Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes PS3 review – in a Justice League of its own
To follow the origins tale of Batman Begins with his superior The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan shook up everything we knew about the franchise and pushed the Caped Crusader to the limit. In turn, TT Games has turned its pint-sized version upside down and shaken him until studs fell out.
This follow-up to the already excellent 2008 original isn’t just a step forward for the broody one; it’s a brave new leap for the Lego franchise as a whole – we’re gifted with an open-world Gotham, talking characters and myriad new gameplay features.
The core Lego experience is still here – building, destroying, and switching between characters to progress – but the plot as the Joker and Lex Luthor team up to destroy Batman is the perfect excuse to unlock the gates of Gotham and play as a host of DC Universe heroes.
From the opening scenes, any doubters of the presence of a real script will quickly be silenced as snappy dialogue is instantly right at home. There are plenty of gags and Batman’s clear dislike of Superman is a constant source of amusement. “If he hadn’t saved us, we could have broken our legs!” says an awed Robin after an Uncharted-like cut-scene. “We’ve broken our legs before,” replies Batman dryly. Add in cheeky nods to Arkham City and a perfectly cast Joker and there’s plenty to set you geek-gasming.
Gotham isn’t just a Bat fan’s dream – everything is here: Ace Chemicals, Amusement Mile, that weird T-Rex in the Bat Cave – it’s also a Lego collector’s paradise. Driving, walking or even flying between missions, there are civilians to rescue, side-missions to discover and doorways to build out of gold bricks. Add in a newly improved grappling mechanic and a Lego world has never been this accessible. Vehicle spawn points mean you can simply request the Batmobile or Batbike whenever you wish.
The addition of Superman and the rest of the Justice League is an early Christmas present from DC. The flight mechanic for the Man Of Steel is exhilarating in levels – and especially so when exploring the city between them. Taking off into the skyline at sunset with John Williams’ score building to a crescendo is possibly one of the most joyous gaming experiences I’ve had this year. Flight controls are intuitive, and although Supe’s other powers are mighty, TT Games has done a great job of keeping the other characters abilities just as important.
Combat, too, has been upgraded, with a combo system and far more flowing moves. Batman’s solid punches and Robin’s capoeira style of destruction result in multipliers – each suit even has its own finishing moves.
So much has been improved, and with a tightly scripted plot where a gun known as the Destructor makes a perfect weapon for a Lego Joker, cinematic camera shots and a clear love for the series, TT Games has surpassed its previous titles. This is a huge game, with a world fans won’t want to leave. Until Lord Of The Rings lands, this is the one Lego game to rule them all.