Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is Travellers Tales latest release in their block based spins on popular franchises and it’s certainly the largest and most ambitious to date. For the first time the game features a full voice cast, many from the various DC animated series, and although previous Lego games have featured hub worlds, none have been as packed and varied as Gotham City is presented here as an open city.
As with the previous Lego Batman title, the game features an original story with the Joker once again out to make life difficult for the caped crusader. The addition of voice acting really helps make the story engaging and interesting and really brings out the trademark humour of the series more than the pantomiming of previous titles. Whether it’s Vicky Vales’ news reports or Robin’s Love affair with Superman, there’s something here to get a chuckle out of anybody with enough in-jokes and nods to satisfy the most rabid of DC fans.
Although largely considered more of a kid’s game there’s more than enough here to keep adults hooked. At its core the game is more of a puzzler with the puzzles well thought-out and in fitting with the situations you find yourself in. Gone are most of the annoying platforming sections from previous games, with more refined and simple gameplay leading the way here. Couch co-op is fun and simple with the same UI that was first introduced in the Lego Indy games, where the screen splits depending on your character’s location to one another, however it can get a bit squiffy in places, especially when roaring around Gotham in vehicles. The game can also feel a little slow in co-op, with one player sometimes waiting around for the other to complete a character specific task, so patience is key especially for those embarking with younger players.
A few other gripes involve saving and loading, for some reason you are rendered completely immobile whenever the game autosaves but enemies around you are not, the loading times can be frustratingly long and the map slightly disappointing, especially when using it to collect one of the hundreds of available collectibles, due to a lack of a zoom function.
These, however, are minor complaints when you consider some of the fantastic little touches. The sheer variety of characters, with a cast of 70 heroes and villains, 50 of which are playable, and numerous special skill suits really adds a ton of replayability. Taking on levels again as different characters to mop up collectibles never feels boring. Gotham itself feels like a character too, even in block form the gothic tone is captured perfectly with many familiar locations available for you to scout for collectibles. The sound is excellent and certainly wouldn’t feel out of place in a more serious game, hearing John Williams Superman theme pipe up every time you take to the Gotham skies with the son of Jor-El is incredible.
Overall Lego Batman 2 is yet another home run for Travellers Tales. It knows its audience and plays to its strengths very well, once again making small changes to a formula it’s managed to keep fresh for over ten games now, whilst not being afraid to take bold steps to further improve. With huge replayability and enough collectibles to make even the most OCD of players dizzy it’s ideal for singleplayer and almost perfect for co-op with the kids, there really is something for everyone here.
MLG Rating: 9/10 Platform: Xbox 360/ PS3/ PC Release Date: 22/06/2012
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a physical copy of Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes by the promoter for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on an Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.