STAFF REVIEW of LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 (Xbox One)

Saturday, November 25, 2017.
by Adam Dileva

LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 Box art Even just the thought of playing a new LEGO game makes me smile, and it’s hard not to, as who doesn’t love the brick pieces, unlocking whatever your imagination can conjure? We’ve seen a handful of franchises receive the unique LEGO treatment, adding a unique flair to whatever IP it attaches to. The LEGO games have always been charming, even though you may think they are simply meant for the younger audience. I still enjoy them to this day, maybe more so now that I get to play with my 5 year old daughter. The LEGO games are generally accessible by anyone, as they are simple to understand, yet they have a ton of content and unlockables to keep you playing long after you may, or may not, finish the main campaign.

The newest entry, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, will be sure to bring in some fans once again with all of the comic book entertainment out there these days. I went into this review with a different mindset as normal, as I wanted to have my daughter play alongside me and take note of her thoughts and enjoyment from it, maybe even more so than my own, as my viewpoint is greatly different. For me, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 does what every LEGO games does, checking the same boxes that make it a very similar game when compared to any of the previous one, for my daughter though, she really enjoyed being able to play as all of her favorite heroes, like Spider-Man, Thor, and countless others.

The Guardians of the Galaxy appear to be the main hero crew within the narrative, as they are called upon to help stop the ever powerful Kang. Kang is using time manipulation powers for nefarious reasons, so it’s up to Star Lord and his ragtag gang, as well as other superheroes, such as Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and dozens of others to save not only the day, but the universe. Each character, like in every other LEGO game, has their own abilities and powers, and you’ll need to utilize each one at specific points to progress further. While there is an overarching storyline to the game, which I don’t want to spoil, it’s nothing really memorable, though it does have its moments, as it’s constantly filled with humor for all ages.

The main hub of the game takes place in Chronopolis, which is where you’ll explore and head to new worlds to play separate levels and side missions. Some characters are better suited to flying or swinging around, making travel around the city much quicker, though you can unlock vehicles as you progress should you not want to always rely on Spider-Man or Star Lord to quickly get around.

You begin with only a handful of Marvel characters unlocked, but as you complete missions and progress further in the campaign, dozens more will unlock, many of which I’ve never even heard about, though to be fair, I’m not the biggest Marvel comic buff. Each character will be needed at specific points to either progress in the game or unearth hidden collectibles, a staple within the series that adds dozens of hours of gameplay should you want to unlock every character and bonus available.

At any time you can swap between the characters on screen by pressing ‘Y’, though if you’re playing the campaign missions you’re locked to a set team of heroes, whereas in free play you can switch to any character in the massive roster you’ve unlocked so far. Each new story mission will mash up a certain roster of characters that will have to work together, along with their powers, to progress past each puzzle and boss. With a ton of characters to unlock, you’re surely to find a favorite, but you’ll have to utilize many different ones should you want to put in the time to find every well-hidden collectible.

Combat is as simple as mashing the ‘X’ button, where the attacks vary depending on whom you are controlling. During certain situations you’ll see prompts to press ‘Y’, which will essentially perform a combo move with a nearby teammate, adding more damage and switching to the other character. It’s not a flawless gameplay mechanic though, as the opportunity window is a little narrow, sometimes having you simply switching characters rather than doing the combo attack. My daughter liked being able to “beat up the bad guys” with a single button, and while yes its basic, it’s a LEGO game, generally meant for a younger audience, so it’s completely acceptable to not have a deep mechanic in this game.

Visually speaking, this one looks like every other LEGO game released to date. There seems to be a little more polish, and loading times have improved over previous games, but it still looks like the same game I was playing last generation as well. For the audio, the voice actors did a great job overall, but it’s still odd not hearing the actual real life voice actors that I’ve associated those characters to. That’s not to say that they performed poorly, but the voices are definitely different from what fans will be used to, not that I expect every celebrity to revive their role for a LEGO game.

I don’t recall having any issues in relation to bugs or glitches in previous LEGO games I played, but I ran into two separate occasions where I essentially became stuck, causing me to restart the mission and retry. The biggest one I ran into was a boss fight against Enchantress. Here you need to utilize Dr. Strange’s time manipulation powers to progress, as he can fast forward or rewind time, a mechanic you’ll need to rely on many times throughout the campaign.

I was tasked with rewinding time to destroy an apple that was blocking my path, so I stood in the right place, used my powers, but nothing happened. I thought that I may have missed something, so I went searching across the whole level, destroying everything in sight, only to be halted from any progress. After about a half hour of trying everything I could think of I resorted to watching a walkthrough on YouTube to see what I missed. I didn’t miss anything, it’s just that the event wasn’t triggering when I was rewinding time, so I was forced to restart the level from the beginning in hopes that it would work the second time. I did so and it worked, but it was frustrating never the less. My daughter was a little frustrated as well, as we weren’t able to go in the door, which was the obvious next step.

What LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 does really well is what all of the LEGO games do as it provides an entertaining adventure filled with nearly every franchise character you could think of, many of which you may not even know exist. You’ll be smashing bricks, collecting studs, fighting baddies and building objects throughout your adventure, the backbone of any LEGO game experience. For me though, this is more of the same, as it’s essentially the same game I’ve played for about a decade now, causing some fatigue to set in.

That being said, my daughter had a lot of fun with it, even if it’s a little too involved for a 5 year old to figure out its puzzles. She loved smashing LEGO bricks and collecting studs as her favorite characters. Due to my daughter’s enjoyment, I’ve bumped up the score a bit than what I would have given, as I’m experiencing it from a completely different viewpoint. For her, “getting all the LEGO people is so fun!”, so I’m going to stick with that as our final thought on the game.

Overall: 7.5 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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