The Lego games have long been a success, and a load of them have been pushed out to date. The contemporary efforts are based on famous film (along with book and comic) franchises, so we have the likes of Lego Star Wars, Lego Harry Potter and of course Lego Batman. This is the recently released sequel to the latter (we’re still waiting for Lego Human Centipede – well, the stitching things together theme seems quite apt for the Danish blocks).
Naturally, where there’s Batman, there’s Robin, and the dynamic kapow-ing duo are faced with a gaggle of villains from the get-go in this puzzle-oriented action-adventure. There’s all the usual favourites, from the Riddler to the Joker, Penguin and Harlequin, all of whom need a quick, sharp slap from a batarang to address their various misdoings.
Punching and batarang-ing bad guys is only a part of the recipe here, though. There are puzzles aplenty to solve, with each character having a range of different suits that can overcome certain obstacles. Is a security camera doing your head in? Then simply have Batman don his stealth suit and sneak past. Then there’s Robin’s acrobat suit, which can help him leap to otherwise inaccessible platforms.
As ever, one of the biggest attractions is the local two player co-op, so you and a friend can step into the shoes of the perp-pummelling pair, and their other similarly heroic friends who also pop up in the game. Sadly, there’s no online co-op over Xbox Live, though.
The game has an impressively crafted storyline, and the Lego characters are graced with proper voice acting, which is a smart touch. Indeed, there are plenty of neat little touches, such as when taking to the air as Superman, you hear the famous theme tune begin to swell from your surround speakers. Pure magic…
Aside from voice acting, Lego Batman 2 introduces another big change, namely a full open world Gotham which you can fly around as Superman – complete with changeable weather (luckily rain, nor a hail of bullets, bothers our Superman).
The puzzles are a bit simple – but then, Lego games were never designed to be hugely taxing. We also found the camera to be a bit of a struggle at times, with the view not quite being where we wanted it – and the small characters (when further away) did get a bit lost in the crowds during action-packed sequences.
The controls can occasionally flummox the player, too – for example, there’s no y-axis invert for Superman’s flying – and the map function isn’t too user friendly either. But all these are pretty minor niggles.
All in all, there’s not much to moan about here. This is another quality Lego title, with plenty to love in terms of its character, charm, humour, and all that stuff we’ve come to expect from the series which isn’t going away anytime soon.
Special thanks to mobile phone dealer Dialaphone for sending us the game for review.