Today at New York City Comic Con I got the chance to get my hands on a bit of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 as well as check out the panel with Creative Director Arthur Parsons and the rest of the development team. Although we’re just over a month away from its release, there is definitely a lot to be excited about, and the hype is real.
Ever since it was announced, I was excited about LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. In fact, I have the original rated as the fourth best LEGO game made to date. Back during Gamescom we learned that there would be 18 hub worlds in Marvel Super Heroes 2, but only caught a glimpse of each during the trailer. We were fortunate enough to test out two of the worlds at NYCC today and spent about 30 minutes in the game. The Coliseum and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 levels were on display, and they were incredible. First off, baby Groot was awesome to use and his demeanor was hilarious. Being in the middle of an action-packed level only to see Groot start dancing like he did at the beginning of the GoTG 2 film was pretty funny.
The level had four different areas and let us use all of the Guardians at one point or another. I was curious on how the team at TT Games would implement Krang the Conqueror as it was his first time in a game. Although we were limited to only two levels in story mode, I can assure you that this will be the best story in a LEGO game to date.
Krang is from the 40th century where all of humanity’s problems are solved. This makes him incredibly bored, and he uses a time machine that his ancestors built to travel back to the current time. He decides to take on the Avengers at their peak to provide himself a suitable challenge. This is where we come in. From what we got to play during our hands-on session, it will most definitely top the charts of LEGO games.
After our hands-on session, we had the chance to take part in the panel discussion and ask a few questions. A number of new details were revealed, including the level packs that will be included in the season pass. Arthur Parsons indicated that there will be six level packs in the pass consisting of the following franchises:
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- Black Panther
- Infinity War
- Antman & The Wasp
- Cloak & Dagger
- Marvel’s Runaways
The Guardians have appeared in previous games, as has Black Panther, but this will be the first time these movies will be featured. The final four properties are all making their LEGO debut. Parsons also indicated that there will be four separate character packs, one of which is the original Guardians of the Galaxy retro team.
Character count is always a question for LEGO games. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers had the highest base count of characters, but topped out at 245 including DLC. The largest roster to date belongs to LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham with just over 260. We asked Arthur Parsons during the panel what we could expect for Marvel Super Heroes 2, and his answer did not disappoint. This game will be the largest roster to date with 208 characters in its base launch roster. When you factor in the DLC, the total comes in at just over 270 characters. This not only makes it the largest overall total in a LEGO game to date but the largest DLC total as well.
A number of new characters were announced as well. Some of those making their LEGO debut were from the Netflix series of shows, and featured Luke Cage and Misty Knight. Iron Fist and Daredevil are returning to the franchise, but Jessica Jones will be the lone Defender absent from the game. Others were Blade (who looks awesome), Dormammu, Hobgoblin and two that at first I swear were made up.
I’m admittedly pretty knowledgeable when it comes to comic book characters, but even these two had me scratching my head: Koi Boi and Chipmunk Hunk. Koi Boi is a mentally ill character who works with Squirrel Girl. All we know is that his real name is Ken Shiga, he wears an orange shirt and talks to fish. Other than that, there are no real similarities to DC’s Aquaman. He’s only been around for about two years, which is why I admittedly haven’t heard of him until today’s panel. His partner, Chipmunk Hunk, has the power to talk to chipmunks as his name implies. So, naturally, he and Koi Boi work with Squirrel Girl in sort of an animal trio. Add all of these to Phantom Rider, Morbius, Captain Avalon, Arizona Annie, Grandmaster, Valkyrie, Ursa Major (yes, he’s a bear), Hulk 2099, Living Totem, Charlie-27 along with Red Wolf, and you have a LEGO game that even the word “diverse” doesn’t do justice.
Parsons admitted that one of the drawbacks to having so many characters is that many become obscure to everyone but the most extreme hardcore fan. He and the team wanted fans to become more immersed in these characters and learn more about their stories. As a result, they implemented a new card system for every character in the game: All 270 of them. These let you bring up any character, and flip it over like a baseball card. On the back, you are greeted with a character profile as well as their first issue appearance in a comic book.
One feature which sounded very in-depth was the upgraded character customizer. It has been completely overhauled with a ton of new options added. Parsons indicated that we will be able to add options such as eye lasers (as well as switch their colors), create new attacks, new weapons and more. Unfortunately, he noted that we will not be able to customize Lockjaw from Inhumans, but nearly jumped out of his seat when asked the question. For some reason, Parsons noted that they didn’t think about animals when revamping the customizer. It’s unfortunate, as he threw out a bunch of ideas off the top of his head that would have made excellent additions. Who wouldn’t want a Lockjaw modeled after their own family dog after all?
A number of other new features and nuances were promised, including what Parsons called the best story they’ve ever told in a LEGO game. With the largest character count, as well as the most amount of playable worlds ever, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 could very well end up being the best LEGO game ever made. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it does.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is available to pre-order now on the Xbox store, and it releases on November 14th, 2017