In classic Batman storytelling fashion, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes starts off at a ceremony for the Man-of-the-Year Award where philanthropist and playboy, Bruce Wayne, and presidential candidate, Lex Luthor, are both nominated. While the award is being handed out, Gotham’s favourite collection of super-villains crash the party and that’s when Bruce disappears and Batman and Robin take over.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Universe offers much more than what we are used to from the LEGO franchise. An enormous world which the player can explore and fight crime, throughout a fully realised Gotham City. Visually the game is stunning with LEGO creations everywhere for you to interact with and destroy. The norm in previous games has been small progression through simple yet entertaining levels to this giant city and effective challenges. Hilarious cut-scenes are accompanied by surprisingly emotional sequences that offer a slightly more mature LEGO title than previous entries.
Much like the grown up Batman Arkham games, there is now collectables throughout the entire world that will keep you playing for hours, not to mention enough for the OCD player that will be collecting every single LEGO piece that they can find.
You choose to fight against evil villains and their dim-witted henchmen or crews around in a unique collection of automobiles and aircraft or just jump into a random vehicle that you find in the streets but when you can get Batman on a push bike, you don’t really need all the rest. Control of vehicles is tedious at best though. With a zoomed-in angle and sloppy steering, you find yourself off-course with where you want to go more often than not and without a usable mini-map to properly guide you, it gets really frustrating. The fighting style hasn’t really changed in anyway either but you don’t really need it in a game like this, so it’s forgivable.
There is a hilarious collection of DC villains that you will encounter from bigwigs like the aforementioned Joker and Lex Luthor, to small fries like Captain Boomerang and Killer Moth (no, seriously). On the good side you get to play as all of the Justice League and a few sidekicks such as Batwoman and Sha’zam. Using characters and their distinctive powers for all challenges is incredibly fun and amusing.
There is a very entertainingly jealous partnership between Batman and Superman throughout the game, which isn’t helped with Robin being in total awe of Superman, leaving Bats downplaying the Man of Steel a fair bit throughout the narrative. And the oft awkward father-son relationship between Batman and Robin comes into play quite a lot as well.
On the whole, the biggest difference here to other LEGO games comes in the sheer size of Gotham, though its secrets aren’t open to you until you get through the game. Boss battles are also pretty tiresome and tedious, though quite inventive in parts. There’s plenty of love thrown at Batman’s lineage, and DC in general, which is always a good thing with a team playing with licenses. Also, if you haven’t played a LEGO title in a while, you might be shocked to hear the little plastic guys speaking with full voices, none of which appear to come from other Batman games, movies or cartoons, but for me it worked.
Again, the collectathon component is what will get most people over the line, or for Batman fans, being able to play around in a fully realised LEGO Gotham. It’s a giant game with excellent visuals that will keep fans well and truly interested, and is one of the better LEGO titles in recent times.