Ahead of its release, promising pirates Nick Burton and Jack Cooper give their thoughts on Rare's Sea of Thieves, an Xbox exclusiveWritten by Nicholas Burton & Jack Cooper on 19th March 2018
Review: Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
Superhero fan Jack Cooper reviews Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, the Marvel-ous sequel to the blockbusting original
Any game that starts with a Lego spaceship transporting the Lego Guardians of the Galaxy across a beautiful nebula to the sounds of Redbone’s ‘Come and Get Your Love’ before dropping you in the middle of a city under attack is pretty good in my books. While this might sound like an oddly specific criterion for a game’s opening, it is exactly how Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 opens and it wonderfully sets the tone for the rest of the game: chaotic; hilarious; and, above all; ridiculously fun.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is set immediately after the events of the first game and focuses on supervillain Kang and his attempts to take over the universe. Kang is in possession of the ‘Time Stone’ (of the Infinity Stones) and has been travelling throughout history, transporting his favourite locations to Chronopolis, an amalgamation of some of the greatest locations from (Marvel’s) history, ranging from Ancient Egypt to Thor Ragnarok’s Sakaar to a 1930s ‘Film Noir’
“Chaotic; hilarious; and, above all; ridiculously fun
With so many different areas for players to explore, it would be easy for them to feel empty or boring, but clear effort has gone into filling each world with plenty to do and making each of them feel alive through all the side-quests to unlock new characters, the crazy number of collectables on offer, and the hilarious voice lines from the civilians populating these worlds; even just jumping, swinging, and flying between each location is fantastically fun with activities constantly appearing around you as you travel meaning that you are never bored (and may never get around to saving the world).
While these extra features aren’t always executed perfectly, with some of the voice lines being repeated often or side quest-specific dialogue not being easily locatable, they are only minor issues that don’t detract from the overall experience and effort present within the game.
The amount of effort put into designing the worlds can also be seen in the design of the levels which are, for the most part, innovative, exciting, and full of character. Within each level, players control a team of heroes as they have to find, fight or fix their way through an assortment of
“Clear effort has gone into making each world feel alive
While it can be a bit frustrating to not be able to complete everything the first time round, all of the levels are so different and fun to play that replaying them doesn’t feel like a chore at all and is almost as much fun as playing them through the first time. There were some problems in the level design in the game, however, which did detract from the overall experience of the game.
For example, some of the puzzles in levels were confusing and required precise button prompts that the game didn’t make clear and the in-game hints offered general tips rather than things that could help in these moments. The tutorial was also not incredibly helpful as I felt that it over-explained intuitive elements of the game while not explaining other, more confusing, features: such as how to change characters and the different ways to use a character’s ability. These weren’t game-breaking issues but did cause frustration when they seemed to come up a few times and interfered in the enjoyment of the overall game.
But, no matter how good the world or levels of the game are, what would a Marvel game be without characters? Fortunately, Lego Super Marvel Heroes 2 has these in abundance, from staple names such as Iron-Man, Thor, and Spider-Man, to the lesser-known Marvel-ous heroes like Gwenpool, Howard the Duck and Throg (Thor as a frog, obviously). There are even tons of alternate versions for some of the more popular heroes like Peter Parker, ‘Old West’ Tony Stark and Werewolf Captain America, which are mostly unlocked through entertaining side-quests. With so many different heroes on offer, it would have been easy for the characters of Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 to not feel different from each other when they are used. This could not be further from the truth as each hero has distinct movements, fighting styles and abilities that feel unique to them.
This is evidenced not only in the fantastic voice acting that makes each character distinct and memorable, but also by the individual abilities of each character, for example Star-Lord’s ability prompt leads him to putting on his headphones and blasting out the title’s ‘Come and Get Your Love’ while sporadically shooting enemies. These individual styles, however, can be best seen in combat, with different characters having different combos and fighting styles (such as Spider-Man being a ranger web-shooter and She-Hulk being a brawler) that make each combat encounter feel unique.
Characters are also able to interact with each other within combat through a combo attack (that can only be done when your combo bar is full) that lets the different fighting styles work together in unison, for example: Hulk will pick up any fighting character he is near and smash them around the stage, damaging groups of enemies; and Iron-Man will shoot his beams at Captain America’s shield, reflecting them all around the battle.
“Every single hero is fun to play as and feels unique with individual abilities, movement and fighting styles
These combinations are a really nice break in combat that showcases the character’s individual styles working together for hilarious and effective results. Furthermore, each character also has specific abilities, like shrinking or heat-vision, that allow them to interact with puzzles throughout the world meaning that your hero loadout will constantly be changing while you are exploring the world.
Not only does Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 create a fantastic experience based off the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comics, it also lets players create a phenomenally personalised experience through its drop in/out multiplayer and its create-your-own character elements. The drop in/out multiplayer is a exciting element of the game that allows players to experience the game with others, completing as many levels as they want to together and then being able to continue on their own immediately.
This feature also allows players to help others out who may be struggling on certain sections or levels, by dropping in and helping complete the area and then dropping back out. The game’s create-your-own character is also fantastic in created a personal experience as it allows you to use the pre-existing abilities, fighting styles and character looks of the Marvel characters to create your own hero which you can then use to fight alongside your favourite superheroes in the game.
Overall, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is full to the brim with chaotic fun. Each of the missions, side-quests and collectables are hilariously engaging and keep you wanting more. While there were a few issues that take away from the overall experience of the game, they are minor enough that you can look past them and the game offers so much character that you can’t help but forgetting about them and getting swept up in everything the game has to offer. Whether you are dancing to the hits of the 70s/80s with Star-Lord, swinging throughout Chronopolis with whichever version of Spider-Man you have chosen or beating up enemies as an Asgardian frog, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a brilliant game that offers an ecstatically enjoyable experience for all kinds of players.