It’s incredible how Traveller’s Tales has managed to survive, by developing many Lego based video-games, for so many years. Not many would have guessed that a Lego video-game version of the Star Wars saga, would end up being this beneficial for the developer. Lego Batman is still one of the best selling Lego titles, so it’s no wonder that it received a sequel. But was it worth the effort to develop Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes?
One of the noticeable changes in this sequel is the inclusion of other Justice League members. The likes of Superman join the dark knight in his latest adventure. It’s amusing to see the apparent rivalry between both superheroes. Interestingly enough, this is the first Lego video-game that makes use of full voice acting. It’s a bit strange to not hear the characters miming at first, but the dialogue helps flesh out the story.
The story involves several well known villains from the Batman universe being up to no good. It’s interesting to see how Traveller’s Tales managed to make them menacing, without having to restrict it to a mature audience. There’s even a special cameo from a certain arch-enemy in the Superman universe. What makes the story so captivating is the obvious chemistry between the characters. The dialogue between Batman and Robin delivers some of the best lines.
Progress in Lego Batman 2 is similar to the previous titles. There is a main open area to explore, and a way point guides the player to the next level. It’s an efficient concept that still works, when it comes to ensuring players don’t get lost. The main area consists of a rather detailed replica of both Gotham City and Metropolis. It does take a while to get around town, due to the effort put into making sure every aspect of both cities was covered. But fortunately there are various vehicles that makes it faster to get to the many level locations.
Most of the levels consist of solving puzzles and fighting enemies to progress. Batman and Robin have access to a selection of costumes. Each costume provides each of them with different powers. What is so unique about it, is that only one costume is used at any time. The pads required to change into these costumes are often part of the puzzle solving experience. It’s necessary not only to find and build these costume pads, but also know where to use them. The only downside to this logic is that some puzzles aren’t too clear. It’s a minor issue, but players might end up being stuck on particular sections because of it. This doesn’t mean that it’s any less enjoyable to explore all the familiar locations, and it does feel rewarding to get through those difficult sections.
Some of the levels are set in areas where the characters use vehicles to engage enemies. These sections are a fantastic way to recreate that adrenaline rush that comes with watching Batman make use of his toys on screen. The shooting mechanics work like a charm too, which makes it even more fun to take on those villains. Some levels involve a typical showdown with a villain, like the sinister Joker. These boss fights require different techniques, and are a a pleasure to experience. The characters also have interesting new toys to use, which fans of the first Lego Batman video-game should enjoy trying.
Lego Batman 2 has a fairly lengthy main story campaign consisting of fifteen levels. It’s the constant introduction of new costumes and other features that makes it worth going through. Some of the levels take a while to complete, so the saving feature is very handy. It will make it possible to save and continue from a checkpoint. Anyone familiar with the Lego titles, will know that there is a strong emphasis on collectibles.
Lego Batman 2 continues to encourage players to collect items, by replaying levels in free play and exploring the open area. Unlocking other playable characters will make It possible to collect everything. But it’s not as appealing to try and get all the collectibles, like on other Lego titles, such as Lego Harry Potter. This is because of the fact that it’s one single area, rather that smaller sections, which makes it harder to track down collectibles.
Visually, it’s one of the best looking Lego titles to date. It contains a lot of exciting action sequences that help turning it into a true Batman experience. The use of familiar music from Batman and Superman also helps. It’s another Lego title that allows local play between two players. The AI for the 2nd character is somewhat limited. It fails to actively help out the player during fights, but at least it can follow the player controlled character.
Lego Batman 2 is not that different from the previous Lego titles, but it’s still just as enjoyable. It focuses more on action packed moments, which in turn make for a less traditionally addictive experience – when it comes to finding those collectibles. But fans of the dark knight and his Justice League team mates are in for a fantastic ride. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is another excellent experiment from Traveller’s Tales, in the world of licensed video-games.