Review – LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes [PS3]

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Playstation 3, Reviews
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The LEGO formula has been applied to many franchises and it doesn’t look like the little block craze is going anytime soon. Since the original LEGO Batman in 2008 it seemed this little corner of the franchise was soon to be lost. But with a brand spanking new Batman film on the silver screen and trailers for a new Superman film on the horizon, it seems an opportunity too good to miss. But does the game match with the timing?

Short answer is… kind of. The game is a lot of fun. However don’t expect much in the way of depth. There is a slight chance that there can be a lot to do if you put in the effort but if you’re just interested in the main quest you’re going to feel cheated. On this note the title can be a little misleading depending on your initial impressions. The first impressions at the Headquarters were that there was going to be a decent selection of heroes available to unlock as you go along. However the main quest understandably features mostly Batman and Robin, with Superman thrown in around a third in making a few appearances. Then on the last few levels fellow Justice League members Green Lantern, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and the Flash make an appearance. So if you’re thinking along the lines of… let’s say Pokémon where you can customise your team as you proceed through the main story then you’re going to be left feeling disappointed.

After missing out on the Man of The Year Award to Bruce Wayne, a very bitter Lex Luthor decides that helping the Joker break out of Arkham Asylum, along with a wealth of Batman villains with his new Kryptonite powered LEGO-block-demolisher thingy. This will do wonders for his Presidential Candidacy campaign. There is method to the madness, that apparently using the Joker’s patented clown gas he intends to make the population of America vote for him. If I knew someone was going to put this much effort into running the country as he would trying to get my vote – I know who I’d vote for. But if I could not get beaten up by the many henchmen running around Gotham City, it would certainly be appreciated. However once again this is anticlimactic as you don’t really battle them during the main game, just their giant robots/vehicles etc.

There are a multitude of comic characters to unlock. The way you “buy” them is using the in-game currency studs which can be obtained by smashing anything and everything, which is ironic because you can never find the darn things when you’re trying to build a LEGO model yourself. Although this creates a nice sense of satisfaction as you demolish everything in the room with your fists or powers to gain those little glistening items, it can become a little tiresome as you progress. After a swift battle with a villain you’re able to purchase them and can control them in a replay of a previous level or roaming the city that is Gotham. Gotham City has been designed with the Batman movies in mind, with elements of Burton and Schumacher everywhere. Giant stone statues hold bridges and rollercoasters and it wouldn’t be Batman if it wasn’t night time. Or pouring down with rain. Even the music is inspired by the films, with the main theme of Batman (the movies, not the Adam West series, although that would be an interesting idea…) played throughout and when you take to the skies as that bloke Clark Kent really is, the Superman theme John Williams did for the Christopher Reeve films chimes in.

They do appear at some point. Promise.

The key to fully appreciating the game here is exploration as there are many little things hidden away for you to find. Some are only accessible by certain characters which you don’t have access to at the time, adding replay value as you return later with them after you’ve acquired their use, only Green Lantern can mess around with shiny green LEGO blocks and only the Riddler can open up question mark boxes are just two examples out of many. This large sandbox comes at a price of horrendous loading times each time you start the game, in which you could easily pop down the shops for some milk before you are able to play as anyone. The main game can be done in between 7-9 hours, but the hours soon clock up when you start returning to the levels as new characters to collect studs to unlock more characters who can then help you unlock more characters who… you get the idea.

Since the combat doesn’t really extend beyond button mashing, the game relies on various puzzles for you during the main game. This variety is served to you in a selection of suits that Batman and Robin can wear. By stepping in the relevant portal your abilities and appearance change. From Batman’s Electricity Suit, which allows Bats to walk through electrified areas to Robin’s Acrobat Suit, giving you a double jump and the power to encase yourself in a protective orb and run around moving things – the action doesn’t stay dull for long.

Superman gets the job done 99% of the time.

The notion of dying shouldn’t present a problem either, should you lose all your health which will normally be a result of falling into a pit of death as opposed to losing a fight. You will respawn on the spot ready for more. The downside is that you’ll lose a certain amount of studs, but if you’re not that bothered about buying all the major/minor villains after completion then this immortality will be welcomed. Even so when the option presents itself it’s always better to play as Superman when you can. With the powers of flight, heat vision and invincibility, he’s clearly a better option than the Caped Crusader.

You’ll make your friend play as Robin, naturally.

Even though there is a co-op option, this review was written based on playing single player. This could mean extra fun when playing with a friend and most certainly will eliminate the tiring character switching during missions and make stud gathering much quicker. If you don’t own a Playstation 3 and want a piece of this game – fear not for you can get your piece of the action on Vita, Wii, Xbox 360, 3/DS, PC and Mac.

A] Easy to play
B] Suits keep it from being boring
C] Huge cast of characters to unlock

A] Beyond boring loading time at startup
B] Repetitive combat

Graphics 4/5
Sound 4/5
Gameplay 4/5
Playability 4/5
Lifespan 5/5

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