Last year, the miniature plastic Marvel Super Heroes had their turn but now, it's time to be bad.
I've played through what feels like dozens of TT Games' Lego adventures ever since 2005's Lego Star Wars on GameCube. However, I'm always delighted to experience their new blocky tales even though they certainly haven't changed much over the years. When I first booted up Lego DC Super-Villains, I was surprised to see that you actually create your own character who, although silent, stars in the campaign. I made a goofy-looking fellow in a suit who shoots green lasers out of a blue popsicle because... why not? Later in the story, there were enemies who looked like me which was kind of confusing but my popsicle helped clarify the situation. Anyway, along with your very own villain, you can play as a huge cast of classic DC characters, some of which aren't villains at all.
The basic gameplay is what you'd expect from a Lego game as you solve situations, battle foes (in this story, the good guys), and explore a large hub area. Some aspects that stood out to me about Lego DC Super-Villains are the combat and character abilities. Fighting folks is super-fun as the camera pans and tilts in cool ways which often makes it look like the Adam West Batman TV show. Meanwhile, you can hold enemies and beat them up in clever character-specific ways. For example, The Joker throws a jack-in-the-box which makes an enemy curiously examine it only to be punched with a spring-loaded boxing glove. It's silly stuff and the abilities are great fun to use as well. There are many returning skills from previous Lego games but it's still a ton of fun to make use of the varied cast's abilities to solve puzzles and progress through the often complex stages. Of course, playing in local co-op makes it even more fun.
There are plenty of stages to master in Lego DC Super-Villains and doing so will feel very familiar to anyone who has ever played a Lego game. That being said, there are some stand-out elements that I thoroughly enjoyed. For starters, the hub area isn't as vast as some other Lego games but everything is tightly-packed which makes exploration a treat. You'll compete in races, ride amusement park rides, take on quests and challenges, and even increase your wanted level which is a lot like the one in Grand Theft Auto. Another component that I thought was a blast is the boss fights. Some Lego games can have rather lame bosses but the ones featured here are intricate and a joy to defeat. The combination of innovative puzzles and satisfying combat elevate these boss fights to a higher level.
Although Lego DC Super-Villains is one of the best games in the franchise, it still mostly feels like a stereotypical Lego game. Aside from the few stand-out features, the overall gameplay mechanics, puzzles, and such will end up making you fatigued, especially if you recently played another Lego game. A couple of familiar nagging problems persist here, too; namely, glitches and confusing situations. Once, I got my vehicle stuck in an alley but needed it to advance so I had to quit and load my save again. When it comes to confusing moments, there is a handy hint system that shows you short clips of what to do next but it's sometimes not specific enough and triggering it seems to be rather random, too. For example, you may be wandering around an area not knowing what to do but that area could be where the hints won't trigger thus making the situation much more confusing to deal with. It can be frustrating indeed.
If you haven't played a Lego game in a long time then I highly recommend Lego DC Super-Villains. Its huge cast of fun villains, in-depth character customization, intricate hub, and satisfying bosses make it worth its weight in Lego bricks.
- + Making your own villain to star in the story is pretty awesome
- + Large cast of characters with cool abilities
- + Enjoyable hub area and boss fights
- - Doesn't do much to stand apart from the stereotypical Lego game
- - As usual, glitches can be a real downer
- - Even with hints, parts can be confusing