Game: Lego Marvel Superheroes 2
Developer: Travellers Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 (Review code provided)
Look, I’m not doing this, okay? I’m not going into detail about how a Lego game works. This literally must be the 1,639th game that Travellers Tales have put out that involves little building blocks and licensed properties. There’s little that’s different. Lots of characters. Some of them do things that unlock secrets. There’s a funny story with lots of gags. There are levels which you can replay. There are game breaking bugs where your characters get stuck in scenery or endlessly fall through the level and you have to restart and it’s a pain in the arse. I… I literally can’t go into any more detail. Please… don’t make me.
You want more? (Ideally, yes – Ed). Okay, so what sets this apart from the other Lego’y games on the market? Well, this is a sequel to 2013’s Lego Marvel Superheroes, for one, a game that I consider the pinnacle of bricky videogames, and takes a leaf out of that titles book with more obscure comic references and silly superhero gags. While celebrating their victory from the first game, The Avengers (no X-Men or Fantastic Four here, this time round – if only this had hit after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, eh?) find themselves whisked away by the crazed supervillain Kang The Conqueror (deliciously voiced by Peter Serafinowicz) to the world of Chronopolis, a mix of different Marvel locales, where they have to team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and alternative versions of classic heroes, such as Spider-Gwen (an alternative version of Spider-Girl which puts Gwen Stacey behind the mask) to thwart his evil plot for universe domination.
Chronopolis is probably the games strongest point and is the first time since the original Lego Marvel Superheroes where I feel TT Games have properly nailed the open world formula. Not being shackled to a film narrative like the disappointing Lego Avengers from 2016 certainly helps give it a more free form flow, but the fact that Chronopolis is made up of chunks of Marvel worlds like Xandar, K’un-L’un, Wakanda, New York and many, many others, makes it a joy to explore. It’s not strictly speaking a free flowing open world as each location is its own smaller map that can be fast travelled to, but there is a strange sense of coherence in its jumbled world. It also doesn’t hurt that the game has a proper, decent world map to help find side quests and items, something that’s been sorely lacking in recent titles.
Gameplay wise, there genuinely isn’t much to say, though – the combat is a more basic, traditional approach than the jumbled skill-tree lite that The Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame featured, the levels feel a bit more brisk, with less faffing around than has been in previous titles, and there is enough variety to keep you coming back, including some multiplayer PvP arenas (local only, no online). It’s easy to grasp for younger gamers but, really – it’s the same old same old. Do you like Lego games? Then you’ll probably like this. But that’s all it is at its core; another Lego game.
While the game is fundamentally strong and has everything a Marvel fanboy could want, there’s no escaping that this is really, underneath it all, ANOTHER BLOODY LEGO GAME. Really fun to play, chock full of gags with a bunch of stuff to unlock, this is sadly a series that honestly feels like it needs to take a break or seriously reinvent itself.