It's no surprise that we got a follow up to the original LEGO Batman video game. Not only was it immensely popular, but with The Dark Knight Rises coming out soon interest in Batman has never been higher. The thing that is surprising about it, however, is that Batman isn't the only DC character that you can play around as in the new game.
This is probably the most ambitious of all the LEGO games as it now features an open world environment for you to explore with split screen cooperative play, and full voice acting for all of the characters. These kind of things might be scary to fans of the series because it's so unlike every other game that it has the potential to be bad. Thankfully, I can report that it is not.
Of course, the gameplay is similar to how the original game works with various puzzles needing to be solved in order to advance the levels. Where this game differs is the open nature of it and how the special Batman suits come into play and are necessary to complete the level. It's like every silly Batman toy you had as a kid (electricity Batman, Power suit Batman, Hazard suit Robin, Ice Suit Robin, etc.) is now a central part of the game. Boss fights are the part of gameplay that I really enjoy. They're all different and are a good combination of puzzles and button mashing.
While this style of gameplay is fun for a while, when you get introduced to the other super heroes in the game you won't want to go back. I've never been a huge Superman fan (though he is growing on me), but after this game I would like to have a game devoted entirely to him. The gameplay as the other heroes offers a new perspective to the games instead of running and smashing because you get to add flying and heat vision to the equation.
The voice acting in the game is great. All the respective characters have the feel of their comic book basis while still managing to hold onto the goofy humor of the Lego games. I thought that I was going to grow tired of the humor in the game -- which is quite tongue in cheek in nature -- but I didn't. The subtleties in the humor are what really prevents it from becoming stale. With each mission being bookended by news reports, you have to listen and read the scrolling text or you'll miss all the jokes. Also, the relationship between Batman and Superman is perfect. You can tell the developers really know their Batman/DC mythology based on the name dropping and cameos, all of which are a delight for any fan.
There are a few complaints I have about the game, though. The cut scenes are kind of long at times and you're not allowed to skip to the end the first time you watch them. There's also a pretty bad bug in the game where things get stuck and are unable to move. Of the probably four hours that I've played so far, it happened to me five times and I was forced to restart the level I was playing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it's pretty damn frustrating when it happens multiple times on the same level.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a fun game. It has it's flaws but it's the kind of comic book video game that fans have wanted for years. There is a rich well of characters, jokes, and fun gameplay throughout and there's plenty of hidden items to uncover and unlock that will keep you playing for hours.
Now how long until we get a Marvel version?
Rating: 7.5 / 10