Traveller’s Tales latest sees them rebuild Gotham City brick-by-brick, as DC Comics’ caped crusader makes his anticipated return in LEGO form. Nearing a year after it first hit other consoles, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes swoops from the shadowed rafters to provide a necessary boost to the Wii U software library.
Whilst we’ve already had LEGO City Undercover to enjoy earlier in the year, it actually owes much to the conceptual foundations that were laid within the Dark Knight’s outing, having been the first within the series to feature voiced dialogue and an expansive open world to explore.
The dynamic duo are faced with perhaps their most daring plot yet, as Lex Luthor and the Joker team up for a villainous scheme of LEGO proportions. Armed with a deadly weapon powered by kryptonite, The Deconstructor, the two release all inmates from Arkham Asylum. Called in to round up the escapees Batman and Robin hunt for clues as to their true goal, which eventually leads to a Joker-esque robot that is to use special gases to gain Luthor votes to win the Presidency.
It’s a humourous ride of thrills, puzzles and brawling combat, even though the script doesn’t necessarily prove as successful as Chase McCain’s debut. Those that have played any previous entries within the series will be familiar with the wholesome LEGO experience that Traveller’s Tales provide.
You’ll collect an assortment of studs, minikits, gold bricks, red bricks, and anything else you can get your hands on during your adventure, whilst also rescuing citizens in peril.
As mere mortals with exceptional skills, Batman and Robin rely on a variety of suits to aid them in surpassing the hazards and puzzles that Traveller’s Tales throw at them. Such concoction includes the invisibility-granting Sensor Suit, surge-defying Electricity Suit, ice cannon-toting Ice Suit, and the fire-fighting Hazard Suit. With only one able to be worn at any given time, you’ll be switching between them all fairly regularly.
Superman’s arrival as a playable character is unendingly joyous, fighting off the many sleepless nights encountered by those that played the atrocity that was Superman 64. With all his powers intact, and some fairly slick flight control implementation, he threatens to steal the limelight from Batman – the rivalry between the two providing the game’s best moments.
Despite the collective “DC Super Heroes” being mentioned in the game’s title, other characters don’t make an appearance until the finale. You’re having too much fun with the other characters to care, however, and they naturally become available to you in Free Play mode. An ending teaser points toward another title being on the way, so hopefully they’ll be better utilised there.
The Batcave remains your secret headquarters throughout, granting the opportunity to replay story missions, create custom characters, and grab any available vehicles for you to freely gallivant across the city.
Meanwhile, on your travels you will soon spot red beacons beaming into the sky. These indicate points at which you can access Batcomputer Remote Terminals, the activation of which will allow you to request vehicles whilst also hinting toward the nearby location of a villain.
It would have been great here if these led to a side mission of sorts, yet once discovered see you embroiled in a brief fisticuff battle being the victor of which allowing you to unlock said villain for your character selection roster. So, certainly an area that could’ve done with more expansion.
Similarly disappointing is the Wii U GamePad integration, merely reduced to waypoint placement on an interactive map, character selection, and Off-TV Play. What can be commended, however, is how co-operative play pans out, with one player able to enjoy full use of the television whilst another solely plays on the Wii U GamePad. It encourages more verbal co-operation, and is certainly a neat touch.
In the shadow of LEGO City Undercover, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes doesn’t prove as much the spectacle. For those pining for another LEGO adventure, however, this still remains one of the very best the series has to offer.