I must admit, I’ve never been that into DC Comics. Sure, I love the Nolan-directed Batman movies and the animated Justice League show but when it comes to the actual characters, my heart belongs in the Marvel Universe. After spending some time with LEGO Batman 2, I must say I’m now more than interested in getting into DC’s roster- it was awesome to see these familiar characters interact with each other in the LEGO world. There’s just something too charming about the juxtaposition of a dark and brooding LEGO Batman with the ever so squeaky clean Superman. All in all, this game rocks.
Traveller’s Tale has been known to not diverge too much from the standard LEGO gameplay. This changes with LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. For starters, it has voice acting (a first in a LEGO game) and it works incredibly well. Don’t get me wrong- I was always a fan of the grunts and growls of the previous games but the voice work made the story that much more fun. I loved how Batman and Superman interacted and how Robin was constantly star-struck by the Man of Steel.
With LEGO Batman 2 I really felt engaged in the story. Unlike other LEGO games this one isn’t based on a movie- which is awesome because it creates an actual original tale that piques your interest and keeps you wondering what will happen next. In the beginning of the game you’ll just be playing as Batman and Robin but when Lex Luthor (voiced by the returning Clancy Brown) enters the picture you’ll need back up. That’s right, legendary heroes like Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and even Superman himself will help you. Though the main focus is Batman, so don’t expect too much time with the other characters in the story.
I’ve played my fair share of LEGO games and I can confidently say LEGO Batman 2 is by far the best yet. It’s blatantly obvious that Traveller’s Tales has perfected the tried and true gameplay of past LEGO games. If you’re familiar with their past outings like LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones you’ll remember that breaking everything in the world to get more studs can be blissfully addictive. In this particular game, however, I was more focused on completing the actual missions to get to the next segment because the story was so well put together. The parts where you have to switch suits between Batman and Robin to progress with the puzzles are especially fun. Sometimes you’ll have to charge up Batman’s electricity suit to open a switch or use Robin’s acrobatic ability to climb to a hard to reach spot. These parts flow extremely well, especially towards the end of the game.
That’s not to say this is a perfect game. There are some problems with the open world gameplay. The map you’re provided with isn’t quite fleshed out and it can be a little bit confusing to get to a specific point. Also, if you’re playing split screen and you’re exploring Gotham City you’ll notice that there’s a little bit of a framerate issue. Sometimes I felt like the game was just too easy at parts; sure, this is a kid’s game but a little challenge here and there wouldn’t hurt. Also, just remember that this is mainly a Batman adventure so don’t get too bummed out when you can’t play as your favorite Justice League hero from the get-go. Once you progress through the story your favorite hero is bound to show up.
The graphics are surprisingly beautiful in a LEGO sort of way. This isn’t Crysis 3 by any means but the little details add up. When I was finished the campaign I was running around Gotham City as the Flash and it was really badass to see his signature red and yellow lightning bolts following him as he zipped down the gloomy streets. Also, you’ll get Superman and Batman musical themes playing every now and then and you’ll feel especially heroic blasting enemies with their unique power sets as the music echoes.
Admittedly, when I heard about this game I didn’t really feel the desire to pick it up. I played the previous LEGO Batman and it was fun but I felt like it kept too closely to the LEGO gameplay formula. After beating this game in about 9 hours and continuing to explore the mean streets of Gotham long after I finished, I can assure you that this is not your typical LEGO adventure. This game has minor issues but they are easy to overlook. If you want a game that has stellar co-op, exciting and memorable characters and also a high level of replayability, you’d do no wrong in trying this heroic adventure.