LEGO Batman 2 is an original story from the Traveller’s Tales team, who brought you all the other LEGO games you’re probably all familiar with. In them you smash stuff to bits and beat up baddies to collect studs which earn you more unlocks and collectibles. It’s incredibly addictive, especially when played how it’s meant to played in co-op mode and funny too thanks to parodies on well-loved franchises. LEGO Batman 2 tries to break away from this mould slightly but ultimately it just succeeds in diluting an already successful formula.
So what’s going on? Well this time Lex Luthor has teamed up with The Joker so they can put pay to Batman and Superman. The bad news for them is our two super heroes also join forces and so the battle between good and evil begins. This is the first LEGO game to feature voice acting and it does add humour to the mimes of previous games. There are genuinely funny moments here as the story is told and it’s a more linear story to boot. Instead of moving to different levels from a central hub, you now venture out of the Batcave into Gotham City and Metropolis in a sort of “LEGO Arkham City” type game where you can choose to either play the next story mission or go exploring looking for bricks, villains and other missions and challenges to keep you busy.
It sounds like fun but if you’ve played any free roaming game such as Saints Row or GTA you won’t like the handling of the cars. They get stuck often and if your Batmobile flips you can’t get back into it and have to settle for an inferior car instead. There is more variety this time around but it’s simply not needed. Sections where you have to shoot things on rails just aren’t as much fun as getting a Super Hero rating for collecting all the studs or finding secrets in levels and swapping suits to use powers such as acrobat ability, an electric suit and a sonic gun to get by. Superman has loads of powers though. He can fly, freeze stuff with his breath, break things with laser beams and is indestructible. There will definitely be fights over who plays him in two player and it’s this mode that really upsets me. To me the LEGO games are all about co-op but once again the dynamic split screen rears its ugly head. Not only is it disorientating, it also gets in the way of movement and aiming as the screen tears in half even at short distances meaning you can’t target things past the line in the centre of the screen. Whoever thought of this idea should get a batarang round the head as I can’t think of anyone who would enjoy playing like this. What’s wrong with just zooming out and letting players work together more close to each other?
It’s a real shame that this split screen is still appearing in LEGO games and will probably make another unwelcome appearance in the forthcoming LEGO Lord Of The Rings because the LEGO games are best enjoyed with friends.
They’ve tried to do too much with this one. Although it’s entertaining there’s certainly not enough going for it to make me 100% it like the previous game so it gets 6 out of 10.
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