If there’s one thing you can guarantee during these times of uncertainty, it’s that the next LEGO game is never more than a few months away. You can more or less rely on them being superhero flavoured nowadays too, which is fine by us. Superhero licenses suit the structure of Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO games perfectly, whereas movie licenses feel a tad shoehorned in. We’ll take LEGO Star-Lord over LEGO Owen Grady any day.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 sees Kang the Conqueror bring pieces of the Marvel universe together to create a giant patchwork city. Chronopolis, as it’s known, acts as one colossal hub world, and as you make your way from one mission to the next, Kang decrees his greatness over the ‘Tannoy’ system. The hub has a number of side-quests, and it’s also where you’ll find the Avenger’s HQ, which houses Gwenpool’s cheat room and the character customisation machine.
Missions are spread across the Marvel universe, with the opening mission involving the Guardians of the Galaxy. Twenty missions lasting roughly 30 minutes each feature in total, with Black Panther, Dr. Strange and Thor having strong showings. Thor’s mission ties-in in with the recent film, while Black Panther’s stage as a neat little appetiser for his silver screen debut. While Kang is the main villain, many missions still end with a boss battle against the ne’er-do-wells from their respective worlds, including the Kingpin and MODOK.
Boss battles are an undeniable highlight, due to being large-scale and set-piece heavy. Steps have also been taken to improve combat elsewhere; an indicator lets you know when enemies are about to attack, and the special move list for each character includes grapples and a few unique moves.
The amount of characters TT has included is remarkable, with female superheroes very well represented. Most missions involve a team of three or four, and you can usually count on She-Hulk, Gamora and Ms. Marvel making the cut. Wasp provides tips and hints, meanwhile, as well as explanations of each superhero’s power. Some, such as Dr. Strange’s time-altering ability, aren’t immediately obvious.
Chatter amongst team members is almost constant throughout, complete with obligatory references to past MCU events. After the disastrous Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite, it’s an absolute pleasure to play a Marvel game from a studio that both respects and understands the universe. This is despite all vocal work coming from soundalikes. Peter Serafinowicz puts on a cracking performance as Kang, and TT’s take on Peter Parker bears an uncanny to resemblance Tom Holland.
Moreover, the personalities of each character are playfully captured; Star-Lord can pull out his cassette player, prompting NPCs to jive along, while Spider-Man can change back to Peter Parker to snap a few selfies via the photo mode. Speaking of Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson provides storyline recaps between missions – a nice little touch.
While LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is easily the biggest LEGO game outside of Dimensions, it still feels a little too familiar to prior entries. Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO formula may be as sturdy as a house made from Duplo, but with every new entry, the magic loses some of its lustre. Marvel fans, especially younger ones, can still rest assured that they’re in for a good time here. With over 200 playable characters, it’s little surprise to find it has personality to spare.