Review: Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a first in many ways. To begin, it’s the first Traveller’s Tales Lego game that features in-game voices. Also, it’s a Lego Batman game that goes beyond Bruce Wayne’s world and dips into characters from the entire DC Universe…hence the subtitle. So, with the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Lex Luthor, Captain Boomerang and many more DC heroes and villains at your disposal, is this new game a super hero in its own right?
I had the chance to check out Lego Batman 2 at E3, and was pleasantly surprised with the game. The title’s preview put you in the open world of Gotham City with the entire Justice League at your disposal. In short, it was fantastic – you got a feel that each Lego hero had their own unique flair; Superman seemed god-like and calm, and the Flash was ADHD personified. It was great fun just flying around Gotham as Green Lantern, and then switching to Cyborg to plow through its roads.
That’s the first problem – there’s a lot of variety in the game thanks to the titular DC Super Heroes…but you don’t really get to use most of those characters right up until the end of the game. Furthermore, that open world of Gotham City is just as necessary as the one in L.A. Noire: it’s there, you use it to move from level to level…but in the end, you really don’t need it. What makes it even worse is that the camera is in WAY too tight when you’re supposed to be driving around Gotham. That, plus awful steering and propulsion mechanics make for a frustrating experience as you traverse from setpiece to setpiece.
Lego Batman 2 is like every other Lego game in that it’s very good at extending its own gameplay; you have to unlock and use unique characters to access unique sections of each the game’s levels. Each play-through of a level usually earns you more collectable minikits and golden blocks. On top of that, the new open world of Gotham City means there are even more golden blocks scattered about to collect; all up, there are 250 to obtain. It’s mind-blowing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the patience to replay a level over and over and over again.
Voice-wise, Traveller’s Tales have made a great move in putting in-game voices in the title, but they needed to find voice actors that fit their roles a bit better. Whilst Lex Luthor is PERFECT, thanks to Adventures of Superman’s Clancy Brown (reprising his role, obviously), Batman and Joker’s voice actors are absolutely terrible. It’s a shame, because the game’s dialog is quite amazing and funny – I particularly like the shots it takes at Batman: Arkham City.
All up, this is another Lego game; if you’re a fan of the franchise or looking for a great family-friendly game, you’ll love this title and should definitely pick it up. If you’re a DC fan, be a bit cautious – it may not be the experience you’re anticipating. Justice League fanboys might be better off waiting for the more mature Injustice: Gods Among Us.