Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Platforms: PS3, PSV, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, DS
Release Date: June 19
While I don’t exactly have proof that LEGO Star Wars was a sleeper hit, I have no idea how else a franchise like this could have survived for as long as it has. I mean, seriously, what started out as looking like just a money grab kids game actually turned out to be one of the coolest things to come out….ever! And developers took note of that, realizing that there audience was a little more wide spread than just kids. So, the next LEGO Star Wars came out, building and improving on all of the things that made the original so cool. And, after that…..I guess a couple of the developers just kind of looked at each other until, finally, one of them said “You know what? Every year, we can get a different franchise to make out of LEGO! Easy money for everybody!”
They seemed to finally try to improve on the third LEGO Star Wars game, but LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes goes a little bit more above and beyond this time. Just having all of the DC Heroes playable is already enough to get excited, but they’ve also included a fun sandbox overworld and they took a huge risk in doing voice acting in this game. And with all of that; all I can say is that this game is pretty awesome!
A Tried and True Formula
Make no mistake, most of the things that came up in the previous games are still here. You have the standard levels where you go through puzzles that involve using different costumes, the different characters’ skills, and a lot of building. The game pretty much functions the same way as all of the other games. You tap on the attack button to go through waves of enemies, the boss fights involve hitting the character a couple of times and then trying to figure out a puzzle, and most of the puzzles involve some looking around and making sure you haven’t missed anything.
Almost all of the problems that have been plaguing the series make a triumphant return into this game as well. Most of the levels have some serious camera issues, the game can get repetitive, and co-op, while still fun, seems to be more of a chore than it should be, because, even with the added split screen effect, the game can go a little bonkers when the players are too far away from each other.
But if it’s one thing that does shake up the standard gameplay a little bit, it’s the inclusion of Superman. This might be the first good game he’s actually been in, and the way he’s handled in this game, I’m not sure if they could have done a much better job. Yes, Superman is invincible in this game and his ability to fly eases up the platforming a little bit as controlling him allows for the other characters to do most of the jumping for you. With all of that said, Superman is really just mainly used for solving puzzles. His ability to fly can help reach places no other characters can reach and his super breath, super eye lazer beams, and super strength are put to good use.
So, while this game has everything we would expect in a LEGO game, the things they added really do make this game stand out. Like…..
LEGO folk can talk now!
A more than a couple of us felt a little uneasy when we found out that there was going to be voice acting in this game. Most of us felt that it was going to take away the charm all of the LEGO games had going for it. Instead of all the gestures and grumbles most of us had felt gave a cute take on the franchises, we would have to sit through some standard voice acting that would take away the uniqueness of the game. And somehow, I don’t think this game lost any of its charm at all because of voice acting. In fact, it gave it even more!
this game is actually pretty funny
For one thing, this game is actually pretty funny. The kind of character they’ve made for Superman is down right hysterical! I don’t want to spoil any of the jokes that involve him, but he’s definitely a lot more smug and full of himself. And even with that, he’s still a really likable character.
Because of the voice acting, the game is able to tell it’s story a little bit more clearly, and it plays out like a Saturday morning cartoon, though, it is a very well done kind of Saturday morning cartoon. The game can be really clever and funny, but you can also expect some sort of character arc where everyone learns a lesson and you can also expect the game to end where someone makes a really lame joke causing all of the characters to laugh, presumably because of how lame the joke was.
Driving through Gotham……GTA style!
This is probably the only time you’ll let your kid play a game that allows you to drive through a city, running over people and causing destruction. And it’s kind of awesome!
The game has an overworld that you can explore, fly around, and collect many items. This is probably the best LEGO game for collectibles. Even after I finished the main part of the game, I found myself wanting to go back and see what the city had in store for me.
While flying around the city as Superman is all good and fun, this is definitely a playground for Batman and Robin. Mostly because the puzzles require those characters so you can’t cheat your way to an instant solution just by flying on top of the building. The way the game makes you scale up the building, going through some well place puzzles and platforming, it’s honestly one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of the game. It’s also the only time you have control over the camera, so, that helps matters a lot as well.
I think the sandbox aspect of this game is actually what makes this game really worth it. It’s really enough to go out and buy this game. Once the world opens up to you, you could probably go through the game without really touching the main story for a while. I’m not sure if I could do that though, but, having a giant robot monster destroying the city gives me that feeling where I have to go take care of something like that first.
It’s not exactly a LEGO Justice League…
If they were going to make a LEGO Justice League, it’s probably going to be their next game involving Batman. The game really only focuses on Batman, Robin, and Superman. The rest of the guys don’t come by until the end of the game. Seriously! No one else shows up until the final battle. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but it is a bit of a disappointment because it feels like a wasted opportunity.
I’m (LEGO) Batman
This is a really fun game, even if it is a bit overly familiar. With the sandbox and voice acting, it does make this game stand out a lot more than it’s previous games, and it is about time that these guys try something a little different. Even if you’re sick of a LEGO game coming out every year, this game stands out enough to be worth a look. I think it’ll be the last legitimately good super hero game until….well, probably until the next Batman game comes out, which is pretty sad now that I think about it.
BOG’s LEGO Batman 2 Review Score: 8.0
Why so high? The voice acting and sandbox aspects really do make this game stand out, and it’s still the fun LEGO games we all know and love
Why so low? With the same LEGO games we all know and love, it still has most of the same problems
MkaY: I cannot resist the urge to praise the game when I have the chance. Since you’ve already read the actual review, I’ll try to keep it short. Simply put LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes breaths life into the LEGO video-game brand which has seen some hits, but some mediocre attempts too.
Gotham City is amazingly well detailed, heroes and villains look simply excellent, though few hiccups in framerate can be seen in couch co-op. The voice acting really works, even though some might miss the LEGO pantomiming they’ve got used to. The script of the game combined with good voice acting hits the spot and I do hope to see some more voice acting in the future too.
Batman and Robin’s gadget suits are fun, but they tend to get repetitive after a while. You shouldn’t take the previous statement too hard though, because I found the amount of puzzles to be just right.
All in all LEGO Batman 2 offers engaging story and does a better job than its predecessor. Better action, good voice acting and some really fun scenes make this game worth your while. 8.4