I’ve been a fan of the LEGO games since they first came around with the Star Wars entries. Ever since then, they’ve slowly gotten better and more fun with their trademark comedic antics and fun co-op modes where family and friends can play and work together to solve light puzzles and fight off enemies. The latest entry in their series is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, which in some ways is the best one I’ve seen yet, but is hampered by clunky controls and a busy camera that make playing through this adventure more of a challenge than it should be.
This entry has tons of Marvel heroes teaming up to stop Kang the Conqueror from bending time and space to his will in order to take over the universe. Starting out this adventure is everyone’s favorite ragtag team, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as they’re the first to answer the call in saving the day. Players will guide them and use their unique abilities to solve puzzles and fight their way through until they come across other superheroes such as Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Wasp, Spider-Man, Thor and more that you’ll be able to use and team up with. Once you get far enough into the game, you’ll get to visit the hub-like world of Chronopolis, where you can guide your heroes through different worlds and time eras such as the wild west and Black Panther’s home of Wakanda in order to stop Kang.
Besides using your basic attacks and unique abilities, you’ll also gain the ability to manipulate time to order to solve puzzles as well. For example, you might come to a broken platform you need to get across, so you can rewind time for that object to make it come back together briefly for you to cross and so on. This adds a fun new element to the gameplay along with the tried-and-true finding spots of LEGO bricks to cobble objects together for use in solving puzzles as well. There’s also a new competitive multiplayer mode for those who want a break from the co-op action. In this mode, players can take their favorite Marvel superhero and battle it out between themselves while also using Infinity Gems that give various perks in combat.
This along with the main story mode is some of the best stuff I’ve seen in the LEGO games, but sadly they bundled with some issues, namely clumsy controls and button contexts. It seemed like every time I reached a point in the game where I had to stand on a specific spot with a specific character in order to use their unique ability, I had a hard time doing so as I wasn’t precisely in position, leading to cheap deaths because I couldn’t open a door while getting blasted, or better yet making me switch characters which leads to even more cheap deaths because you’re too busy switching to get back to the hero you need to use. Then there’s the wonky camera that constantly fights with you and seems to purposely obstruct your view no matter which way you position it, which makes some of the badly designed platforming sections nearly impossible as you can barely line up your jump. This combined with the sloppy controls/ability use, and the basically useless A.I. controlled partners while playing in single player mode made me want to quit more times than I’d care to admit.
I really, really wanted to like and even love LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, as the selection of characters and the overall presentation is some of the best I’ve seen in the LEGO games. But thanks to all of that being locked behind cumbersome controls, a camera that’s an enemy in itself, and other technical mishaps, I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps with some patches they could fix these issues and make it one of the best LEGO games yet. But as it stands, only true, die-hard Marvel and LEGO fans are going to get anything built out of this one.