The Lego video games stable has grown steadily over the years, with some titles syncing up with the launch of various blockbuster movies. One example is Lego Marvel Superheroes, which debuted four years ago.
Its sequel, Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, is now here. And what a treat it is.
This game features a larger collection of characters than its predecessor. Some of them come with unique attributes. Take Star-Lord, for instance. Other than being able to take flight and shoot, he can trigger his cassette player to play a random 1970s music track and cause those around him to dance. Spider-man can swing around, but can also transform into Peter Parker, and - like Spidey from the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming - take selfies using his camera phone.
However, there are some notable cuts due to contractual rights. For example, X-Men and Fantastic Four are missing. And instead of Deadpool, you get Gwenpool. Nevertheless, with more than 200 characters from various sources, you are sure to find a couple of new favourites.
In this game, the adventure takes place in Chronopolis, an area created by supervillain Kang by stitching together 18 well-known Marvel locations such as K'un-L'un, Asgard, a noir and 2099 version of New York, Knowhere and Manhattan. As a result, heroes from different locations and time zones will eventually band together against a common enemy.
The environment is an open world. You can hop from one location to another easily, as well as pan and switch to a different viewing angle at any time.
There are the usual story missions and completing side missions and hunting for coloured bricks will keep you pleasantly distracted.
PRICE: From $72.90 (PS4, version tested; Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch)
GENRE: Action adventure
Comics fans will be thrilled that they can play heroes such as Lockjaw, Howard the Duck, Electro, Black Bolt and Cowboy Captain America, Ms Marvel and Medusa.
And those who have been following superhero movies will be pleased to know that Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and more are part of the roster.
Another nice touch is the use of the classic Ben-Day dots design for the gameplay menu. It is a nice throwback to retro comics.
The gameplay mechanics that fans of the previous game have been accustomed to are still here. You get the usual collection of bricks, puzzle-solving segments and action sequences. And Doctor Strange's time-manipulating abilities may be required to tackle certain obstacles.
There has been a change in voice actors due to a labour strike during the production of this game, but it does not affect the fun and humour injected by developer Traveller's Tales.
A new four-player local multiplayer mode, over a series of themed challenges and battle arenas, makes this a great party game to play with friends. When playing cooperatively, the screen switches to a horizontally split view. Be sure not to stray too far from the other players or you may not be able to progress. There is no online multiplayer option.
If the 200-strong roster is not enough, you can buy a season pass with a one-time payment that will add about 60 characters and content from future feature films. For those excited by the recent Avengers: Infinity War trailer, there is no reason to hesitate.
And if you are feeling creative, there are 10 character slots that you can use for your own creations to put together a league of your own.
• Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer.
• Verdict: Having superheroes and villains from different timelines collide and collaborate makes Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 a fantasy universe come true.