I know what you are initially thinking, Lego games are a dime a dozen. From Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and later on this year with the Lord of the Rings, Lego and developers Traveler’s Tales have invaded every facet of movies and pop culture. Some have been winners (Star Wars) and others have seemed like cash-ins (that’s Captain Jack Sparrow to you). With Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes the developers have truly gone for broke and crafted an open world Gotham that is as much fun to explore as it is to complete your missions. And by adding in other playable heroes (Justice League!!) the game never grows into the repetitive battle and Lego building that has plagued the games before it.
Now I won’t try and fool you. You are still going to be doing your fair share of button mashing and collecting Lego pieces but now that you are given the option of doing that or just roaming around downtown Gotham opens up the gameplay so much. In most Lego games when I would become bogged down from the repetitive feeling of the game I would simply shut it off and move on for a while but here I find myself driving, flying or racing my way around the city to blow off some steam…or just keep listening to the sweet soundtrack.
That’s right since this game was released under the WB games branch it means you get Danny Elfman’s awesome Batman theme blaring through your speakers and that is not all. When you finally get to take over playing as Superman you are met with John William’s iconic Superman theme. As a nerd this adds so much to the game that it is hard to describe the feeling of when you take flight and the Superman theme hits and all you want to do is fly around Gotham City living out your childhood dreams, just in Lego form. Even now I am getting a few goosebumps thinking about it.
Gameplay wise you are not going to find any huge leap forward to the action genre. You are going to be hitting punch….a lot. As well as jump, then jump and punch to execute an air attack. See where I am going here? The real meat of the gameplay, as with any Lego game, is by using the different characters in your party to open up the locked off portions of levels for the rest of your team. This is accomplished with the finding of a huge variety of suits. Batman has an electricity suit, a sensor suit (for stealth use) and many more. Robin, likewise, has and acrobat suit, magnet suit, etc. I could easily lie to all of you and say that I breezed through the game without thought but there were many times I was standing there examining a room and thinking just how in the heck was I going to use the suits to get to the next available area. None of the puzzles are mind numbingly hard but some will give you pause for a minute or two.
Even though the game is subtitled DC Super Heroes you will play the majority of this game as Batman and Robin so don’t go into this thinking you will just jump right in and fly around as Green Lantern. But the sections that you do get to play as a Justice League member offers a great break in the gameplay especially when you are the Man of Steel. I don’t mean to short change the rest of the playable Justice League members here but I really don’t see how we as gamers have yet to get a quality Superman title yet everything he does in this game feels exactly right. If I could tell any developer that wanted to make a Supes game how to go about it I would just say play this game…..and do that.
This is also the first Lego game that has featured full voice acting. That’s right, no more reading facial expressions this game has an actual script and it is actually pretty dang funny. Batman is super serious to a fault, Robin is a crackly voice teen that makes mistakes and Superman is a tool. The even managed to bring in Clancy Brown from the Superman animated series to reprise his role as Lex Luthor. I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions in between levels. I am happy to say that the voice cast make this game so much more complete and give me new hope that when The Lord of the Rings game releases this fall it will be another winner like this title.
With it’s new open world style, quality voice acting, hilarious script, fewer camera problems than other Lego games and side missions to keep you busy for hours on end, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes not only raises the bar for Lego games, it takes the bar and goes up, up and away.
NERD RATING- 8.5/10
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