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Don’t get me wrong, I could play as LEGO Star Lord all day, mostly holding the B button to listen to his jams and watch him dance around. Other than that, however, I was unfortunately very disappointed with the latest in the LEGO superhero franchise. I feel it is important to note that I almost always play local co-op, and this game was played through on multiplayer over three days. Why three days? I just didn’t have that “new game urge” – you know the one, where you have a new game and all you want to do is keep playing it all day every day. I have only played the main story, but while I am writing this, my partner is playing solo and exploring the open world of Chronopolis.
I was surprised to find most reviews of the game that I have read are favourable, if a little sparse on the detail. It is for this reason that I have chosen, perhaps a little hypocritically, to focus on the negatives. Without further ado, these are the top Eight disappointments in LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2.
1) The story is actually rather disjointed.
You’ve probably heard the basic premise: Kang the Conqueror has brought together several times and dimensions to conquer the world. But let’s get more in depth: Kang the Conqueror has brought together several times and dimensions to conquer the world. That’s it; there is no "more in depth." You dabble in each zone with a rather random assortment of characters.
2) The Boss battles are repetitive.
The boss is untouchable. You run around, avoid his attacks, fight some minions. Boss can be attacked. You attack. Boss becomes untouchable. You run around, avoid his attacks, fight some minions. It gets a little hectic and button-mashy. Unlike the first Marvel Superheroes in which you build things now and then or have to work out a pattern, this game has a set routine for the boss battles. And every single boss is the same.
That is, until you finally get some Gwenpool quests. Those actually feel like good LEGO game levels.
3) The B button is God.
You want to build? B button. You want to attack a nearby target? B button. You want to use a special move? B button. The B button does so much that often, particularly when being bombarded by enemies, you’re going to be abusing it to try and get it to do what you want.
4) Goodbye, dynamic split screen.
I don’t know what the developer has against dynamic split screen, but they seem to get rid of it whenever they make a sequel. This game has normal split screen which can be a pain in the arse to navigate with and restricts your movement. It is particularly annoying if you’re playing alongside someone who likes to direct you “over here” or “over there” instead of stating a point or direction.
5) The camera angle fights back.
The controls over all are very clunky, and the camera never quite seems to know where you want to look. The new flying dynamic means that you can’t really change the camera angle without messing up your vertical axis. When you fly up, the camer swings down under the character; when you fly down, it hovers above them.
As for when you’re walking, it’s very temperamental. As I’m writing this my partner is solo-ing and showing me that camera angle can be changed at will, but whilst we were playing the missions on multiplayer, I was fighting with the controls to try and shift the angle.
6) You’re either over-informed or under-informed.
A lot of things, like a typical LEGO game, are rather simple to work out. Every now and then, however, the game throws in a curve ball by making sure not to tell you what on earth you’re supposed to be doing. Making the player create a custom for the Luke Cage mini mission was particularly odd.
7) Most of the voices suck.
As a voice actor myself, I have heard bad accents. I know person in particular who’s "male voice" sounds like a constipated gremlin on crack—and don’t get me started on her attempts at Scottish! Yet, you would think a professional game developer could afford professional voice actors. In LMS1 you can hear the differences in voices, and the voices fit the characters. In LMS2, however, you need to pay attention to the way things are said and the words being said to try and figure out who’s talking, as many of the voices sound the same. The few who have accents are distinct, though that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Klaw in particular sounds like the developer cut up clips of a Londoner, Australian, and New York American speaking and spliced them together.
8) X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four are in the Void.
To my knowledge, the reason for their absence remains undisclosed, though I suspect it has something to do with the Marvel-Fox animosity occurring during the game’s creation. Even so, their absence is felt. Not because of any lack of abilities—many of the characters have received an ability upgrade to the point you are rarely without the ability you need in your team. However, when you have such a grand display of the ever-expanding Marvel universe, the absence of arguably two of the most well known factions becomes glaringly obvious, and means fans have had to miss out on playing as some of their favourite characters. In their place, we have the Inhumans and a little more time with the Defenders.
Although I can understand why other’s may see it as a success—it is still an adventure and some of the characters are fun to play (I love you, Star Lord!)—for me LMS2 has just has not lived up to expectations. The graphics are nice, but apart from some well-polished updated character appearances the rest doesn’t always feel like a LEGO game. It’s as though the developer wanted to create a normal looking game, and the LEGO interface was an afterthought, creating a kind of chimera that doesn’t quite fit into either category. The negatives have made me feel disillusioned with the game itself, and though there are characters I loved, the levels themselves just aren’t interesting enough for me to summon the willpower to take my beloved characters through the Freeplay.
If you have already purchased this game, I hope that you find more positives than the negatives listed here and that you can enjoy your new game. If not... perhaps you should wait until you can pick it up a little cheaper to see if it is your cup of tea or not. As for me, I think I’ll settle for an actual cup of tea and play some LEGO Marvel Superheroes 1.