Here we go again with yet another LEGO title regarding DC Comics. However, it’s not exactly anything they’ve done before. It’s not another LEGO Batman game, and it’s not a LEGO-ized version of the Justice League films. And no, it’s not a movie tie-in for The LEGO Batman Movie (although I would totally play that). It doesn’t even star the DC Comics heroes we all know and love. This time, it’s all about the villains from the comics and their Legion of Doom. Most importantly, it’s about the villain that you, the player, creates.
For the most part, TT Games has changed up their boiler plate formula, albeit not to the extent of LEGO The Incredibles. Character creation is actually now important, as well as required, and they’ve switched up the collectibles a smidge. However, by the end of the day, it’s still a LEGO title, so not much has really changed, not even the overall plot. LEGO fans will buy this on day one, no questions asked. Well, the only real question that needs to be asked is how many classic TT Games
bugs features are included this time?
Create the Most Powerful Villain
Before you can smash your first object for studs, you’re instantly transported to the character creator. The LEGO games have always had character creators, but I only tapped into them for the trophies. There is no escaping this one. You get to build your own villain from the get-go, including his/her name. I thought that since this was LEGO, I’d be in and out of here in a snap, but I spent nearly as long as I normally do in RPG character creators.
There’s more than just hair styles, eye colors, and clothing to pick from. You have weapon choices, voice options (not that you character speaks, mind you), personality traits, abilities, speed options, and even special effects to choose from. For my character, she has the tech ability, wields a bow, and has super speed. The super speed is awesome, because I don’t need vehicles for road races, but it has its drawbacks too. I can’t tell you how many times Miss Spazz (I should have named her that) just ran off the edge to her screaming death below. Yes, that is when she speaks—when she dies or gets punched. It’s also both annoying and funny that she constantly shakes like she’s drunk an entire vat of espresso.
As you play through the campaign, your character will unlock additional abilities, such as laser beams to melt gold objects or super strength. Playing through the campaign will also unlock additional abilities in the character creator. Your next character could be the most powerful villain in existence by the end of your run.
Of course collectibles are still a thing. It wouldn’t be a LEGO game without them. However, they aren’t as egregious as they once were. Gone are the days of scouring levels for the ten minikits. The minikits are still there, but they’re only five per level now. The red brick collectibles are now in the individual levels instead of the hub world, and there are special selfie spots that only characters with a tendency toward graffiti can unlock. Believe me, it’s so much better having fewer minikits to collect. With adding red bricks and selfies, it only cuts down the total collectibles for a level down from ten to seven, but it’s a noticeable difference. Those minikits have always been a beating.
The hub world is rather massive with both Gotham City and Metropolis open for exploration. Quests abound in both, as well as races and plenty of other ways to find Gold Bricks. The quests do seem rather weird to me, however. The quests generally serve to help someone else out, and I’m not sure why villains in the Legion of Doom would bother helping some stranger unless there was something in it for them. I mean something more than another gold brick. Also, why would these people trust a villain anyway? I know this is Gotham City, and you can’t spit without hitting a villain or a heinous crime, but one would think its citizens wouldn’t reach out to the Joker for assistance. I don’t care how awesome it is that Mark Hamill is reprising that role, it ain’t right.
Oh Those TT Games Features
It just wouldn’t be a LEGO game without TT Games’ patented glitches, would it? It won’t take long before you come across quite a few. In the second level, I was suddenly unable to activate a character’s ability. Of course this happened with a character whose ability was required to progress. I checked to make sure the button actually did work, that it wasn’t due to my controller dying. Nope, the button worked fine. I was able to fix it by switching to another character until I could get a character to use that button ability. Once I found one where the button did indeed work, I could switch back to the character I needed. Unfortunately, this happened more than once.
Then of course there were other “features” such as a tutorial telling you to use the wrong button to activate an ability, quest givers not talking to you when you trigger for them to, or quest items that never appear, even when you’ve destroyed the proper mound of bricks. Reloading the game solves these problems at the moment, not that they should exist in the first place.
There is one new feature from TT Games, and it’s one they actually intended. After you create your villain, you have an option for gameplay mode: Rookie Villain or Master Villain. Rookie Villain mode is specifically for newbies to LEGO games, those who aren’t aware of the free play mode, that different characters have different abilities to solve puzzles, that collectibles do certain things, that the hub world has additional gameplay, etc. It also gives extra hints for solving puzzles. This mode may be ideal for kids, because they have amped up puzzle difficulty a bit. It’s not anywhere close to The Witness-level, but they’re tougher than playing Simon.
The Master Villain mode is for veterans to the genre or for bigger kids who don’t need the nudges. Well, I say it’s for those who don’t need the nudges and hints, but it tries to tell me every few steps to press down R3 for Jonny DC to give me a hint if I’m stuck. If I put my controller down for any length of time, such as when maybe I’m responded to texts about dinner, Jonny DC will force feed me the hint. If this is how it is for Master Villain mode, I’m frightened what Rookie Villain is like. Does it have pop-up hints all over the place all the time? Does it go as far as to say, “Press square here”? Makes you wonder who’s the real villain—the characters or the game.
LEGO DC Super-Villains PS4 Review - It's Good to Be Bad
If you’ve been a fan of the LEGO DC titles in the past, then chances are you’ve already bought the game and aren’t reading this at all. If you’ve never gotten into the LEGO genre before, then LEGO DC Super-Villains isn’t a bad dropping-in point. The collectibles are easier to amass, the puzzles have some challenge, and the character creation is enjoyable. If nothing else, you get to hear Mark Hamill’s sillier version of the Joker. That alone makes the price of admission worth it.
LEGO DC Super-Villains review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a standard PS4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.