Developer: TT Games
Mac Publisher: Feral Interactive
System Requirements: OS X 10.6.8, 1.4 GHz Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 5GB disk space, 128MB graphics card
Review Computer: 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, 4GB RAM, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5670
Network Feature: No
Availability: Out now
One of the recurring charming aspects of the LEGO series has been the total lack of dialogue. The LEGO minifigs—be they adventurers, pirates, wizards, space soldiers, or what have you—have always communicated solely via grunts and facial expressions. Would that more people communicated that way in real life, the world would be a better place.
In LEGO Batman 2, the characters finally speak. I thought this would put me off at first, but two things quickly happened. First, I realized I didn’t care; it never felt unnatural at all. Second, I discovered there’s a story in here. I mean, I guess the LEGO games have always had stories, but they’ve followed well-known movie scripts. You didn’t need to have the characters speak, because you already knew the lines.
LEGO Batman 2, however, has a unique story, and one that requires actual conversations. Thankfully, the writers did a great job of retaining the traditional LEGO whimsy (there are many laugh-out-loud moments), and the actors are all up to the task.
Beyond that, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is pretty much your standard LEGO game; you run around various scenes breaking apart and putting together LEGO pieces in order to progress to the next scene. There’s plenty of combat and action throughout, but you can never die; your minifigs get busted up, but quickly come back together at that exact point to continue the action.
The game is therefore more about puzzle solving (and collecting). And continuing with the recent trend in LEGO games, that involves having the right character do the right thing at the right spot.
The beauty of LEGO Batman 2, though, is that you pretty much know each and every character in the game. Unlike say, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean where you new maybe half a dozen characters, you already know these people and what they can do: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern, Flash, and more. That not only makes the puzzles a bit more fun to beat, but it really drives you forward to unlock the next character.
It helps that the game keeps things interesting throughout by throwing various suits and vehicles into the mix, all of which have unique capabilities. There’s something different to do around every corner, it seems. All of this is even more fun to discover when you’re playing with a second person. Two player action is great, as you’ll need to work together not only for combat, but for puzzle solving as well. And after years of making these games, TT Games has got split screen action down to a science. Pretty much gone are the days where one character would get pummeled because she’s trapped in a corner while the other player is off doing his own thing.
After burning out on LEGO games on the Mac and Wii over the past couple of years, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes has revitalized my interest in the series. I’m not entirely sure how the addition of voice acting will help future games, but I do know I won’t automatically roll my eyes the next time my son asks for a LEGO game and think, “Oh, cripes, not this again.”