LEGO Games Galore!: LEGO Batman 2

LEGO Batman 2.jpg
image: gog.com

In this new series, I will gush about my love for the licensed LEGO games. I will cover all of the games that I have played, ranging from really good to not as good.

Thus far in the series, I have proclaimed that LEGO Batman is the best LEGO game that I have played so far. There have been two sequels to that game, but I have only played the second one. With the great game that the first one was, and the fact that you can play as the major DC Super Heroes in the game. My expectations for this game when I was first playing it were high, but I have since noticed that the game does not live up to it’s predecessor in my eye.

LEGO Batman 2 starts very well, as the Joker is back up to his normal crime antics, and it is up to Batman to stop him. The beginning is a lot like the first game with the puzzle solving mixed with melee combat with the bad guys. As you are playing, you get about 2 hours into the game before you realize that you have not played as any other DC Super Hero, though the ability is flaunted in the title of the game. Once I got the ability to play as Superman 2 hours into the game, I was very disappointed by the way he plays and controls. With the wide range of powers that Superman has, the stiffness of his character in the game really deters me from really wanting to play as him a lot. Flying is a hassle, and so is his freeze breath and heat vision. With this being the first time we play as Superman in a LEGO game, it is quite underwhelming.

With the subtitle of DC Super Heroes, the other heroes don’t show up until roughly 6 hours into the game. This is infuriating considering how the game prides itself on the play ability of other heroes. These heroes are also just a combination of abilities that Superman, Batman, and Robin have. For example, Cyborg has the laser vision just like Superman’s heat vision, and the tech ability of Robin’s tech suit. This makes it seem as if the developers were lazy and slapped together abilities we already learned and put a new character skin on it. There are only about 6 and a half hours of story game play, but considering most of the Super Heroes don’t show up until the last half hour, this game becomes very disappointing.

Though the main draw of the game is frustratingly lackluster, there are a few redeeming qualities to the game. This is the first game in this article series to feature original voice acting recorded for the game, and it is pretty good. It’s not the best voice acting for these heroes, but the voice acting does a great job at bringing plastic-looking characters to life. The darker voices feel very out of place, however, as villains with darker voices like Lex Luthor take the voice acting consistency down a notch. Batman, Robin, and Superman have great voice actors that fit their characters, and so do Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. I never initially enjoyed the idea of voice acting in a LEGO game, but this cast is definitely a welcome one.

The colors that I praised in the first game are present in this game, but much more bright and varied. Considering there are other super heroes in the game, the colors and presentation are much more varied and have a much more appealing look. I love the visuals of the first game, but this one upped the visuals in almost every aspect. The sets are epic and grand, the levels are far more detailed and clear, and the boss battles are great too. There are far less villains in this game than the first one, but the boss battles are still incredibly creative and intricate.

Something that this game does that had been done in other LEGO games, but not in the Batman series, is the open world areas that characters can explore. This was done before in the Harry Potter games, as when a player completed the main story, they were free to roam around Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Players can roam around Gotham City in this game, but it is far bigger than it needed to be. In the Harry Potter games, players could roam around wherever they pleased but were always able to go back to the Leaky Cauldron and play any level from the game that they wanted to play. In Batman 2, players have to go to the specific location to play that same level again, which is annoying considering how vast Gotham City is. If there is no vehicle near you, you will have to walk a long way and end up finding a vehicle right next to the location anyway. The sandbox area idea for a LEGO game is great, but I think it could have been done a lot better.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a far-cry from what I wanted the sequel to be, but it does have redeeming qualities. The world building and new features are great, but are bogged down by lackluster execution and poor character ability choices.

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