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Lego Batman 2

Okay – hello, Gamer Codex. This is Matt Tennant here. I would like to offer some backstory on this review. This review was not written by me – it was written by a very good friend of mine by the name of Matt Gaston. He saw my review and wanted to try a review once. So I asked Kurt and he said sure so Gaston wrote this and here it is. This will probably only be a one-time thing, however, so don’t get too into Gaston.

Developer Traveller’s Tale has put forth quite the resume. They have taken us to a galaxy far far away, have made us search for treasure as an archeologist, enrolled us in Hogwarts, and even dropped us in the Caribbean. Each time, the worlds of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean were lego-afied with enough charm to interest anyone.

Now Traveller’s Tale is taking us back to Gotham City. In their first instalment of the Lego Batman series, we were treated to 30 levels to explore as Batman, Robin, and the colourful cast of villains. Lego Batman 2 goes above and beyond what your expectations are for a Lego game, and it’s an adventure I don’t think should be missed.

On the surface, people will assume it’s just another Lego game. You know the drill. The addictive nature of smashing through the whole environment collecting every stud (the in-game currency) in your path has been a staple for the franchise. You might also remember these games love to litter the playing field with loads of puzzles that must be solved. These never reach the heights of, say, Portal, but they keep the game interesting nonetheless.

In this adventure, however, Traveller’s Tale managed to surprise everyone with the first fully voiced Lego game. Some people would say the charm of every Lego game was that there was no voice acting. This unfortunately always limited the humour that could be achieved within the game’s story. It also prevents people who don’t know the source material from enjoying the game. I cannot tell you how lost I was in Lego Indiana Jones until I saw the movies. It makes the experience that much better when you actually know what’s going on (surprising, isn’t it?).

The voice acting here is not poorly added. Some of the actual animated voice actors are here, for example Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor.  Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy aren’t behind the Joker and Batman in this game, but the voice actors they got are close enough to warrant a satisfying experience. This is in large part due to the writing. The story consists of 15 levels where Batman, Robin, and later the entire Justice League help stop Lex Luthor from becoming President with the aid of the Joker.

The on-rails shooting segments aren’t a highlight for most critics because there is no risk in dying. It’s important to keep in mind that these games are more “collectathons” than anything else. If you are looking for a challenging video game, this is not it. However, there is nothing wrong with plowing through an entertaining game, and this is what Lego Batman 2 offers.

The brand new additions to a Lego game don’t just stop at voice acting. It’s Traveller’s Tale’s first attempt at an open world game and sadly, it shows. Instead of a mini map, you are presented with a compass at the top of your screen. It is small and useless, giving you symbols that illustrate buildings you don’t care about. All you want to know is where the next gold brick is that you can find in this huge city. You are able to access a map and set markers to find many villains and gold bricks hidden throughout the city. The problem is your marker always disappears as soon as you get close.

It is so frustrating to have to look at your map repeatedly to see where you are. It’s difficult to do this anyways because you are not given any indication of which way you are facing. These little mistakes never killed the experience for me, and I don’t think they will for you either. It’s just something for the developers to think about while they continue to work on their next game.

The story took 6 hours to complete, and I am still spending hours and hours of my time searching through the streets of Gotham as the Flash and flying through the city as Superman. You’ll know your $50 dollars is well spent when you take Superman out for a test drive with the actual Superman theme playing. It is extremely fun and worth the buy just so you can fully enjoy the immense replay value.

There is a lot to love about this game because it incorporated so many new things like voice acting and an open world. However, the minor issues of the open world gameplay stop this game from being perfect.  This is definitely a great new addition to the Lego franchise, but we are going to expect a lot more next time.

Score: 7.5/10

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