LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Review
Many consumers will write this game off as being “just another lego game” intrinsically designed for the entertainment of children.
Although impossible to argue that this game is not aimed towards young adolescents there is certainly enough witty dialogue, exploration as well as a wealth of collectables and characters to keep even the most ardent of DC fan boys engaged. LB2 gives players the opportunity to play as 50 of DC’s finest creations. The majority of the game you will be playing as batman and robin, free play lets you play as any of the 50 unlockable charactrers
Most noteabley included in the roster is the justice league. The game offers plenty of fan service in the as well as references only the DC fans would understand. Completionists will be in their element with the 10-12 hour story campaign and the 10 or so additional hours of block collecting and character unlocking required to reach 100% this game.
Unlike prior iterations of the modern lego franchise lego batman 2 contains voice acting for the first time. The voice acting is effective in its delivery and is a star studded cast including Clancy Brown voicing Lex Luthor just as he did on the DC Animated Universe show. Kevin Michael Richardson who voices on the cleavland show. Tom Kenny voice of spongebob squarepants. You also have the outstanding talents of john dimagio voice of bender on futurama and finaly voice over legend Jennifer hale most notable for female shepherd from the mass effect series.
The soundtrack is another highlight of the game which consists of the outstanding Danny Elfman score from Batman and Batman Returns. Not only this but also John Willams’ score from the two original superman films. These soundtracks really cement the fact you are in gotham city and set the dark gritty tone of the original batman films. Flying around gotham as superman is exponentialy more emotionaly impactful with the superman theme in the background and the feeling never grows old.by far in a away lego batman is the best superman simulator in existence.
As with the first lego batman game the story is entirely original, the premise of the story is that lex luthor and the joker team up together to cause havoc. This requires the dynamic due to enlist the the full force of the justice league to defeat these ferrocias foes.
The voices offer far more opportunity for humour than was included in the past games where comedy would be derived from the slapstick humour. The voice acting really adds personality to the game and some of the more dramatic and genuine comical moments would not be nearly as effective. This is as much in part due to the sharp dialogue. Comedy can be found in the relationships between characters, most noteably between batman and robin where robin is eagar to impress his mentor at any given opportunity, batmans feelings of inadequacy when compared to supermans wealth of super human abilities. And the unlikely friendship of lex luthor and the joker.
The key gameplay mechanics are simular to lego games of old you can hit with the action button, combat is as basic as it has always been with one hit combos, with special movies activated by holding the b button. Puzzle solving has not changed you will often find yourself building new objects out of bricks to reach new areas or unlock batman or robin pads containing one of many special abilty suits such as robins acrobatic suit or batmans electricity suit, these suits allow you to reach new areas or complete puzzles, the gameplay is split three ways between basic combat, trail and error puzzle solving and collecting lego bricks
Also new to the LEGO franchise is the open world map, the map contains many secrets such as new boss battles once defeated you can purchase the foes for use in free play. There are 250 gold blocks to collect which are analogous to stars in Mario 64, they can be obtained through completing story missions as well as being collected in hidden areas in gotham. There is a wealth of secrets to be found
LB2 has some amazingly detailed environments and although is outclassed graphically by modern triple a titles there is a marked improvement in the quality of the graphics which LB2 manages to find whilst still in keeping with the lego stylings of previous games.
Cooperative split screen mode is most deffinately the highlight of this game, there are so few good split screen cooperative retail games on consoles
The dynamic split screen is implemented well where the camera will change from horizontal to vertical and the angles inbetween so that there are never areas that you cannot see whether they are above you or far to the side. There are some sections of the game where the camera angle will detract from the experience puzzles will become more difficult and frustrating when you cannot see the button or lever needed to complete the section
There are numerous gameplay bugs with the game most notably during the driving open world areas of the game there are numerous time when I had the batmobile upside down or simply stuck on an object, in some cases these bugs actally add to the charm of the game, requiring the help of your coop buddy to help you out of a jam can lead to hilarity.
This is one of the best cooperative games I have experienced, the trail and error puzzles lend themselves very well to cooperative play where you really are offering up suggestions to your buddy as to how the puzzle can be solved.
LB2 introduces ability specific suits which are required for the puzzle solving, there are often sequences where batman and robin will have different suits with different special abilities, in these situations the two characters must work together to complete the level in a true cooperative sense.
Lego game fans will find them familiar with the core experience, the key mechanics of the game remain relatively unchanged. LB2 is more iterative than revolutionary, the game sticks to the trusted formula and improves in several ways. The open world adds more exploration, the voiced characters add new depths to the humour, the soundtrack and artistic direction adds a dark and gritty immersion to gotham. The story is unique and engaging, puzzles can be complex and at the same time the trial and error can be frustrating.