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Comic book superheroes have taken over the big screen, but their success within the video game world has been limited. Now a new game tries to throw every character they can think of at you. The catch is, that it's a LEGO game which means you need to be ready for a particular style of gameplay. While there is a lot to enjoy about LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, it will likely only be truly great for those who already have an abiding love of LEGO games.
The basic setup sees Marvel comic book villain Kang causing problems for the Nova Corps, resulting in the Guardians of the Galaxy being called in to help. Meanwhile, the Avengers are dealing with more Earth-based problems. However, Kang's evil plan eventually includes Earth, and he brings all of New York into his own personal world of Chronopolis, where time is a bit...flexible. Other eras and alternate realities collide, causing Marvel heroes from all different times and places to occupy the same space. Now they must all team up together to defeat Kang.
If you've played a LEGO game, you'll know the basic setup well. A bit of simple hack and slash combat, basic puzzle solving by way of building needed items out of LEGO bricks, and a lot of environmental destruction into to find every single collectible stud you can. That's the order of the day here, though there is a bit more to keep you busy.
The story missions take you to a variety of different locations, and each area acts as an open world. There are multiple objectives beyond the main mission in each area, including races, puzzles and side missions that will reward you with special collectibles that can be used to unlock in-game content. And oh, is there unlockable content, let me tell you. There are around 200 different characters that one can be used in-game. Many get unlocked as part of the story missions, but some puzzles can only be completed with characters other than the ones that you have access to during the story, giving you a reason to replay each area in "free play" mode in order to check everything out.
The story itself is good enough. It's a bit too LEGO to be a traditional superhero story, and the LEGO humor isn't quite up to par with LEGO movies, but it's light-hearted enough. LEGO games are designed to be accessible by pretty much everybody and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 absolutely is. There's no reason to not let even small children play this one.
Having said that, the game does fall victim to many of the same issues that other LEGO games have had in the past. Control is good enough, but not great. Platforming doesn't usually require precision, but when it does, it gets frustrating. Occasionally I actually had trouble advancing because either a difficult camera made the obvious objective hard to see, or because clunky controls made completing a particular task difficult. This is mostly annoying because it will be the younger players who will be the most frustrated by that sort of thing.
Having said that, there is, of course, no way to ever really fail at the game, you just lose studs as your character dies and then respawns. A little bit is thrown in to make the combat interesting. Each character has different abilities and that includes special animations for their combat. These can be fun to watch to play out. And the fact that there are so many characters mean combat does change up frequently. Also, Star-Lord has the ability to put on a Walkman and dance around to music from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, which serves no purpose I can see, but is ultimately one of the more fun things that can be done in the game.
Serious comic book fans will likely enjoy the often obscure heroes that are included in the game and fans of LEGO games will enjoy everything about LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 that is here. If you don't fall into one of those camps, however, there probably isn't a lot that's going to draw you in. Still, the game is ultimately a good time, and with plenty to do, it's certainly a solid value.
The review was done with an Xbox One copy of the game provided by the publisher