Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hands-On First Impressions: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

It's been four long years since the first LEGO Batman was released. Countless LEGO games have been released since then, but now Batman is back and he's bringing his Super Friends. Here's what Chris thought of the time he spent with the first few moments in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.

I've been a fan of the LEGO games ever since the first LEGO Star Wars launched way back in April 2005. I followed the series for a bit, but fell off the bandwagon around the time LEGO Indiana Jones was released. I've still played a bit of the games since then, and found the Harry Potter game to be pretty fun in co-op. I also feel that LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is quite possibly one of the best looking games of this generation. Go on, try it out. It looks like a damn Pixar movie.

Oddly enough, the last game I purchased new in the last generation was LEGO Batman for the PlayStation 2. Up until Arkham Asylum came out, LEGO Batman was by far the very best Batman videogame. The original LEGO Batman was a wonderful blend of the Animated Series and the classic comic books. Nearly every Batman character you could ever want was included in the game, and the gameplay featured a great switch that opened up a Villain Campaign after completing the main story.

Now, after 4 years and endless LEGO games later, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes has hit store shelves. Quite a lot has been added to the LEGO formula, but fans of the original games won't have as hard time picking this one up and jumping right in. A new hub world structure has worked its way into the past few games in the series, and LEGO Batman is no exception. LEGO Gotham is all bricked out, but was unavailable in the demo.

LEGO Gotham. Awesome.

The demo I played acted as an intro to the world and basic gameplay mechanics. The scene opens in a theater where Bruce Wayne is being awarded a Man of the Year trophy, which is apparently a thing in Gotham. Lex Luthor, the evil genius Superman villain, is sitting alongside Wayne. I guess Lex hasn't done anything wrong for a while, as Bruce Wayne doesn't immediately try to apprehend him or anything. Not like he's ever tried to blow up the world, or anything. Right?

As you'd imagine, Joker interrupts the dinner and all hell breaks loose. Batman and Robin emerge from the chaos, and players can jump right into action. Attacks are simple button presses, and enemies burst into the familiar pile of LEGO pieces when defeated. Almost everything in the environment is destructible, and provides ample opportunity for LEGO piece collecting, and for finding secrets. Simple puzzles involve things like "building" staircases, and using Batman's batarangs to hit targets in order to open doors. This kind of gameplay hasn't really changed much from the previous game, but still remains quick and enjoyable.

Weaving their way from villain to villain, Batman and Robin quickly dispose of Harley Quinn, Two Face, The Riddler, and countless goons. The action is never difficult, and the only penalty for dying is the loss of some LEGO pieces you've collected. Using different suits, the player is able to solve some puzzles the villains have laid out for them. Batman's Sensor Suit, for example, can not only evade motion sensors, but also allowed Batman to see-through some walls, allowing him to find hidden switches and enemies. Robin also has a unique suit avaible in the demo; the decidedly much less awesome Acrobat suit. This allows Robin to swing on elevated poles, and something something gay joke.

Unfortunately the demo ends just as things start to pick up, and well before any of the major new gameplay mechanics are unlocked. Still, I found my time with the game to be enjoyable, and if you're in the market for a couch co-op game, this might be right for you. For most gamers, the sheer simplicity will be something of a turn-off, especially at full price. If you're a mega Batman super-fan though, go on and check it out. It's available in stores now.

Christopher Linendoll isn't the hero you need, but the hero you got anyway. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.

1 comment:

  1. I want this game, Pirates lego and both Harry Potter lego games so bad. Sometimes it's nice to just pop in a collect-o-thon.