Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Genre: Video GamesAction/Adventure
Release Date: 06/19/2012
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Windows
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: E10+
ESRB Explanation: For Cartoon Violence
Common Sense Says: Vast world, fun superhero characters that finally talk!
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that while LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes offers its fair share of cartoony violence and fighting, it also promotes cooperation and incorporates plenty of puzzles into the action, working out kids' brains along with their thumbs. The characters are all portrayed as blocky LEGO figures, which minimizes the impact of the violence, but certainly doesn't negate it. Still, the superheroes here are of the colorful boy-scout variety (Superman even chides Batman for making a mess while stopping crime).
- Families can talk about the fighting in the game. Does portraying the characters as LEGO toys make the violence more palatable? Is the hand-to-hand combat different from the fighting where weapons are involved?
- Parents can also talk to kids about tie-in marketing. Does playing a LEGO video game make children want to buy LEGO toys? Or vice versa?
- Friends, siblings, and even parents can play cooperatively as a team. What is hard about working with a partner in a video game? What's nice about it?
What's the story?
In LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES, the evil Joker and Lex Luthor team up in a plot to destroy all the LEGO brick buildings of Gotham City. Batman and Robin enlist the aid of their high-flying pal Superman (and eventually the entire Justice League, including Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and more) to save the day. LEGO Gotham City, which can be explored freely in between story chapters, is a vast open game world filled with hidden challenges and bonus treasures. In addition to all the hero and villain characters that can be controlled by players, there are also loads of vehicles (land, sea, and air) that can be used for both exploration and combat.
Is it any good?
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes offers something no LEGO game has offered before -- the ability to save your game in the middle of a level. Since some of these story levels can take up to forty minutes to play through, those save points are a huge relief (though it would be nice if they didn't disappear as soon as you used them once). It's also fun to finally hear the LEGO mini-figures speak, which allows for great comic interplay between the heroes in cinematic sequences. And the vast open world means there's so much more to do beyond the main plot. Aside from some potential dizzying when the split-screen kicks in, this is another great co-op experience from LEGO.
How to play
Playbility: The controls are easy to pick up and intuitive to use, though camera angles can sometimes make things more difficult than they need to be, mostly due to the split-screen effect during multiplayer sessions. It's great that characters don't need to stick together the entire time, but thanks to the vast size of the game world, characters can sometimes end up so far from one another that it's problematic.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Teamwork is an essential part of all the LEGO video games, but it may never have been a more crucial gameplay element than it is here. So many sections of the story require multi-character cooperation. This is a superhero action game, though, so be prepared for lots of fighting (not always the best message).
Role Models: The superheroes are, well, heroes -- of the classic kind, too. These are the kind of colorful heroes that represent truth, justice, and the American way. There's never a call for help that they won't answer. Even Batman, who is the darkest and broodiest of the bunch, never comes anywhere near the tortured intensity of the character's movie portrayals.
Ease of play: The controls are easy to pick up and intuitive to use, though camera angles can sometimes make things more difficult than they need to be, mostly due to the split-screen effect during multiplayer sessions. It's great that characters don't need to stick together the entire time, but thanks to the vast size of the game world, characters can sometimes end up so far from one another that it's problematic.
What to watch out for
Violence There's plenty of comic-book combat to go around, including some major brawls with loads of bad guys to beat up. The action is all incredibly cartoony, though, as all the punches, kicks, heat-ray blasts, boomerang throws, etc. come from stubby little LEGO mini-figures. Characters break up into their component LEGO parts when defeated. Gunfire and explosions also come into play during vehicle-based levels.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: The game is not subtle about its ties to both the LEGO toy line and the DC Comics superhero franchises.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue