There is definitely something to be said about the Lego branded games. Sure, they might not be the most graphically intense games, might not have the best sound, and might not be the most immersive – but they are fun. I don’t know what better word to use to describe them. I mean I feel somewhat silly as a grown man playing them, but every time a new one comes my way I jump right in to it. Lego Batman 2 is no different in that aspect (I have been playing the hell out of it), but there are some changes that will set this title apart from any other Lego game you may have in your collection.
The biggest change in Lego Batman 2 is the fact that the Lego characters now have the distinct ability to talk. No longer content to pantomime actions from series’s that you already know, now the Lego characters can make their own stories, which is good because otherwise they would start to run out of material real quick. While the voices aren’t the greatest, that might just be my opinion because I’ve grown up with Batman and expect a certain sound to the characters – my son who is only ten and hasn’t had a full life of Batman thinks that the voices are great, so take that with a grain of salt. How great it would have been to have someone do the Joker like Cesar Romero used to, but I digress. As they stand the voices work – and Lex Luther’s actor is especially good – it’s just some of them seem to fall a little flat when you hear them for a while. It doesn’t become a big deal though, and you get used to them – just don’t come into this expecting all the characters to sound like you want them to.
Now the full title of the game is Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, so you know there are going to be a LOT of cameos in the game, and because this is a Lego game, you know that you’ll be able to play as any of those characters. You want Superman? Hey, you got him… Maybe you want to play the game and randomly yell “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD” at the television while having the General under your control? Yeah, you can do that too. There is over sixty characters you can choose from (that’s including the portable characters and download characters though), which means you can have a blast setting up impossible scenarios (like having Gorilla Grodd and The Flash on the same side). This is one of the things that makes the Lego games so fun – the complete freedom you have to just mess with who is on who’s side.
Alongside the freedom of choosing who to play as, Lego Batman 2 also attempts to give you freedom to explore. Other Lego games were just completely liner games, with very little exploration involved, and while Lego Batman 2 isn’t completely an open world game it surely sets the bar higher for future games. It is a perfect precursor to the forthcoming Lego City Stories game that is supposed to be coming out – like the first steps towards a truly open world game. While the maps aren’t completely huge, they are big enough that it behooves you to jump in one of the game’s many vehicles to get out there and really explore.
The gameplay hasn’t much changed throughout Lego games – yes different people have different abilities and powers that are required to solve different puzzles, but it’s all pretty much the same stuff that has been in Lego games in the past. There are a couple of puzzles that had me stumped until I either: A) started reading what the game was telling me to do, or B) paid attention to the colors of things around me. It can be easy to get caught up in the fun of the game and ignore the little help bubbles, or get used to a certain costume / suit and not want to switch to get through a segment. That’s more telling about how much fun certain parts of the game are though – freezing people with Robin’s Ice Suit is much more fun than running like a hamster in a ball while using his Acrobat Suit, but it’s necessary to get passed some of the puzzles. That’s where the game tries to teach you some humility – make you pick something you really don’t want to just to get through a section… at least until you get to the part of the game when you can play as Superman.
That’s probably one of the least fun co-op parts for the second player, when the first player gets to control Supes’ and they’re stuck with someone other than the Man of Steel, but damn is it fun in single player. Superman pretty much breaks the game as he should in any game, and it’s glorious when he does. Unfortunately he’s only playable in the story for a short period (sad face), but once you get him in the free play you’ll probably spend more time with him than anyone else – he makes getting all of the collectables in the game simple. Yes, you had to know that all of the Lego collectables would still make an appearance in this game. Micro Kits, Gold Bricks, Red Bricks, etc, etc… They’re all back once again and a lot of them are really devious to try and find.
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for an extremely fun little game that is even more fun co-op, be sure to pick this one up – just don’t expect anything extremely deep, when all is said and done it’s still a Lego game.
- Definitely the most polished of any Lego game so far
- Lego people finally talking and telling new stories? Yes please!
- The co-op is an extreme blast that works with all ages – playing while inebriated though makes it even more comical
- Sometimes there are little glitches that can be irritating
- Very easy to get confused as to what you’re supposed to be doing at a given moment
- It would be nice if the Superman levels were set in the daytime to set them off from the Batman ones.
You can pick up a copy of Lego Batman 2 for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 wherever games are sold like Amazon for $39.99, for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita for $29.99, or for the Nintendo DS and PC for $19.99
In case you are curious, here is a list of all of the included characters in alphabetical order:
5. Batman (Power Suit, Sensor Suit, Electric Suit, Bat Suit)
6. Bizarro ( DLC)
7. Black Adam (DLC)
8. Black Canary
9. Black Manta (DLC)
11. Bruce Wayne
12. Captain Boomerang
13. Captain Cold (DLC)
16. Clark Kent
18. Commissioner Gordon
20. Damian Wayne (DLC)
21. General Zod
22. Gorilla Grodd (DLC)
23. Green Lantern
24. Harley Quinn
29. Joker Henchman (No Hat, Mime)
30. Katana (DLC)
31. Killer Croc
32. Killer Moth
34. Lex Luthor
35. Lois Lane
36. Mad Hatter
38. Mr. Freeze
39. Mr. Freeze Henchman
40. Nightwing (DLC)
41. Police Officer
42. Poison Ivy
43. Ra’s Al Ghul
44. Riddler Henchman
45. Robin (Acrobat Suit, Hazard Suit, Ice Suit, Magnet Suit)
46. Shazam (DLC)
48. Superboy (exclusive to portables)
52. The Flash
53. The Joker
54. The Penguin
55. The Martian Manhunter
56. The Riddler
57. The Scarecrow
59. Two-Face Henchman
60. Vicki Vale
61. Wonder Woman
62. Zatanna (DLC)
63. Azrael (exclusive to portables)
64. Deathstroke (exclusive to portable systems)