Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (PS4)

Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (19.33 GB)
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 552 of the podcast at 136:35.
Episode 552: Two Blues and a Token

Gameplay:
I know that when I talk about these games on the podcast I tend to say whichever one has just come out is the best they’ve ever done, but it’s true.

The development team at Traveller’s Tales isn’t content to sit on their laurels and ride the past success of their catalog. And yes, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is easily the best LEGO game they’ve ever produced.

This of course begs the question, why? What’s so different here that makes this game stand out above all the rest up to this point? I’ve gone on and on with each game released about how the developers like to iterate on what they’ve done, introducing new mechanics with each successive release with mostly more hits than misses.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes goes deeper than that though, and it’s because of the story. At New York Comic Con this year, I got to sit with Game Director Arthur Parsons, the Creative Director at Marvel Games, Bill Roseman, and writer Kurt Busiek for a roundtable discussion.

The last game was set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which necessitated working within certain guidelines. For the sequel they wanted to do Kang the Conqueror, a Marvel Supervillain with a mastery of time travel who wants to prove that he’s better than anyone.

Parsons asked for the best stories involving Kang and was given a ton of material to go through. When he came back with two story arcs they wanted to use he asked for a Marvel writer to help out. Parsons and Roseman were going back and forth banging their heads against the wall trying to figure out who could write it until they realized, duh, why not get the original author?

Kurt Busiek wrote the Kang Dynasty and Avengers Forever arcs that would be used in the game. His experience with LEGO games is based only on his kids playing LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and then wanting to see a movie based on it.

Having little to no experience with video games has brought so much to the process as Busiek doesn’t have the burden of any preconceived notions. On top of the authenticity and gravitas he brings to the project, he was constantly asking the developers if they could do things that they hadn’t even thought of themselves.

The result is not just a fantastic LEGO product, but a fantastic and really authentic Marvel product. The team read more comics in preparing for this game than any they’ve done before and it shows. There are so many little nods to things, one liners, and Easter eggs for hardcore fans that it’s just a delight to play.

The best part is, you don’t have to worship at the altar of Stan Lee, or Kurt Busiek for that matter, to enjoy the game or laugh at many of the jokes. My five-year-old son was laughing along and having fun just watching me play with very little background beyond major characters and some origin stories. It has truly been a blast.

Visuals:
This is just a wonderful blend of the comics and movies come to life in LEGO form. The lighting is spectacular and everything looks razor sharp.

The real meat of the visuals comes from the setting. Kang has travelled through time and brought back the best heroes to fight in their most famous cities. They’re all now arranged in the hub world of Chronopolis.

This allows you to move directly from modern day Manhattan to medieval England, Marvel Noir, Marvel 2099, the old West, and so on. Each setting has its own distinct color palette and vibe ensuring things never get boring.

Audio:
Honestly, this is the part that surprised me the most. I was expecting the standard “rah rah” orchestral score of a superhero game so I was taken aback when entering an early level in Siberia. The music suddenly took on a distinct Uncharted 2 vibe and I was mesmerized. In short, this soundtrack is excellent.

The voice work is good but the standout is clearly Peter Serafinowicz as Kang. He dives into the role headfirst and really brings weight to the character.

Online/Multiplayer:
Like all LEGO games, local multiplayer is available but this one also includes an all new Battle Arena mode where up to four players can brawl for bragging rights.

The arena takes on a LEGO Worlds vibe where everything is made of LEGO bricks and it’s all destructible. Meteors rain down from the sky bringing Infinity Stones which serve as power-ups and the one with the most points at the end of the round wins.

It’s a really fun diversion and a nice addition to the game, allowing you to access all the abilities of the different characters in a different setting.

Conclusion:
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 sets the bar high for every LEGO game that will follow. Having the Marvel writer of the original source material your game is based on will do that for you.

This wonderful collaboration results in a game with exemplary writing, inspired art direction, fun puzzles, and laugh out loud humor. Pretty much every LEGO game is fun, that’s a given, but this one stands out from the crowd.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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  • Good to hear LEGO Marvel 2 delivered, the first one is right up there with LEGO City Undercover for my favorite LEGO game. On Game Informer’s review, they knocked it a bit by saying there were some severe technical hiccups and glitches that marred the experience. Did you run into any?

    • Nothing of note, though Shawn has had some issues with it.