LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is out now and there have been so many LEGO games over the past ten years it can be a bit hard to keep up! I must admit I haven’t played too many of them, but I have got stuck into played Indiana Jones 1 and 2, Jurassic World, Lord of the Rings and the original Marvel Super Heroes, so not many titles in comparison to the vast numbers available on Steam and numerous generations of consoles in their current form.
Telltale Games are right at home capturing both LEGO and the source material they are using for their games. They take key points of a movie and turn them into scenes and areas within the game, much like Ocean did with their movie licenses on the 8-Bit computers of the ’80s & ’90s. The beauty of the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes games is that the source material is only loosely based on The Avengers movies and other series featuring the Marvel universe. These two games take a lot of inspiration from the Marvel comics dating as far back as the ’60s. A great thing with this is that a lot of characters you may never have heard of show up such as Kang the Conqueror (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz), the main villain in the game and his sword-shaped ship (I did have to look up who Kang is, though, and saw he was an enemy to The Avengers during the comics of that decade).
Unfortunately, there are a few glaring omissions from the large roster of characters, since the X-Men and Fantastic Four are nowhere to be seen. This is down to licensing, as Fox have the movie rights to those two franchises, hence why those cinema outings are released through Fox. Hence, Marvel and Telltale cannot include them in these games, even though Marvel and Stan Lee are the creators – Go figure!
(DVDfever Dom adds: Let’s not even get into Sony holding the Spider-Man rights until recently!)
The story sees Kang messing with the numerous timelines within the Marvel Universe to create his vision, hence why you have characters from Guardians of the Galaxy to Doctor Strange and The Avengers, to name but a few. He is taking certain parts of cities etc and creating Chronopolis, a crazy theme park-type city with each area offering up a different theme. On top of this, there are portals which will take you to a Medieval Village, a stronghold under the sea and a jungle area where Black Panther hangs out, as a few examples.
Each area you visit in the portals has an open world filled with various tasks to complete like rescuing Stan Lee, timed races and certain puzzles that you won’t be able to complete until you unlock a specific character. Once you decide to move to the main objective in an area, the game will usually remove one of the predetermined characters for the level by capturing them or splitting them off to do something else. This introduces a character which will be needed to get past a puzzle, such as Doctor Strange being introduced at a castle gate, who manipulates time to get Groot up to a higher level in a lift, to open a portcullis and then slow down the swinging axe trap once inside.
After completing a level, much like earlier LEGO games, you’ll unlock the characters you’re introduced to along the way (including different costumes) and the level becomes a free play area. Revisiting a level allows you to use any unlocked characters on tasks that require specific heroes, including finding all the collectibles, collecting all the LEGO pieces and rescuing Stan Lee. There is plenty of content that will keep you going for hours, including 20 main missions which take you through the story, each of which can be done where you head straight to the objective without exploring the area if you so wish. Doing it this way means you will miss out on loads of side missions as well as missing new unlockable characters, however.
One of the great things about the LEGO games is the local drop in co-op play. This allows you and another player to go through the levels with a hero each, instead of having to change between one of three characters when in solo play to get through the puzzles. It works great and does exactly what it should. I’m not sure why they don’t include online co-op though, but maybe with the title being aimed at youngsters, online interactions can at times be quite toxic in other games and a bad environment for younger players, at a guess. Alongside the 2-player co-op for the campaign, there is a 4-player battle arena and numerous themed challenges, if you have the controllers and can get a few friends round the TV!
The LEGO games are great fun regardless of your age. The humour is excellent and captures the moment perfectly (it is the same type of humour as the movies with gags and visual jokes). There is even some fourth wall stuff where they look directly at the camera and make statements, and it’s great stuff, overall. I am pleased to actually play something that is a bit different and more family-friendly, rather than the usual big titles that come out this time of year. I feel games like this help you reconnect you to your love of gaming after long slogs of huge open-world games and gritty first-person shooters.
Yeah, it is a shame that the X-Men and Fantastic Four are missing, but LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a great title and will still be a ‘fantastic’ gift for youngsters at Christmas regardless. Parents and siblings can also join in the fun and play together. If you have enjoyed the previous games in the LEGO series, it is the same with not a great deal new, except with different characters and a new story. You know exactly what to expect, but that is no bad thing.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
- Players: Single player & up to 4-player local co-op
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!