LEGO games are cute, funny and easy to jump into, but they've also been around since 2005. Whenever someone wandered by my desk and spied me playing LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, he or she would undoubtedly say "Yup, it's another LEGO game" before wandering off. Trouble is, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes isn't just another LEGO game. It does away with hard-to-judge platforming, its puzzles make sense, and it adds a couple of big things that are sure to become staples for the LEGO franchise moving forward.
The changes come with growing pains, but there's no denying that LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a great video game.
Like the previous game, LEGO Batman 2 spins an original yarn, but this time it's engaging and really interesting. Lex Luthor is running for president, teaming with the Joker and using kryptonite to stuff the ballot box. With foulness afoot, Batman, Robin, Superman and eventually the entire Justice League step in to stop the plot.
This plays out via traditional LEGO game controls. You jump, punch and switch between characters with button presses and keystrokes. A local friend can drop in and out for co-op in a jiff. The game's as simple to understand as ever, but adds new suits for Batman and Robin along with powers for specific characters. Black Canary has her sonic blast, Cyborg is magnetized, and Wonder Woman can lasso hard to reach handles.
That's what LEGO games are all about -- exploring and collecting -- and LEGO Batman does that better than any iteration that's come before.
It's a focused story that's entertaining from start to finish, and part of that is thanks to voice acting. For the first time in LEGO history, LEGO Batman 2 packs a full voice cast to tell its tale. While the silent LEGO games have always been funny, LEGO Batman 2 is able to move beyond shrugs and grins. Robin fanboying out over Superman, Vicki Vale's newscasts, and Lex trying to convince Joker that killing Batman is a good idea -- these are brilliant moments we would've lost without the excellent actors. Among these actors is Superman: The Animated Series' Clancy Brown reprising his role as Lex Luthor. Fresh voices are used for most of the other characters, but the new takes are welcome.
Of course, the story is just a tiny sliver of any LEGO game. You'll run through the 15-chapter story of LEGO Batman 2 in about nine hours (probably a lot less if you don't methodically smash everything like I did and get distracted by side stuff), but then you'll replay levels for more studs (in-game currency) and to find collectables such as mini-kit parts.
That's what LEGO games are all about -- exploring and collecting -- and LEGO Batman does that better than any iteration that's come before. See, LEGO Batman 2 has another first for the series: an open world. While LEGO games always have a HUB world, they're usually a bit limited. LEGO Batman 2 gives you all of Gotham City to explore. Arkham Asylum, Ace Chemicals, GCPD -- it's an entire town and it's packed with stuff to collect, save and explore.
- Hit the gas, Dark Knight.
Red bricks are tucked around corners and unlock cheats, new characters appear on rooftops, and bosses are around to fight and add to your playable roster. There are vehicles to purchase and then drive, people to save and so many studs to collect. Still, it's the Gold Bricks that stand out.
There are 250 Golden Bricks. While you'll get them for completing objectives in story missions, the majority are hidden around Gotham and only accessible via certain characters. Plenty of times I'd be flying around as Superman (the John Williams theme plays any time Kal-El is airborne), spot a Gold Brick, and have to work my way from the goal to the beginning of the challenge so that Robin in his acrobat suit or Batman in his electricity suit could go through the Mousetrap-like obstacle course to unlock the brick the appropriate way. The Gold Bricks are these little challenges inside the greater world that keep you on your toes and have you trying out the more than 50-character roster that includes the Flash, Hush, Martian Manhunter and more.
Of course, bringing in all of this new stuff creates a few new – albeit minor -- problems. While the map will show you where bosses and unlockables are, you can't zoom in to really orient where you should be looking so there's a lot of moving a few feet, pausing and reevaluating.
Again, developer Traveller's Tales has nailed the gameplay issues that have plagued the franchise for years, but now, the designers have to take some notes on how modern open worlds work. (Although Red Bricks do eventually label unlockables on the screen.)
Greg is the executive editor of IGN PlayStation, cohost of Podcast Beyond and host of Up at Noon. Follow IGN on Twitter, and keep track of Greg's shenanigans on IGN and Twitter. Beyond!
|LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes|
5001090 (Nintendo 3DS)
$49.99 (Xbox and PS3) / 39.99 (Wii, 3DS) / 29.99 (DS) / 19.99 (PC)
June 19, 2012(US)
Action-Adventure, Open world
ESRB: E10+, PEGI:7+
Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Mac OS X, PC
- This article is about the video game. For the comic book, see LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Comic Book.
- "Legends Unite!"
- ―One of the game's taglines
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a sequel to LEGO Batman: The Videogame, released on June 19, 2012.
The playboy philanthropist, Bruce Wayne, and presidential candidate, Lex Luthor, are both nominated for the Man-of-the-Year award, the ceremony takes place in Gotham. The award goes to Bruce. Five villains – The Joker, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, and Two-Face – along with henchmen raid the event and begin stealing from the guests. Bruce exits stage-right and changes into his Batman costume. Joker takes the trophy and begins his "acceptance speech", but is interrupted by Batman and Robin crashing through the stage in the Batboat. Four of the villains exit through the trapdoor, leaving Harley Quinn to cover their flight. She is defeated and the Dynamic Duo begin hunting the other villains in the theatre. Although they manage to capture The Riddler, Two-Face, and finally The Penguin, The Joker escapes.
Batman and Robin chase him in the Batwing and Robin's Helicopter, and defeat him in Gotham Funland Entrance. After the police haul him off, Superman arrives to greet the Dynamic Duo, apologize to "Bruce" for missing the ceremony, and to scold Batman for making a mess at the theatre.
During the raid, Lex earned an admiration for The Joker, and the two form an alliance later when Lex breaks Joker out of Arkham. With The Deconstructor, they can destroy shiny, black objects (such as the walls of Penguin's cell), and Lex hints at using it on Batman's vehicles. While in Luthor's Mini-VTOL, Joker begins aiming the Deconstructor at different cells and frees Catwoman, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Bane.
Meanwhile, in the Batcave, Bruce Wayne is contacted by Martian Manhunter from the Justice League Watchtower and informs him of an emergency. Alfred shows Bruce and Dick Grayson (Tim Drake) where it is on a map, and they change into Batman and Robin and leave for Arkham Asylum where they find the villains Joker freed attempting a prison break. They then attempt to stop them, starting with Catwoman. The villains are stopped, and the police arrive. Commissioner Gordon informs the Dynamic Duo that all of the villains have been accounted for, except Joker. Batman notices an electrified brick outside of Joker's cell. He and Robin go to investigate. They run-in to Killer Croc and Mr. Freeze, who create obstacles, and stop The Scarecrow from escaping. They bring a black piece back to the Batmobile and discover it was destroyed with LexCorp technology and conclude that Luthor broke Joker out. Batman, Robin, and Gordon are alerted by a Police Officer that there has been a break-in at Ace Chemicals, and they leave. When Gordon and the Officer look back, they realize that the villains have escaped and that other officers are tied up in their places. Two-Face and Riddler wave at them as they escape in a police van.
At Ace Chemicals, Batman and Robin find that The Joker had already been there and stolen chemicals. They try to escape when a fire begins and just before they fall into the inferno, they are rescued by Superman. With help from Superman, they are able to escape. Batman tries to find out what Joker is making, and realizes it is Kryptonite. He uses the Batcomputer to find nearby locations of Kryptonite, and heads downtown. They follow a large vehicle, the Juggernaut. On the inside, Lex and Joker are creating Kryptonite. Batman and Robin begin firing at it. When the defenses are weakened enough, the Dynamic Duo infiltrate it. Batman takes the Kryptonite, and Lex is subdued. Joker however uses his joybuzzer on Batman and Robin to the point where they fall out of the Juggernaut, into their vehicles. Joker aims the Deconstructor at the Batmobile, which falls apart, and the Juggernaut gets away.
Back in the Batcave, Batman analyzes the Kryptonite and finds that it is only similar to true Kryptonite and that is harmless to Kryptonians. However, if there wasn't actual Kryptonite in the Juggernaut, the Batmobile's computer shouldn't have shown it. He and Robin decide that it was just a trick of Joker's, and put it away with the other Kryptonite they store in-case Superman goes bad.
Meanwhile, in the Juggernaut, Lex and Joker who are tracking the location of the false Kryptonite lose their signal, but realize that it is directly ahead. They use the Deconstructor to open a cavern and enter the Batcave. A fight ensues, and the Bat-bike, Batwing, and Batboat are destroyed. Batman and Robin flee through the elevator, and hang on to the shaft to escape when it falls. Joker and Lex find the Kryptonite vault and leave with it after Joker's pies explode and a fire begins. At the top of the elevator shaft, Superman arrives to rescue Batman and Robin. Together they escape the Batcave. Batman and Superman head after a LexCorp aircraft while Robin stays and tries to fix the vehicles.
Batman and Superman infiltrate the LexCorp aircraft, but when the reach the control section, Batman is dropped through a trapdoor. Superman rescues him and carries him to LexCorp in Metropolis.
From LexCorp, a large Joker-esque robot emerges and heads back to Gotham. Batman in a LexCorp aircraft and Superman fire at it, and then land on it. Lex emerges with Kryptonite and weakens Superman who falls. Batman saves him by gliding back to Gotham. Though most of his powers return, he is unable to fly and hunches over.
The robot hits at them, and they fall through the ground. It continues to make holes in the ground above the metro, but Superman uses his heat vision to destroy the left hand completely.
At the City Hall, Lex begins to give a speech and infects the crowd with a mind-altering gas so that they will vote for him. Superman destroys the gas emitting flower from the robot.
Robin arrives in a multi-coloured Batmobile. The robot chases Batman and Robin through Gotham City, but they drive in such a way that the Kryptonite it leaves looks similar to Joker's face.
Martian Manhunter sees it from space, and calls the Justice League. Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and The Flash respond.
The robot attacks Wayne Tower, since Lex despises Bruce, and destroys the foundation. Superman and Wonder Woman keep it in place while Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, and Cyborg enter through the bottom of the building together. They knock the Robot off of the top and they jump down to beat the Joker Robot. Green Lantern creates constructs to keep the tower from falling.
Superman is too weak to continue, but Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and The Flash finish the robot off. Joker attempts to use his joybuzzer to defeat the heroes and calls upon several of Lex Luthors Lex Bots to attack the heroes. However the robots are defeated and joker soon afterwards. The heroes begin to celebrate at the defeat of Joker when suddenly Lex emerges out of the destroyed robot in his Power Armour Mech and attempts to kill the Justice League. Lex fires the machines gun at Batman who quickly hides and contacts Martian Manhunter for help. Manhunter then readies the Watch Tower laser and, with the help of the heroes, is able to fire it on Lex's Power Armour causing it to fall to the ground with Lex trapped inside. Batman then delivered the finishing attacks to the Power Armour Mech and threw Lex to the ground, defeating him.
The police then arrive, arrest Lex and the Joker, and haul them off to prison.
Meanwhile, Brainiac is viewing Earth and says "I have located it."
The other superheroes stay to help clean up the Batcave.
Though not a part of the main story, there are side-missions around Gotham City to rescue endangered civilians and to locate and defeat hidden villains, such as Bane on the beach or The Penguin at the zoo's Arctic World exhibit.