Xbox 360 Review: Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developed by TT Games
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+
The Lego franchise has been around for a long time and for a good reason. They always seem to be improving on themselves. Each game is a little bit better than the one before it. The changes and advances may not be earth shattering or life altering but they are still moving forward into progress. Does Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes fit the bill or is this where the franchise proves that it’s fallible?
One of the first things you’ll notice is the change in cut scenes that Lego has become famous for. Those days seem to be over or at least cast aside for the Vicky Vale newscast. Instead of pantomimed cutscenes with voiceovers you get real voice acting as Ms. Vale cuts in to let you know what’s going on in the city. I’m all for anything that makes the cutscenes go faster.
The story revolves Lex Luthor making a partnership with the Joker to cause mayhem while laying the groundwork to succeed in his plan to destroy cities and Superheroes. Sounds familiar? Besides the duo causing the destruction, it seems like the typical Superhero story. Bad guy tries to ruin city, Superhero(es) take him/them out. It’s the delivery of the story that makes it fun.
In most stories Batman is a solitary Superhero but he “appears” to get along with the other Superheroes. In most shows I’ve seen, most comics I’ve read with my son Batman calls for help when he needs it and reciprocates when he can. That’s the life of a Superhero. So to see him act the way he does in this game, gave us both a chuckle.
As one would guess this story is about Batman and his sidekick Robin. The title of this game is: DC Superheroes but one could have either stuck with Lego Batman 2 or Lego Batman and Superman. Superman comes in for about half the game, sending poor Robin to bat-sit the bat-cave. The rest of the Heroes don’t come in until late into the game making for a solid finish but a disappointed feeling because you don’t get to play them much in the storyline itself.
The last man of Krypton is a force. Everything you’ve read about in comics, seen on TV, watched in movies is here. He’s indestructible, he can fly, he has the ability to use heat/x-ray vision, freeze breath, and has super build features. And let’s not forget his weakness to Kryptonite, that weakness also follows him into the game but you’ll find how and why when you play.
The gameplay is similar to all the other Lego games you’ve ever played. SMASH everything you see. Everything you smash will get you Lego Studs, the currency of the game. You’ll need these to collect characters and vehicles.
In the previous Lego Batman game you got used to seeing a variety of suits for both Batman and for Robin. This version is no different except that the creators got more inventive with the suits and the Dynamic Duo have some wonderful new toys to save the city with.
These new toys come in handy when solving the puzzles that are scattered throughout each level. Each character has something to do so no one is left doing nothing. When we were playing solo in some areas it was a pain to make sure all the characters were in the right place so the puzzle could be done but co-op was a breeze.
Most Lego games are linear, taking you from one level to the next without much problem or worry. In Lego Batman 2 you find yourself trying to get from one chapter to another through an open world map and that can get frustrating since there isn’t a mini-map to show you where you are in the big city. Once you find where you’re supposed to be, gameplay is pretty easy.
The Graphics are wonderful. The city scape, the Batcave, Arkham Asylum, everything looked great and well put together. All the characters look familiar, the vehicles are accurately depicted, each level done with great detail. The voice overs, the jokes, the timing with puns, all done well. And the theme song for Superman as you’re flying through the city…love it!
I love Lego games. I think I own every single one of them. My son has fallen in love with them and we enjoy playing them together. When it comes to Lego games, we are a little biased. I’ll admit it. But there were a couple of things that really frustrated us in Lego Batman 2.
The map. Good Lord in Heaven…what were they thinking? Navigating the city is a real chore through storymode. Getting from one story mission to the next is complicated and frustrated us more than once. Going on foot is easier than trying to make your way with a vehicle or flying with Superman. There are times with buildings zip by and you’re looking for clues as to where you’re supposed to be. You sit there looking around high and low, left and right, and it’s enough to make one dizzy. Not good for someone who gets motion sick. Trust me.
The load times are pretty lengthy but nothing we haven’t seen before. Here they give you clues on how to do certain movements or what certain buttons on the control do for certain characters. So the hints and reminders were nice but after seeing them for the dozenth time, you get bored of them.
And then there are the glitches. Holy Glitches Batman…there are glitches everywhere. This game is in desperate need for an update, a patch, something…anything. Characters get stuck, they get frozen, they appear on screen but you can’t control them, you try to change characters (in free play) but you can’t, the characters fall and then continue in the falling motion even though there is nothing to fall into, the list goes on and on. Each glitch making you more frustrated than the time before. Needless to say this game isn’t as seamless or clean running as most of the other Lego games in the franchise. And that’s a little disheartening because I LOVE Superheroes.
So glitches and map aside, we are good with the game. We are having a lot of fun with trying to get 100% on this game like we did with previous Lego games. This might be harder to do with the map we’re given but we’re going to give it the good old college try.
The game is good. The storyline is good. The glitches are frustrating. The map is frustrating. The storyline is shorter than I would have liked but working our way through the open world in free play is fun. I LOVE the inclusion of Superman and so does my son. Listening to Superman’s theme song during game play is pretty neat.
The end of the game makes me hope for a Lego Justice League game. It could happen, right? So overall it’s worth the pick up but unless you’re a true fan of the Lego Series/Batman/Superman/Superheroes, it’s probably not worth the $50 price tag that comes with it. If you don’t fall into the previous categories, then you may want to wait for a price drop or two.