Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Review
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes transports the series' problems to an open world, but winning humor shines through the clouds.
- Funny cutscenes
- Snazzy visual design
- Open world offers more flexibility in your collecting.
- Terrible artificial intelligence
- Wonky vehicle controls and no minimap make open-world exploration problematic
- Tedious combat.
High above the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City, a spotlight beckons the Caped Crusader. It's an irresistible symbol for a man who lives to vanquish evildoers, and the latest game bearing his name makes a similar siren call. Eye-catching visual design and clever jokes draw in those who idolize Batman, and the collect-'em-all nature of the levels serves to keep you invested for hours. But problems--both new to this adventure and series staples--bubble just below the surface, making Batman's latest attempt to thwart his masked villains feel sloppy. As endearing as Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes can be, this flawed sequel fails to live up to the Dark Knight's high standards.
When the Joker joins forces with Lex Luthor, only bad things can happen. Political aspirations serve as the driving force behind the mischievous duo's latest harebrained scheme, but it's not Luthor's attempt at rigging an election that stands out. Rather, it's the goofy storytelling that's so enjoyable. Cutscenes are littered with clever jokes that should make DC aficionados flash a knowing smile. The interplay between Batman and Superman is particularly funny. Bats tries to keep his jealousy bottled up, but his feelings surface as mean-spirited jabs and 4-year-old-caliber pouting that reveal Bruce Wayne's petty side. Robin's adoration of Superman plays wonderfully into this dynamic, creating hilarious moments whenever these three are onscreen together.
Once the story gets under way, you're set loose in Gotham City to roam and venture as you please. The transition from linear level progression to open-world freedom is the biggest change from previous Lego games. Needy citizens call for help, tantalizing collectibles dangle just out of reach, and distractions surface every few steps. In a game already bursting with content, having so many places to go and things to collect is almost overwhelming--in a good way--and could have propelled Lego Batman 2 to new heights, if only the execution were better. But the locomotion is severely flawed. Getting from one location to the next is a fumbler's quest because loose vehicle controls and a zoomed-in camera make turning a tricky task, and the lack of a minimap hinders your ability to navigate.
After you arrive in a stage, events play out just like in previous Lego adventures. Tightly structured levels place Batman, Robin, and any other superhero willing to lend a hand in treacherous locations. As you walk through recognizable locales such as the Batcave and Lex Luthor's office, your primary job is to solve puzzles. See that metal-plated wall over there? Don Robin's magnetic suit to walk right up to it. Staring at an indestructible computer? Jump into Batman's power suit to blow it sky-high. There's a pleasing rhythm to the problem solving because you seamlessly go from one puzzle to the next, using different abilities to interact with the environment in unique ways. Rarely are the puzzles tricky enough to seriously stump you, but seeing the different environments and dangers is reason enough to continue playing.
Outside of puzzle solving, you trade punches with miscreants who don't realize that attacking Batman is always a bad idea. Combat is mostly unchanged from previous adventures. One-button melee with context-sensitive counterattacks ensures you bash through baddies without breaking a sweat. It's tedious, and though you won't have to deal with as many respawning attackers as in the first LEGO Batman, combat still feels like pointless padding in an otherwise fun adventure. This feeling is magnified by sections in which you're invincible. Flying as Superman to destroy the Joker's airship is boring because there's no threat of failure. Just let the missiles slam into you while you slowly peck away at the ship's armor and try to stifle your yawns.
It's a shame the combat hasn't been improved from previous games, but that's to be expected in a franchise firmly stuck in the past. In no place is this more apparent than with the friendly artificial intelligence. Watch in horror as Batman gets beaten to a pulp by a street thug without so much as moving a muscle, or explosive barrels slam into an oblivious Superman. Robin might repeatedly jump in a pit or just stand stock-still while you wait for him to help you with a switch. It's infuriating. And not only do your AI pals fail to help, but they openly impede your progress at times. Batman might stand in front of a door you need to cut open with Superman, or Wonder Woman might stand in your way on a narrow beam. Yeah, it's funny to laugh at their ineptitude, but considering that the same flaw has existed since the Lego franchise began, it's becoming embarrassing. Luckily, you can always join up with a friend, though the lack of online play makes it tougher to get help in a pinch.
It's a shame there are so many obvious problems with Lego Batman 2, because the core experience is enjoyable. The visual design is particularly impressive. Swirling clouds and foreboding darkness give Gotham an eerie mood, and this meshes beautifully with the utter goofiness of the Lego characters. Sure, the city is in peril, but would it really hurt to laugh? And the amount of tomfoolery is staggering. Break into the zoo, and behold a menagerie of plastic animals. You might have thought you knew everything about Batman, but did you realize how much he enjoys riding polar bears in his free time? Plus, because most of the game is tangential to the story, you can spend hours discovering new things to do. Optional boss fights featuring lesser-known villains such as Hush and Captain Boomerang are fun endeavors, and once you win, you can control the baddie for some evil-themed mischief.
Lego Batman 2 contains the same strengths and weaknesses as the many games that came before it. Worthwhile additions such as the open world show the potential for where this series could go, but the core mechanics suffer from the same problems in every iteration. Although it's still as fun as ever to collect Lego bricks and watch the cutscenes, the lack of real change leads to the feeling that you've seen all this before. Batman is a meticulous self-improver; it would be nice if his Lego games had the same mentality.
how does it there rate the game that low the veichele control is fine and comfortable i have no problem with no minimap because i see my marker at the screen every lgo game the ai is easy to beat because thats the point of it being a lgo game also he didnt mention anything about how fun it is collecting gold bricks finding minikits buying new characters and the cool varied open world in the plus and minus
Tend to agree, finished the game in a couple of long sessions. Way to much wondering around. New hub doesnt work at all. Much preferred previous lego games. Gameplay itself is as fun as always.
"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.? -C.S. Lewis
I think that the same goes for movies, video games, and any other medium you could think of.
I'm a little jarred by the comparatively low score, but I agree that 65% is still a good score. Millions of people watch 65/100 metacritic movies and enjoy them. Why should gaming criticism be so exaggerated?
I don't think being a children's game or family game excuses you for lacking any depth or complexity in your gameplay. Viva Pinata is a good example of how to do it right, as are LittleBigPlanet, Rayman, and the older Mario titles.
Agreed. I play more "mature" titles: Arkham City/Infamous, but the kid in me likes "kiddy" games with depth, too. LBP will always be an all-time favorite.
Based on my experience with the game, and all other available Reviews, this reviewer used poor judgment and bias. If you don't like Lego games and you are a hardcore gamer, you should not review games aimed at younger gamers. This game is not even close to Arkham City, but it is the best Lego game to date and a ton of fun.
A lot of critics whine about games that feature Superman because he's weakened into a sissy to make it more challenging. Mr. McShea whines because missiles are bouncing off of him the way they're supposed to. Much make does doesn't sense, that it?
@timthegem Invincible combat isn't inherently boring. But the way its implemented in Lego Batman 2, with shallow, repetitive mechanics, is bad game design.
@timthegem It makes perfect sense. Tom thinks he is a great and awesome reviewer by saying the opposite from what others say. He thinks he is a badd@ss reviewer who is really hard on games but fair....that's what he thinks, i just say he is hard on games but far from fair.
"you can just call him the jerk who hates all the things you love and loves all the things you hate" is the quote GS has about him. So see it makes perfect sense. Everyone knows Superman can't be killed by missiles, but Tom thinks Supeman should be killed by it. He will also call Super Mario unrealistic, cause a plumber can't shoot fireballs from out of his nose.
Funny thing now that i mention realism. Tom was the one complaining about not much realism in shooters these days (i partly agree), yet now that a game is REALISTIC about Superman he finds it a negative point MAKE UP YOUR MIND TOM! Or rather....stop trying to hard to be a badd@ss reviewer and just be a fair reviewer who shows he knows stuff about games and isn't gonna make minor things as a big problem when they are not. And especially LEARN TO PLAY!!! as reviewer we the readers should assume you are a great gamer, but more than once we seen in reviews that he didn't get it where no other gamer or any other reviewer had that problem he has the problem and makes it all the games fault.
@dutchgamer83 @ss @ss When a game is marketed as "authentic" or "realistic" (like Medal of Honor), I have no problem calling a developer out for their lies. That's nothing like Mario or Lego Batman, which create rules which don't necessarily adhere to reality. There is a very big difference between these two ideas, and why I don't question realism in the vast majority of games I cover.
@TomMcShea youre right about the medal of honor part but my problem is you should definitely not review a lego game if youre not a fan .Lego games are meant for having easy fun and burning time while collecting gold bricks or mini kits and buying new characters and not for challenging AI and for being realistic if superman doesnt die from missiles its not a big problem its because hes super strong and much more stronger than the likes of robin
@TomMcShea"Lies?" That's a bit of a stretch.
I don't know why GP still allows McShea to review games. He is hurting the website credibility sooooo much, it is getting ridiculous...
Pathetic as always, pig. I really petty you.
Thank You for wasting your time reviewing this game thinking that there is a person that gives a damn about your opinion.
Another weird review !
It's the first LEGO with voices and it adds much more humor. There are some cameras problems on some levels, that's all that I noticed.
- You do not need a minimap because they are icons at the left of the screen to see where to go and you must "analyze" the map in the menu or Batcave to find gold/red bricks. Otherwise it would be to easy !
And why do you a need a minimap if most of the characters can fly and go really quick like Flash ? Gotham City is big in LEGO scale but we are not in GTA IV here.
- Tedious combat ? I guess you didn't know you can use X then [_] to make special attacks. Green Lantern is the best for that and every character has a different attack/animation. The combat system is the same since the first LEGO game, so why should it be tedious NOW ?
Seriously I don't want to go to IGN to find reliable reviews for people who didn't buy the game yet.
It's not as good as LEGO Harry Potter but it's as long as before and funnier with voices.
I find that with Gamespot, whatever the reviewers are saying is pretty irrelevant, it always comes down to whatever their EIC, Ricardo Torres thinks. If the game is not pseudo intellectual enough for him, it gets a bad review. Just listen to old Hotspot episodes, whatever Mr. Torres says is considered the gospel around their office, no matter how pompous and pseudo intellectual it is. I really dont blame them though, I guess that editors that don't agree with him don't last long at GS!!
@Ima_Grey Ricardo Torres no longer works for GameSpot. Justin Calvert and John Davison are now in charge of our editorial content; Kevin VanOrd has taken over as the head of the reviews department.
I have to ask why a man that's says he doesn't like platformers is assigned to rate a platforming game? Please explain this to me.
@Koneesha I love platformers...
And now the battle between "people who love the game and complain about it's bad score" and the "people who suck Gamespot's massive cock and come out to defend the reviewer's rightful opinion" commences!!!
Lemme grab mah popped corn. It's time for jimmies to get rustled and bodies to be ready. Damn I'm a good hypocrite...
Wonderful, another niche genre game review from Tom McShea that's out of line with the critical consensus. And once again, I knew without even reading the byline that this was one of Tom's, because the review score was comically low.
Let's be honest - this is a game for kids and it's intended to be simplistic and easy. The main appeal of the LEGO games can be boiled down into three things: the co-op, the humor and the E-rated action.
I do agree with Tom's general assessment that even with the addition of voice-acting and open-world gameplay, the LEGO concept is getting a little stale, and it's time for the series to evolve past some of its more irksome attributes. But the same could be said for most long-running niche series. It could even be said (and should be said more often, by the critics) for the GTA games.
I should add (because I notice that Tom is defending his scoring logic below) that there's nothing wrong with scoring a game a 6.5 if that has some consistent universal meaning of mediocrity. But we all know that scoring a game as a 6.5 on a scale of 10 is perceived by your readers as meaning "failure" even if your scoring system says "fair" (which, I'd note, is a step below "mediocre.")
It should also be noted that the developers often get held responsible for bad Metacritic review scores by the publishers or license holders, even though the system is flawed and critical consensus often favors sequels of popular titles rather than original ideas.
Perhaps it's time for GameSpot to consider overhauling its review system to get away from a 10-point scale since we all know it's basically a three or four-point scale anyhow (good, meh, and bad sum up most reviews, and Editor's Choice covers the rest). I'd love to see one of these major review sites get away from the standard scoring system and just make a consumer recommendation: "Buy it," "Try it" or "Avoid it". In this case, your score, Tom, would be "Try it", and that's respectable.
Perhaps then, readers like myself would feel more free to focus on the CONTENT of the review rather than the score, because the content suggests that any fans of the LEGO series would like this game a lot.
@SecularSage Well said, couldn't agree more. We need to get ride of the scale to 10 scores. Cause on every site it has a different meaning, and seeing how flawed the system is with some games always scoring around the 9 even though they don't bring anything new and become stale. Where other games bring many new things, being creative and play good enough but have a flaw here and there score much less. And seeing how today's gamers look at games the 0 - 10 doesn't work anymore cause even a game that scores a 7.5 is seen as a failed game. To many high scores have been given the last few years and with that they broke the meaning of a score.
It is why i like ZeitGeist so much on youtube. He only gives scores by saying he finds the game good, okay or not so good. And explains why he thinks that way. Even if you don't agree with what he thought you know its just his opinion and that both CoD as a unknow title are great in his eyes.
Personally I agree with Tom, I think all Lego games are too simplistic. Go here collect these peices, zip line to here, BORING. 6.5 seems about right. The CUTENESS FACTOR IS OVER 5 Lego's ago. I hated the other Lego games mostly and I have / had most of them including Star Wars Trililogy, Indy Jones, and Lego Batman 1. If you took away the Characters they would all be the same game. 8s and 8.5s? You have to be kidding. Good Job Tom not being swayed by popular demand. Popularity is way over rated. Katey Perry? Justin Bieber? I'm about to throw up.
@_Bear You do know that the targeted crowd for Lego games are mostly younger gamers right? Its not meant for people of 16+ its meant for a much lower age. And for its crowd it does a great job. It has to be simple cause its meant for kids. Something many seem to forget.
I do know this, but in the larger scope of gaming and reviewing the game has to be judged with the same criteria as any other game. It can't be labeled "kids game" then get a pass. 6.5 is very fair considering TT has done the same thing with all these games and has not really tried to innovate in any meaningful way. Just because it's "kids game " does mean it has to be dumbed down to nothing but hit A B C and collect the shiney gold medal. TT has gotten a pass here for too long, I can't believe the higher ratings on this Eurogamer gave it a 9 ??!!
user score 82
gamespot score 6.5
so this, Gravity Rush and Pokemon Conqeust arent great games at all huh?
People shouldnt rely on gamespot anymore
@-Fromage- Some day, people will look at a 6.5 and realize its not a low score at all. What's the point of a 10 point scale if only the top 20% is used?
@TomMcShea Why care of trolls? some people give 1 to metal gear solid 4; others give 10.... its all about tastes on genres fans will be only happy if they get a 10 score i know its hard to review this game not all people like childish, and broken games, othe just care of the fun but in a review you put a number and that number dont make distinction but i do agree in some part with the users; gamespot members should put together in the score; the latest year Gears of war 3 and Dark Souls [9.5], Uncharted 3, Batman AC and Skyrim ? and Skyrim is GOTY?? please a little more sense how a title that score lower is better in overall than the others? Whatever anyone says i like gamespot it have one of the most wonderful interfaces in gaming webpages, and i like more reviewers than in IGN and other pages. Want a truly fanboy review? go to Eurogamer.
@TomMcShea Yes and no. The problem is that Gamespot and other game sites been giving out 8's and 9's way to easy to games that didn't deserve it either. The score system is flawed and broken. For today's gamers everything under a 8 is conciderd bad.
Beside that, even though you are only one reviewer and base your score on how you experienced this game, people also see a 8 or a 9 next to any CoD title. And before you say "that is another reviewer in another genre" that isn't what people see. People see you saying things that go for CoD and Halo and even GTA as well. But yet those games keep getting insane high scores while they aren't worth more as a 7 either. Even though you don't judge those games people see all you reviewers as one, and when one game gets "only" a 6.5 cause it doesn't bring anything new and has some other flaws they do wonder why other games who haven't brought. anything new either and have their own flaws as well still get a 8 or a 9. So the entire gamespot will has to drasticly change how they score games and have the reviewers on one line about it, otherwise you will keep getting such comments on reviews.
@TomMcShea I completely disagree with that. When I see a review score I equate it the same as a grade. 90-100 is excellent, 80-89 is good/great, and 70-79 is average to good. A game with a 6.5 is not a good score but a very mediocre one.
@Texasguy Gamespot's grading scale isn't the same with other sites. That's why some sites have adopted other scales like the 5 star system. That's the problem with Metacritic and the score system itself, and why you should read the review and not base a purchasing decision on a number.
@TomMcShea Oh I have to add to what I have played so far this is an excellent Lego game.
@TomMcShea That's not a justification for giving your score. While your review points out the flaws of the lego games (and I have to admit, Lego Batman was actually the worst of the bunch for these), it omits the fact of who these games are aimed at.Kids really don't care - and i should know, I loved Total Recall for the NES. Beat it, too. But that's aside from the point. The point is, the Lego games are fantastic games for kids. Hell, I still have plenty of fun with them (I love Lego Star Wars for what it's worth) myself. Regardless of the score, I think you forgot the context of the game itself. At least that's what it feels like.
"the jerk who hates all the things you love and loves all the things you hate."
Seriously? This is something you advertise, GameSpot? In other words: "We need the clicks because our readership is dropping exponentially, by the day. Our new policy is to post BAD reviews and celebrate this, solely to create controversy and keep people coming to the site for whatever reason. We no longer care about games, only site traffic."
Hey everyone, you know there are other sites out there, right? I frequent TheVGPress.Com. If you want a --TRUE-- fan site made by former GREAT members of GameSpot (when it was great) go there...
This kind of sensationalism makes me very, very angry...
@Phantom_Leo That line is tongue in cheek.
People often read my reviews and think I'm damning a game because I give it lower than an 8.0, which isn't true at all. I don't give high scores to every game I like. Handing out high scores like candy diminishes their value so when something special comes along it's just another high score in a sea of them. Lego Batman 2 is a fun but flawed game and a 6.5 is a recommendation if you enjoy Lego and/or Batman.
- Player Reviews: 7
- Game Universe:
- Batman: Vengeance (PS2, GBA, GC, XBOX, PC),
- Batman: Dark Tomorrow (GC, XBOX, PS2),
- Superman: Shadow of Apokolips (PS2, GC),
- Superman: The Man of Steel (XBOX),
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (PS2, XBOX, GC, GBA),
- Batman Begins (XBOX, GC, PS2, PSP, GBA, MOBILE),
- Batman: The Video Game (GB, ARC, C64, GEN, NES, TG16, MSX, CPC, ZX),
- Batman Forever (PBL, GEN, ARC, GB, GG, SNES, PC),
- Batman Forever: The Arcade Game (SAT, PC, PS),
- Batman Returns (GEN, SNES, AMI, GG, LYNX, NES, SMS, SCD, PC)