LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Review
- Posted July 9th, 2012 at 22:00 EDT by Kyle Prahl
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The most ambitious LEGO game to date is an open-world delight that excels in its depth and the satisfaction that each new collectible brings. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is well worth your time, even if it sometimes shows the developer's inexperience with the genre.
- Satisfying co-op action
- An open world filled with stuff to find
- Charming story and humor
- Frustrating design choices
- Inconsistent partner AI
- No online co-op
(continued from previous page) ...than likely spot plenty of Gold Bricks that appear translucent or otherwise unattainable. The reason? The game generally wants you to complete some kind of character-dependent platforming challenge or puzzle to reach it, but unlike most open-world games, these segments aren't hidden behind a mission marker. As a result, you're forced to backtrack your way through the hoops to find where you're meant to start from, which is usually somewhere near ground level. It's another matter entirely that you can't freely switch playable characters in Gotham City until you've beaten the 15 story missions. Why present me with so many compelling reasons to explore when my ability to do so is limited?
It doesn't help that very little of the open-world mechanics I've mentioned are actually explained to you. For a game that puts so much emphasis on the staggering number of playable characters (50, plus 10 slots for custom fighters), you'd expect at least some instruction on how to acquire them and how to deal with the unintuitive junk that gets in the way of fun. Make no mistake; Gotham City is a fun place to be, as the costumes and abilities of the story missions are used just as effectively to spice up city streets and rooftops. I just wish LEGO Batman 2 made this content more accessible, perhaps by following the conventions of open-world mainstays like Grand Theft Auto and inFAMOUS.
Thankfully, this game does well in just about every other category. The color palette is vibrant and lighting effects dazzle as objects and action fills the screen. The score is similarly good, using classic Batman tunes to match the ebb and flow of gameplay. Someone also deserves a hug for including the iconic Superman theme. This heart-warming riff turns flying through the city as the Man of Steel into one of the game's highlights. It's also refreshing to play a game that's nearly bug-free, with scarcely a glitch or technical hiccup to be found. That said I was disappointed to encounter a game-breaking oversight during the final boss battle. It's the kind of moment where you find yourself stuck and think, 'The developer must have made a mistake here.' Except this time, they actually did. Not everyone will encounter this roadblock, but if you do, you'll be forced to exit the level and do things differently next time.
Traveller's Tales has shown its open-world colors, and I'm impressed by the result. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is an engrossing game that appeals to kids and the kid in all of us, and it does so with surprising depth and undeniable charm. Questionable design choices keep the game from sandbox perfection, but there's plenty of fun to be had in this superhero package that's made for everyone, including hardcore collectible junkies. Arkham City it is not, but for a crowd seeking thematically lighter fare, it's the next best thing.
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