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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 preview: Time to Assemble

The opening credits roll by with a familiar song in tow. The developer logos roll by, accompanied by Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love" playing over the sight of the Milano flying through the skies. The LEGO-fied versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy are making a crash landing onto the planet Xandar. As they speed towards the planet's surface, different elements of scattered worlds from across time and space are popping in, creating chaos all over.

That's the story behind LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, as players once again take control of the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. Taking place in the immediate aftermath of the first game, long-time Avengers bad guy Kang the Conqueror is messing with the space-time continuum, leading to the aforementioned madness. Shacknews got a chance to go hands-on with the latest LEGO adventure and do a little dancing along the way.

The playable demo put the focus squarely on the Guardians, whose looks have been updated since the first game to reflect their Marvel Cinematic Universe overhauls. Players are given a chance to familiarize themselves with the controls by exploring the Milano and collecting LEGO studs along the way. It's nothing LEGO veterans aren't already familiar with and it's someting newcomers will learn quickly. The most notable item here is that each character has their own individual character abilities that stay true to their character. In Star-Lord's case, he can bust out his Walkman and dance to "Come and Get Your Love," just like in the opening credits of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

After landing on Xandar, the Guardians are confronted by a massive Celestial gone mad. In the sky, they spot Kang the Conqueror, taunting them from his Damocles base. A boss battle commences, with the Guardians quickly surrounded by Roman sentries, Egyptian guards, 1930s mobsters, and other anachronisms that have been warped in by Kang's machinations. The Celestial fight proves to be a showcase for the characters' individual moves, while expressing the importance of the characters working in tandem. Star-Lord starts things off by deploying a gravity bomb, Gamora then stabs the Celestial's arm, which then allows Drax to cut into the Celestial's shoulder.

Certain characters can also team up for attacks, like Rocket and Groot. Groot is also an example of a character that utilizes his own time tech. In his case, it allows him to go from full-grown classic Groot to Baby Groot at will, with certain situations calling for one or the other. Groot's transformations play into the idea of time, which will linger as the game's ever-present motif.

With the time theme in mind, TT Games is aiming for the LEGO games' biggest hub world to date. Between levels, players can explore Chronopolis. This is Kang's domain, where he has ripped notable Marvel locations out of time and collected them as his trophies. These locations include familiar sights like Black Panther's kingdom of Wakanda and the war planet Sakaar, home to the Planet Hulk storyline. TT is emphasizing that the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 storyline is nonlinear and that players will be able to jump into different stages in whichever order they please.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 will feature dozens of unlockable characters, with the Guardians of the Galaxy only scratching the surface. A handful of the game's playable characters include ones that were first introduced to the Marvel Comics world after the first game was released. For example, the demo briefly showed off Spider-Gwen, a parallel world's version of Spider-Man where Gwen Stacey donned the Spider mantle. Like in her comic title, Gwen can dish out her own spider-themed pain, while also showcasing some character-specific abilities. She can even take selfies in mid-battle, an idea reminiscent of the first Spider-Gwen issues.

This is just the beginning of the Marvel Universe's stand against Kang the Conqueror. Look for more on Marvel Super Heroes 2 in the coming weeks, with the game set to release on November 17 on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

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