LEGO games have been around for more than a decade, and there is certainly no shortage in variety. The franchise started with original ideas and has since expanded into multiple loved universes, including that of DC Comics and Marvel Studios.
One such recently released video game is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. This sequel is very much like it’s predecessor in that it contains hours of story, missions, exploration, challenges, and more puzzles than you could possibly want — or, by the time you finish, may leave you wondering how they worked in the first place.
The MCU — But Lego
As the story begins, we see the Guardians of the Galaxy flying through space, past a disembodied robot head floating near earth. As they approach Manhattan airspace, Star-Lord notices what appears to be a giant ship in the shape of a sword. The self-declared Kang the Conqueror has arrived through time with the goal of capturing Manhattan and adding it to Chronopolis, an island of his creation.
As the story continues, Kang captures other zones in time including Hala, The Old West, Egypt, and the HYDRA Empire, and adds them to Chronopolis. Our Heroes travel to each of these regions to explore and find allies to help in the fight against Kang.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is packed full of Marvel heroes to unlock. Several can be unlocked during the 12-plus hours of story (much longer if you start out as confused as I was). But the story is only a small portion of the content. Additional characters can be discovered and unlocked during other activities, including in-city races and Challenges.
A Long To-Do List
While the racing markers were easily stumbled across, the Challenge locations were not. Unlocking computers randomly found on each zone on the map, however, helped greatly. These devices place multiple icons on the map including puzzle locations and fast travel points.
For anyone not familiar with how LEGO games work, story progression can be held back through frustrating puzzle mechanics. As you control multiple characters at the same time, progression is often tied to using their abilities to open, unlock, discover and create items used to free, destroy, manipulate, or distort objects, locations, enemies, and even time itself.
In LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, there are no signs and very few indicators to inform you that something requires player interaction. Generally the only way to figure out what to do and who has to do it is through plenty of trial and error and running around in circles. Occasionally a “tip” will appear when something can be interacted with, but doesn’t generally tell you who can do it.
Each level consists of story missions, puzzles, fights, and hopefully rescuing a completely helpless Stan Lee who has managed to get himself into some ridiculous situation that only a Marvel Super Hero can get him out of. Unfortunately, that hero is not always one of the characters you are currently playing. Completing each level, however, unlocks “Free Play.” This allows players to return to the level, choose whomever is required for the task, and let poor Stan go free — only to get captured again, of course. But not before he declares his intent to run home and document his crazy adventure.
Lots to Love
Overall, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is highly entertaining, albeit redundant of previous similar games of the franchise. Complete each level by thwarting Kang’s henchmen at every corner and killing a mini-boss. Play solo or join a friend in the easily-accessible co-op mode. Up to four players can compete in the multiplayer Battle Arena.
Character one-liners, particularly those of Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, keep the laughter rolling through the game. Special abilities like Star-Lord’s slapping on his Walkman, cranking up the tunes and having ally and foe alike dancing like they don’t have a care in the world while everything crumbles around them, is priceless.
Defeat is only a minor inconvenience for our heroes so there is no pressure to “get gud,” as it were. They will lose some studs (tracked currency) but can pick those right back up in most cases.
Is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Good?
Plan to spend countless hours unlocking every hero available in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. Despite the often baffling and obstructing in-story puzzles, there is a ton of fun to be had here. By the end of the story campaign, my original frustrations were for the most part forgotten and even forgiven. Destroying items in my path like furniture, snowmen, and pretty much everything that wasn’t a building was amazingly entertaining.
Punch out your friends, your foes, even the local police. Web your way around town with Spider-man or sneak into places only a shrunken Ms. Marvel or Wasp can get into. Take a few selfies along the way.
My only wish? A way to play LEGO Super Marvel Heroes 2 online with my pals.