Published on July 24th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! Review
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Platform: PC [Reviewed], Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Mac
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! is the best Lego game Traveller’s Tales has released in the series thus far. As each Lego game has come to launch, the developer has continually made slight improvements to the gameplay and graphics. The game’s heart and soul came from the frantic gameplay of being able to break almost everything in sight, building your way out of puzzles, killing your partner without any repercussions, and the wittiness and charm of non-speaking Lego characters.
Even though each title plays similarly, the formula continues to be just as fun and charming.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! carries the tone of the 1993 animated series. Like the series, the game has a great balance between taking the content seriously while keeping it lighthearted. For example, Gotham City has towering Lego man statutes, but carries a heavy Tim Burton feel to it. The environments also carry this tone. They are dark, gritty, and filled with details past the signature blocky look. The score is even adopted straight out of the Tim Burton movies.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! not only improves on the excellent gameplay–but vastly revamps their storytelling and level selection. The first major improvement, the characters now talk.
This may not seem like a huge difference for other current-gen games, but having the characters talk allows the game to further showcase its charm past the physical comedy of these scenes. The characters also now yell and scream during gameplay. This is a pleasant change from the overwhelming and abundant sound of crashing pieces which plagued others in the series. In addition, this feature allowed for load screens to be cleverly disguised with comedic cut-scenes of Vicki Vale reporting on GCN.
One of my favorite reports was during Vicki Vale’s briefing about how each villain was terrorizing Gotham. Vicki ends her report by taking a jab at WB Interactive’s other Batman game Arkham City. She references the portion of the game in how Gotham sectioned off the middle of city to hold the inmates.
The second biggest change is showcased in the level design. Other Lego games offered a generic map from a semi-open world where you can view your accomplishments and stats. Here you could purchase new characters, cheats, gold blocks and more. Or you can forgo purchasing these things and use the cheats to accumulate more characters, gold blocks and so much more. Now where would you go to get these cheats? there are many places, some cost money, some do not. I favor the iLikeCheats site. It really is the best site I have found. If any of you have another great cheat site feel free to leave it in the comments box and we will review it! This time, LB2:DSH took the semi-open world approach and threw it out the window.
Traveller’s Tales truly emerges you into Gotham City. Access the Batcomputer in the Batcave and view the locations of where villains are being “villainous” and any other side missions. Choose your vehicle and bust out of the Batcave, Batman Begins style, and drive to Gotham itself. Drive through the city and its outskirts to reach Arkham Asylum. Each major location outlined is a level. You simply enter the location to play the level. You can explore the city, drive a number of vehicles, defeat criminals, and enter a number of side-missions.
You might be wondering, Where do the other DC Super Heroes fit and why would you want them in an already excellent Batman game? The story calls for the help of other heroes in the DC Universe. Lex Luther is running for the presidency and he will do anything he can to get it, even to go so far as to team up with the Joker. In order to guarantee his win, Luther plans to use Joker’s gases and release it to the masses in order for the citizens to vote for him. It will take Batman, Robin, Superman, and the rest of the DC Universe superheroes to stop Lex and his plans.
The addition of other DC Superheroes and villains is a great move in the franchise. This allows gamers to pick through a variety of characters with a number of different abilities. The first Lego Batman lacked variety and all characters played similarly. The different Batman/Robin suits got old, fast.
Lego Batman 2 made sure that each character is unique. This time around, Robin feels like an acrobat. He is fast, quick, and his fighting style reflects his circus past. The suits are back, but feel completely different with the new upgraded moves. Even so, there are more suits with more abilities than were included in the first. For example, notable heaviness in a suit will slow you down and you will lose mobility, but you will gain an obvious amount of strength.
With the normal Lego game challenges (collecting coins, unlocking gold blocks, collecting mini-kits, etc.) there are now side missions which will give players many possibilities for replay value. The one consistent fault of the series has been its horrible frame rate and bad screen tears. I am happy to say Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! does not have any frame rate issues nor have I experienced any screen tears. Keep in mind our review was done with the PC version of the game. These issues might still be present on console versions.
The Final Truth:
To say Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! is the best Lego game released does not give justice to just how good the game actually is. Traveller’s Tales did not simply follow the same formula from all the others; they enhanced it.
With an open world environment, distinguished characters and unique abilities—they improved on the core of the game, which is its comedic charm. With a number of characters from the DC Universe (with more on the way via downloadable content (DLC) on the console versions of the game), a number of different abilities, and hours of replay value; Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes! is the best game currently available to please both kids and adults alike.
+Charm and Humor
+A Number of Characters
+Powerups and Tweaks