GDC Preview – LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
LEGOs have a tendency to attract younger crowds, and the video game series follows that same path. With no dialogue and simple assembly tasks, coupled with stories straight from whatever movie it happens to tie into, the LEGO video games have remained overly basic. Not that it has ever been a bad franchise, but it has remained simplistic in an effort to cater to this demographic. But because the original LEGO Batman sold over 11 million units worldwide, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes hopes to build on that by also attracting an older audience.
No LEGO game has ever had real voice acting. Times change, and so does the LEGO series. For the first time in the history of the franchise, real voice actors have joined forces with original stories. No longer do you have to wonder what Batman or Robin are thinking since they can now speak their minds. Well, maybe not always, but you get the point. Also thrown into the gameplay is a new checkpoint system so you won’t have to start over at the beginning of a level if you happen to fail.
LEGO games are mostly about having fun, and this game seems to fit that mold well. We got to see Batman and Robin working together, while trying to take down the evil villain Two-Face. Busting their way through bad guys, and picking up those helpful little tokens, B & R work their way through puzzles that require switching between characters and building LEGO machines. Building mini-pods using these found LEGOs nets Batman a new Batsuit, with special accessories designed just for specific tasks on this level. Later on, it’s Robin who gets in on the action with an Acrobat Suit complete with a handy little pole vault tool.
Harley Quinn makes an appearance, along with the Riddler, and B & R are faced with more challenges that require working together. Having a friend working with you is definitely a plus, but not necessary. Having a friend jump in and help is as easy as pressing a button on a second controller. Robin is introduced to his Hazard suit, which doubles as a SCUBA outfit. While Batman travels above, Robin must swim his way underneath, activating switches, while Batman battles through the bad guys.
Once B & R work their way through these levels, they travel back to their underground lair, better known as the Batcave. Here, they have access to any of the vehicles they have previously unlocked. These include, but aren’t limited to, the Batmobile, the Batwing and the Batboat. These vehicles come in handy once you realize that LEGO Batman 2 is an open world game that you are free to explore. The game does start out as a linear game, but once you’ve worked through the introductory levels, you’re free to roam away.
By completing objectives scattered throughout the game, you’ll unlock other playable characters. Both heroes and villains are playable characters and some of the villains even have their own objectives to complete. Superman will probably be your first super hero to take for a spin, but don’t think he will be able to just walk right through every level in the game. Even the man of steel has his weakness, and there’s a rumor that Kryptonite has been detected in Gotham City. The Joker and Lex Luthor both know what it takes to stop Superman, so tread carefully.
With 50 playable characters, both good and not so good, the replayability factor is high. Add in the ability to create unique super heroes with customizable characters, and it then seems endless.
If you’ve never considered a LEGO game before, you might want to check this out. If you are a DC Comics fan, you’ll definitely want to check this out. The game looks like LEGO fun at its best, and then some.