Every year, my sister gets me a new Lego game either for my birthday or for Christmas.
Every year, this new Lego game, whichever film franchise it happens to be from, comes with some fine print.
See, a new Lego game isn’t just for me: it means my sister wants to come play it with me. It’s a lovely tradition of ours that usually ends up being marathons of shenanigans and puns.
About three years ago, the game of choice was Lego Marvel Superheroes. Until that point, we’d only really played Batman and Harry Potter, so of course I was excited to play Iron Man for the first time!
The game itself introduced a few new features at the time, including being the first Lego game (at least that I’d played) to use actual dialogue instead of grunts and gestures. To boot, it even used Phil Coulson’s real voice, although he was the only original voice.
Because it was the first game, it focused pretty heavily on the headliners, like Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and even the perpetually “disinterested” Spiderman.
This year, my sister picked out Lego Marvel Superheroes 2—and it’s just a little bit different.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far!
I have to admit that I geeked out as soon as we booted up the game.
I thought this opening was neat for a few reasons:
- It’s a great throwback to the opening of the first Guardians movie
- It’s the first time I’ve seen a Lego game get the rights to a song that, while it was part of the movie’s soundtrack, was not part of the original score
- It starts the game with a smaller comic, which is a nice change from the first game’s introduction to the headliner Avengers
Like I theorized with Thor: Ragnarok’s new pseudo-eighties style, this points to Marvel’s intention to highlight its smaller niche comics as just as important as the Iron Mans and Captain Americas of the world.
After we’d stopped rocking out to the oldies, it was time to get started. And as much as we’ve played Lego games before, there was a bit of a learning curve.
First up, each character now has its own special that you can activate by holding B.
Most are attack-based, but as Player 1 (because that’s what older siblings do), I started the game off in the first level as Peter Quill. Can you guess what his special is?
Of course, we discovered this lovely feature by button-mashing, because who reads the manuals or tutorials?
Second, the game relies pretty heavily on chapter selection.
This is a feature we saw a little of in Lego Batman 3, but it’s definitely a much bigger focus in this game. In Lego Batman 3, after you’d progressed through the majority of the story and needed to go deal with each of the Lantern planets, you got to choose which planet you wanted to go to in which order (and leave the Red Lantern planet for last because the bull was tricky).
There were only six options, and it was all at one point in the story.
Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 pushes the style by introducing it much earlier, and instead of only six levels, it seems like the game has three separate plotlines that you are tasked with balancing. With great power comes great responsibility.
We aren’t very far in, but we have already been affected by the guilt of leaving one team on the sidelines much longer than the others…
A new look
The majority of the gameplay itself looks iconically Lego-y, but this game puts a little bit of a spin on the classics with the HUD and menus.
All of the text and icons in the game are designed to look like comic book frames, including taking a “picture” at the end of each major chapter and framing it. It’s a neat feature, but I have to admit that we thought it was a glitch the first time because we thought the game had frozen.
Improving co-op play
My sister and I are the queens of the oops in Lego games, which basically means that one of us, in an ambitious bid to explore ALL THE THINGS, accidentally stumbles across a trigger that pushes us into the next area while the other was trying to get a minikit.
Although you can still be a butthead and proceed without telling the other person, this game makes you do it with a suitably guilty conscience by bringing in a new feature that makes you stop and acknowledge what you’re doing.
It stops you, tells you what you’re about to do will affect both players, and makes you press a button to acknowledge.
All in all, I’m really excited to keep going with this game, learn all of the specials, and find all of the Easter eggs. Lego games are known for their humour and fun, and this game has it in spades. Who knows what else we’ll find?