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Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 Review (Xbox One)

by on November 17, 2017
Details
 
Release Date

November 14th, 2017

Developer

TT Games, Traveler's Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

 

If there is one thing that is consistent with the Lego video game franchise, it’s the humor.  Every Lego game has some sort of audio or visual gag that keeps things light and kid-friendly.  But there is something different about Lego Marvel Superhero series.  Lego Marvel Superheroes 1 and 2 are original stories that allow the writers to freely write dialogue and sight gags that are laugh out loud funny.  When the developers work on a game based on a movie franchise (like Force Awakens, Avengers, and the Ninjago Movie), the developers are forced to stick to a strict pace and dialogue.  The sight gags are there, but it feels like the team is forced to hold back their creativity.  With Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, the TT Games team has shown how creative and funny they truly are.  It is arguably the best Lego game that has ever been released.

“Time” to Save the World….Again

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 is an original story that spans multiple dimensions.  Kang the Conqueror has once again messed with the timeline and has created a new world to rule and reign called Chronopolis.  Chronopolis is a hodgepodge of different realms and timelines – the majority of which are from various comic storylines.  You have Manhatten, Wakanda, Sakaar, Manhatten Noir, Kun Lun, and many other areas all rolled into one massive world.  You even have a Hydra controlled area to explore!  Throughout various missions, our heroes (both known and obscure) will stop at nothing to defeat Kang and put the world back the way it was.

All of your favorite popular Marvel characters are on display in Lego Marvel Superheroes 2.  Of course, you have your typical Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy line-ups.  But you also have a ton of other lesser known characters, as well as different versions of your favorite heroes.  Sure, you can play as Peter Parker.  But you also have the chance to control Spider Man Noir, Spider Man 2099, Spider Gwen, and Spider Ham.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!  There are over 100 characters to unlock.  My kids and I had a blast trying out different characters all over Chronopolis.  The story uses most of these characters very well, with great dialogue and voice acting.  And, the gags and one-liners are top notch.

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The challenge with this type of situation is creating distinct and living worlds all crammed into one open space.  The development team has done a fantastic job making each part of Chronopolis distinct in looks, sound, and activities.  The citizens look and act differently in each area.   Chronopolis is definitely the largest open world in the franchise.  Even with the massive world, there are still the same basic things for you to do.  You beat up bad guys and solve puzzles.  The puzzles are a little simpler compared to previous Lego games.  In previous entries, you had two options to build in order to progress through certain parts of levels.  Now, you only need to construct one thing at a time.  This is the only major change that I noticed.  The majority of the game is similar to what you expect in a Lego game, with the addition of a few different and memorable boss battles that I haven’t seen before in the franchise.

Don’t be scared off when I say that gameplay is pretty typical.  There are some nice additions to Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 that make the game a more enjoyable experience.

New Additions

One noticeable addition to the game is the ability to free play during the main storyline.  In the first Marvel Superheroes, you needed to complete the game before you can unlock Free Play in New York.  In the sequel, you can change characters and do side missions between main story missions.  While in the main story, you are stuck with the characters provided and must beat the mission to unlock the story level free play.  With with this new change, you can take little breaks between story missions to run around Chronopolis.  As a parent with young children, this was a godsend.  My kids do not have the patience to wait and explore.  Kudos to the team for this nice change.

Another amazing addition is the revamped character creation.  The amount of customization options is a sight to see.  The character creation screen looks like a comic book, with the different panels having things that you can customize.  You have your typical costume and weapons options, but you also have the ability to assign powers to your character.  You can assign how your character uses their powers (usually by tapping or holding a button) and what passive abilities they possess.  There are a ton of crazy combinations that you can make.  I wish there were more than ten custom character slots, but that would be just nitpicking at this point.  I, along with my kids, thoroughly enjoyed creating heroes in Lego Marvel Superheroes 2.

There is also a new 4 player battle arena.  Players can pick their favorite characters and play a couple different game modes.  I found myself wanting to skip the battle arena and head back into the main game.  There are so many things to unlock in Chronopolis that I found myself wanting to spend more and more time there.  Plus, the battle arena feels a bit unbalanced, especially if you choose an overpowered character.  Now if only the team could add 4 player co-op to the main story….

A Few Technical Hiccups

There a few technical issues that I would like to point out.  There are more than a few moments where the dialogue was extremely loud compared to the normal music and dialogue volume.  It’s a bit offputting, and hopefully, a patch can fix it.  The other issue I was having during my playthrough is the camera.  I find this to be pretty typical of Lego games.  At times, the camera doesn’t swing fast enough, or it tries to move when you don’t want it to.  For example, when I am in a doorway, the camera wants to swing outside but ends up in an awkward place between the building and the character.  I hope that this can be addressed in future games.  Other than those issues, the world looks great.  The colors stand out, especially as you move from realm to realm.  There is a lot of attention to detail, which helps when creating a large Lego world.

Final Verdict

Once again, the team at TT Games hit it out of the park.  With a massive world and a ton of characters, Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 offers a great story, lots of laughs, and a ton of things to do.  Yes, the gameplay is, for the most part, is similar to previous games in the franchise.  But there are too many things to unlock to be burdened by the gameplay.  I will be returning to Chronopolis for a very long time.

Let us know what you think of the game in the comments below!  In the meantime, enjoy a little jam session with Starlord –

Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch purchased a physical copy for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.

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Positives

Humorous Story
Good Action Set Pieces
Massive Open World
Tons of Characters

Negatives

Same gameplay you have seen before
Some technical hiccups

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
B-

 
Graphics
B

 
Story
A

 
Replay Value
A-

Total Score
B+

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Bottom Line
 

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 doesn't change the gameplay formula too much, but adds a massive open world to explore and tons of characters to unlock and use. The story and humor add to the fun.

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