
LEGO MSH2 doesn’t add anything new to the mix. The formula that it follows is largely the same as many of the previous LEGO games that have released. I am perfectly happy with that, as this is probably not the game to try anything overtly new. Instead, it focuses on providing a fun and entertaining experience with your favourite Marvel characters in the build up to Christmas. There’s no surprise that it has released during a time when people are out shopping for Christmas gifts for their young loved ones!
If you’re familiar with the LEGO game franchise, you’ll have no problems getting through the puzzle sequences that come your way. The puzzles are in fact the most enjoyable moments in the game, since they are often contexualised and therefore require you to swap in characters from the Marvel franchise to complete them. Each character has a special ability and often those abilities are called in to complete puzzles.
My favourite component of the game is by far the co-op mode. Once again, the fact that you can play the entire campaign co-operatively with another friend is testament to how much Warner Bros wants you to enjoy the LEGO MSH2 with another partner. Yes, you can play the campaign alone, but you’ll often find that the AI won’t be as reactive as you want it to be. However, since the game features a split-screen mode, you can sit together and enjoy the entire story with your son, daughter or anyone else.
The campaign itself has a lot of depth to it. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a team that contains Busiek, one of the co-writers of the game who is better known for writing a lot of famous comic books. The story never takes itself seriously, but manages to remain interesting enough for you to watch all of the cutscenes. The characters are extremely cheeky even during moments of tension, but that is why the game is so charming.
If you’re hoping for LEGO MSH2 to somehow tie in with the Avengers movies, you’ll be disappointed. Although you get to visit a lot of the locations that are covered in the Marvel movies (including locations from Ragnarok), the plot doesn’t tie in with the movie franchise. Instead, it uses the locations that we’ve watched on the big screen, to act as the stages for brand new narratives. In LEGO MSH2, you’re up against Kang, who is able to take various places from the universe and blend them together into a world that he calls Chronopolis. It results in one of the largest (if not, the largest) world that you get to explore in a LEGO game. Also, due to the nature of Kang taking various pieces of the universe, it also means that the game will provide you with plenty of variety during the campaign. You won’t feel that one environment is exactly the same as another. LEGO MSH2 essentially becomes a massive playground for the superheroes. Until the highly anticipated Marvel game comes out by Square Enix, LEGO MSH2 is the only game where you can enjoy traversing through Wakanda, NYC and Asgard!
In true LEGO fashion, there are plenty of bosses for you to fight against. Each one provides a unique challenge that requires you to choose the right character to fight as. The boss battles also are extremely varied in nature, with one even taking place high up in the snowy mountains! None of them will have you pulling your hair out – the nature of the game is such that it isn’t supposed to be so difficult to get through. However, every time you beat a boss co-operatively, it will usually result in some form of high-five.
The world of LEGO MSH2 is often a lonely one. When you’re not fighting enemies, it’s difficult to figure out what to do next. I have experienced the same issue in previous LEGO games too, so this is not the first time I’m suffering from confusion when playing a LEGO game. I would like to be told where to go next. However, sometimes the game just wants me to figure it out for myself. I am more than happy exploring, but eventually the game should figure out that I am lost, and give me a hint. This is very common in other platform games, and I hope that one day the LEGO games will also give you prompts to assist you. Perhaps there can be an option to turn them off completely if you want a harder challenge, but at least that choice is the gamer’s.
The Marvel characters are not voiced by their real actor counterparts, but that doesn’t matter since the minifigures are clearly modelled well. I am a huge LEGO collector and even recently bought the arena set from Ragnarok. As such, I am very knowledgeable about the Marvel LEGO universe outside of the gaming franchise, and I must admit that the character modelling in the game is superb. Some of the characters also can be played with different costumes. Instead of playing as Spiderman, you can actually play as Peter Parker, who walks around with his camera. My favourite character in the game is Doctor Strange, who can actually bend time to suit his needs. It looks brilliant in the LEGO world, and I love how the developers have captured the essence of each superhero’s power perfectly. You can also use the character customization tool to create your own superhero.
Bizarrely and surprisingly, LEGO MSH2 also has a multiplayer element to it. No, it won’t be picked up by the eSports community, but the light-hearted four player mode allows you to take part in two separate battles. The first requires you to gather Infinity Stones and build points based on hunting them down. The second is a LEGO adaptation of capture the flag, except instead of flags, they are LEGO bricks. Some characters are clearly overpowered, but considering this isn’t designed to be a serious competitive multiplayer mode, it’s just great fun. If your son or daughter will spend a lot of the Christmas period playing games with other friends or young relatives, LEGO MSH2 is the perfect game to keep them entertained. Unfortunately, you cannot take this experience online, so it is entirely offline and split-screen.
With all of this in mind, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is the perfect Christmas present for the young superhero enthusiast. It was a little too easy for me, and I personally found it difficult to become attached to it, but I also appreciate that I am not necessarily the target demographic for such a game. My younger cousin who is only 10 years old however, has not stopped playing the game even though he has already completed it the campaign. Considering he has an issue sitting still, that alone proves to me that Warner Bros have achieved what they set out to do with LEGO MSH2.