“Holy Building Blocks Batman!” Legos have taken over Gotham City. The new Lego game is Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. I never played the first Lego Batman, but I didn’t have a problem with the storyline or anything. So let’s start building this review.
If you’ve played any of the Lego games, you’ve notice that they never speak – they just hold up signs and point. They nixed that idea in this game and gave all the characters voices, none of which jumped out at me though. I wasn’t really a fan of the voices either. While they now could add more jokes, I think it took away from the cartoony feel of the game. At the start of each level a news caster comes on with the state of Gotham, like which criminals are at large, etc. The game starts with the “Man of the Year” award held in Gotham. Nominees are (of course) Bruce Wayne, and Metropolis’s Lex Luthor. Spoiler, but no real surprise, Bruce wins and Lex – who already doesn’t like Bruce – isn’t happy. As Bruce goes up to accept his reward, the uninvited Joker shows up to intercept it. In all the commotion no one notices Bruce slip out of the room and Batman return, followed soon by Robin. While the caped crusader and his trusty sidekick handle the Joker and his goons, Lex realizes he has a new ally. With his presidential campaign going on, he decides Joker’s gas is the perfect way to gain votes. Seems legit right? Lex offers Joker a nice big gun powered by Kryptonite that destroys shiny black objects, like all of Batman’s gadgets, for example. So Joker and Lex come up with an elaborate scheme to find the Bat Cave. There they hit the ‘shiny black object’ jackpot and destroy everything in sight. After this Robin begins rebuilding the Bat Cave and the Batmobile, while Batman and Superman team up to chase after Lex and Joker.
There are three main modes to play in throughout the game. The first level is a Story Mode. Upon beating it, you unlock the Free Play mode of that level. Free Play mode can be played as any character you have unlocked, or as a custom-made character. After beating the first level, you enter Gotham City. This is an open world to explore between each level. You can drive around in any unlocked vehicle, fly in an aircraft or as a flying character (such as Superman), or dash at light speed as the Flash once he is unlocked. Gotham City becomes your playground. Bat-terminals are set up throughout the city to call a vehicle or as Fast Travel points. While roaming the city you’ll find many citizens in trouble to save, “gold bricks” to earn, and “red bricks” to unlock. Saving a citizen will give you a gold brick. The gold bricks are used to build doorways to unlock new characters to play in Free Play levels and in Gotham. Red bricks unlock extras or “cheats” for the game such as invincibility or score multipliers. Most red bricks require a villain such as Riddler or Joker to unlock, which I found humorous. Want to cheat in the game? Use a villain to unlock it. Characters are also needed to earn hidden things in the levels’ Free Play mode. Each level has a citizen in peril and ten pieces of a Minikit to find. The Minikit builds a vehicle to drive around in Gotham. Levels also have a Super Hero medal. This is earned by collecting “x number” of Lego studs in each level. The studs are used to buy the characters and red bricks you’ve unlocked in the game. So everything in the game is connected: use this to get this, and get this to finally get that.
The game play is very straightforward, although it is technically a kids’ game, so that makes sense. ‘A’ jumps (or I’m assuming X if you’re on a Playstation), ‘X’ punches shoots and throws things (Square, again assuming), and ‘B’ is a special move if the character has one (Circle). Most levels start or end with a chase scene, either by car, boat, or flight. Then there’s the on-foot part, beating up bad guys, breaking stuff, normal super hero shenanigans. In Free Play mode you are always given a character who can zip through the level pretty quickly, assuming you have one unlocked, if you are trying to get the citizen or a Minikit piece. Unfortunately, the game did have a few glitches here and there, but nothing major. Simple things such as beacons on the map that weren’t there or already obtained, extras not showing up in a level or two, or on rare occasion levels glitching so you can’t move on through it. While these were mildly frustrating it was nothing to throw a controller over. The levels are fairly short so if on the rare occasion it did glitch, you could just restart it and be back where you were within ten minutes. That is not to say this is a short and boring game. You have to keep in mind that it is directed towards kids, so it can’t be too terribly deep or they won’t understand. Go play Skyrim if you are looking for that kind of game.
Overall, Lego Batman 2 offers up a fun, cartoon-style beat ‘em up game. While beating the main storyline may only take a few days to finish, collecting everything else will require more time and more play-throughs. To make it last even longer and add more of a challenge, don’t use the red brick extras. The replay value is moderately high, since playing as nearly any DC super hero or villain is quite entertaining. If you like Legos or Batman, this is a good game for you. If you like BOTH, you just hit the jackpot.
I give Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes 4 “Batarangs” out of 5.
by Alex Kirn