GDC 2012: LEGO Batman 2:DC Super Heroes (Impressions)

by: Chuck -
At first glance LEGO Batman 2 looks a bit like its predecessor and a lot like the previous Lego games. You've got costumed mini-figs running around building and destroying things made of LEGO, collecting LEGO pieces, and generally having a grand old time. Looking closer you'll see some of the major enhancements that Travelers' Tales has put into the game.

The largest and most important feature (at least for me) is that you now have mid-level save games. No longer will you be forced to play through an entire level to save your game as the game will now allow for multiple save points within a level. This should make the lives of parents easier as they no longer have to wait for little Jenny or Johnny to complete a level before they go to bed (it should also save time and prevent late nights for adult Jenny and Johnny as well).

Another new feature is that the mini-figs will have fully moving mouths and dialogue. No more of the random chatter as the characters are fully voiced and will have moving lips.

The final big improvement is that the game features a large open LEGO world for explore. Since you've got this large world to explore (and because walking sucks) you'll be able to take control of the Batmobile, Bat Boat, and Batwing to explore the city which opens up all kinds of cool things to do.

As the developers walked us through the first level of the game I noticed that the backgrounds of the game have gotten a nice graphical upgrade. There's a lot of depth and detail that I don't remember seeing in the previous games. The mini-figs themselves have gotten a small bit of polish but let's be honest there's not much graphical fidelity there to enhance so it was nice to see the backgrounds get all the graphical love.

As with the previous LEGO Batman game you'll use your fists and various suits to defeat bad guys and solve puzzles in the game. Travelers' Tales showed off two of the new suits for the game. Batman gets the new Sensor Suit (allows you to see through some walls and become invisible to sensors) and the Electricity Suit (protection from electricity and controls machines) while Robin gets the Acrobat suit (turns into a giant rolling ball and allows for higher jumping) and the Hazard suit (protection from elements and allows you to put out fires).


The last reveal was that Superman is playable in the game which adds a ton to the game and shows off what the open world nature of the game is capable of. We watched as the Travelers' Tales representative fly Superman from the beautiful looking Batcave to Gotham and then fly around the city. I'm not normally a LEGO game guy but this was seriously cool and I could see players of all ages really getting into the flying mechanism. I also liked that the in-game animations for Superman kind of made him come off like a bit of a self-righteous douche bag but that might have been me projecting a bit.

I have to give some credit to Travelers' Tales for extending themselves a bit with LEGO Batman 2 as they could easily have just cranked out a new series of levels and puzzles and just sat back to watch the money roll in. Instead they are taking some risks with a big open world and all of the challenges that presents.


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