After seeing the success Activision has had with the Marvel Legends series it only makes sense that DC Comics would want a piece of the action/RPG pie. Justice League Heroes is a good attempt at the formula, but there’s something about its repetitive game play and terrible AI that keeps it from doing these famous comic book characters the justice they deserve.
In case you are new to the superhero game (or only read Marvel comics); the Justice League is a group of do-gooders that stop evil in its tracks and lives on the Moon. This group of heroes is made up of some of seven of DC’s most popular characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna. Each of these characters has their own unique powers, and when they come together there is no power that can stop them.
Our story begins soon after a football-sized meteor hits the United States. Superman and Batman are there to leap into action as suddenly there’s a major surge in weird occurrences, such as robots attacking Metropolis and killer bees making a mess of everything. Could these events be connected to this strange space rock? As you progress through the story we learn that Superman’s nemesis, Brainiac, is behind all of this chaos and doing everything in his power to get control of that mysterious meteor.
From there things go from bad to worse, and the Super Friends (er, Justice League) will have to fight their way through nearly a dozen stages in order to win back control of that rock and ultimately save the world. In true comic book style, Justice League Heroes offers a crazy over-the-top story that is perfect for this type of game.
As you might imagine, Justice League Heroes has a large stable of villains to pull from. This means that you are constantly battling new enemies and bosses, a few of which are actually pretty impressive looking. Unfortunately I was unfamiliar with a lot of the boss characters, but that may have more to do with my inexperience with the DC comic books than anything. By the end of the game you will have to battle The Key, Killer Frost, Doomsday, Gorilla Grodd and more. While I would have loved to have seen a few more characters I remembered from the Superman and Batman comics, the bosses found in this game are still a lot of fun to battle.
Justice League Heroes is developed by Snowblind Studios, who are best known for titles such as Champions of Norrath and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. Despite the fact that none of the Justice Leaguers carry swords and shields, fans of Snowblind’s previous efforts will no doubt feel right at home with this game. In reality this is nothing more than your standard dungeon crawler with superheroes inserted where orcs and elves used to be. In true action/RPG fashion, every level features your superheroes being swarmed by dozens (if not hundreds) of enemies.
Speaking of the action/RPG formula, Justice League Heroes also allows you to level up your superheroes to make them even more impressive. As you beat up the various bad guys they will drop little green orbs, collect enough of them and you’ll level up your hero. You will also be able to collect “boost” items, little things you can pick up and use to customize your character. Figuring out how to mix and match these boosts plays an important role in the game and will make the adventure a lot less frustrating.
Along with the experience orbs and the six different kinds of boosts, players will also be able to track down hidden shield icons. These icons allow you to buy certain things in the game, such as new costumes and new characters. While you start the game with seven heroes, if you collect enough shield icons you will be able to buy several new characters, such as Aquaman, the Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and the Huntress. This gives you a good incentive to carefully cover every inch of the levels, and may even give you a reason to go through the adventure a second or third time.
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