I’ll admit it folks, I honestly expected Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes to feel like TT Games were well and truly beating a dead horse long after the fact; with so many iterations of these games and this one in-particular not following the standard storyline of a movie or collection of movies I felt as though it would feel stale and uninteresting. Granted though – that’s what TT Games have done with Batman before – with their original Lego Batman title. It was a risky move to venture away from an established storyline with mute characters but the original pulled it off nicely. As does it’s squeal!
Indeed with Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes the most prominent aspect is that your little brick friends now have full voice actors behind them and with this comes the complexity that an ‘unscripted’ Lego game has needed. There’s no need for Captain Jack Sparrow to mime his lines with Davy Jones or for Shortround to try and get Indys attention without using words and with a surprisingly good quality cast it’s easy to flawlessly accept the characters new voices – especially as the game contains some giggle worthy moments simply due to line delivery and timing.
Not surprisingly, the gameplay handles exactly like every other Lego game with the only real change being the inclusion of Batman and Robins plethora of suits and gadgets to now play with – from Batman’s x-ray emitting Sensor Suit to Robins Ice Suit – complete with Mr Freeze-esque freeze ray – there is always a suit just round the corner to help finish the mission.
And you’ll need them too with the 15 campaign levels and near endless amounts of Gotham to explore in its new open world setting. With the campaign missions ranging from simple stages such as ‘defeat Super-villan A with Super hero B’ to more exciting missions like the vehicle bound fixed-camera chase scenes Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes offers a number of fun levels that will appeal not only to the younger audience but also avid DC comic fans.
Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes is not without its issues however and much like its predecessors it’s got its fair share of glitches. I mean, it’s a Lego game – there are bound to be glitches! They range from that annoying Achievement-in-Co-Op glitch which means that your couch co-op partner may get an achievement for completing one level but nothing for the next one to everybody’s favourite glitch since the inclusion of split-screen; the Mind-of-its-Own camera glitch which can means you or your co-op partners camera angle decides it would rather take in the scenery instead of letting your see that horde of goons who are currently pummeling several shades of (Lego) brick out of you.
Including other characters from the DC universe is also a first for the Lego franchise. With the opening scene featuring Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor it’s simply presumed that the entire population of the DC comic books live within a short car ride from each other. With characters such as The Flash, Wonderwoman, Captain Boomerang and even a passing mention of Ace the Bat-Dog – Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes is something of a purists dream. Even the soundtrack is faithfully recreated as it seamlessly blends the wonderful and memorable soundtracks of both Batman and Superman.
Not that I’m saying the game isn’t fun, far from it. In fact, despite these glitches the following fifteen minutes of gameplay after I unlocked Superman as a playable character were spent flying around the level going ‘Wheee’ whilst humming the Superman themetune, freezing enemies with Ice Breath and blowing up object with Heat Vision. Interestingly enough Superman quickly becomes your go-to guy for many of the later levels and especially for that old Lego game tradition of collecting Gold Bricks. The campaign only taking up roughly 25% of your gaming experience with the caped crusader as you can not only explore each campaign level again as different characters as per usual but also explore Gotham as an open-world sandbox-type map. Dispatching super-villans and finding hidden secrets by the Lego-truck full.
I mentioned on our podcast recently that my fantasy ‘reboot’ game would probably be a remake of the 1960’s Batman, comedy costumes, wobbly sets and flashing red phone on Commissioner Gordons desk – everything. Well, this is probably as close as you can get without pulling Adam West away from the Family Guy series for longer than an episode. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes portrays Gotham as this gritty crime ridden cesspool but the game cannot help but be betrayed by its inescapably innocent charm – unlike other versions of Gotham in recent years – the Penguin is a squat little Lego man waddling around Gotham Zoo and not a vicious criminal underlord with a bottle-bottom sticking out of his face. There are no lingering shots of Catwomans backside of Harley Quinns revealing outfit and not one use of a curse word throughout the entire game. It all drips with a sweet and almost sickly charm that part of us has been craving from this franchise ever since Arkham Asylum – sure the original Lego Batman got it right – but Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes does it bigger, louder and better.
There is no doubt that TT Games have done it again, every Lego game they create – despite its flaws and occasional glitches – turns into a wonderful experience from start to finish with copious amounts of charm and more than enough levels to keep even hardcore Lego game fans interested. My only concern now is that TT Games may have reached too far and too fast. By including almost every character DC Comics ever featured, is there anything that can be done to make this particular franchise fresh again, or will TT Games move onto pastures new?
Review Score : [starreview tpl=16]
Title : Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
Format : PS3
Developer : Travelers Tales Games
Publisher : Warner Bros
Release Date : Out Now