Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Based on events from The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, alien invaders have left Bricksburg in ruins! It is now up to Emmet, Lucy, and a host of heroic characters to go beyond their world to save their friends from the strange inhabitants of the Systar System.
Packed with fan-favourite and exciting new characters, mysterious locations, and action from both the sequel and the original blockbuster The Lego Movie, The LEGO Movie 2: Videogame is a wild adventure for kids to explore. Players must scout the stars for rare items, materials, and tools to complete their collections and help their journey across the LEGO universe, experiencing a wide array of amazing environments, wacky vehicles, and incredible creatures among the way.
Each new LEGO game from Traveller’s Tales usually introduces a new innovation or two. New character abilities, new kinds of puzzles, or new game mechanics. But this entry in the series has introduced the biggest changes so far. Many of these are long overdue improvements to the series.
The most striking is probably that the division between the story levels and the hub world is completely gone. Gradually, the LEGO games have added more features, collectibles, and minigames to the hub worlds, so that the hub world is more than a backdrop to the actual story. Now, the story takes place on the various planets that make up the hub world.
I very much like this change, as it allows you to easily switch between the main quest and the side activities at will. You are not stuck in the middle of a story chapter until the level ends. The only restriction you have is that you have to come back to the main story eventually to unlock the next planet.
However, the biggest improvement in this game is the races. The races are still present, but it seems that TT Games has finally realized that a significant portion of their audience is children, and not put in the obligatory one or two nigh-impossible races that will have the most hardcore gamer pulling their hair out in frustration. Very often just a single race has leeched all the fun out of a game session, making me not want to play the game for a few days. But this time around, I was able to get on with the business of having fun.
As for DC Comics content, well the good news is that the DC’s heaviest hitters are all present. There are two or three variants each of the core Justice League members present in the game: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman, and Cyborg. Plus, Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, and Alfred are also included, as well as a DC Superhero Girls minidoll version of Wonder Woman. All of these are playable characters once unlocked.
However, there are a few drawbacks concerning the DC characters.
First of all, character abilities come from tools and items you get as you complete the story. No abilities are inherent in any of the characters themselves. So, being Superman won’t let you fly, nor will playing as the Flash make you any faster. This is something of a letdown, as half the fun of playing as these characters was making use of their special abilities.
Green Lantern’s ring is an especially bewildering case. It is a weapon that is unlocked separately from any variation of the character. So you can use it with any other character, or you might be playing with Green Lantern, but not have access to the ring. Plus, the ring itself has been stripped of all abilities except shooting destructive green energy bursts.
It’s also disappointing that so few DC characters were used. However, this isn’t primarily a DC game, so it’s understandable that they didn’t want to overshadow the other characters with a slew of DC characters. But a few more DC favourites might have been a nice bit of fan service.
Characters are mainly unlocked randomly, except for a few that are unlocked as part of the story. Given that the DC characters are a small percentage of a large number of characters, it is unfortunately quite likely that you might not unlock any of them until you are most of the way through the story.
Although Batman himself has a major role in the movie, he is unfortunately absent for a lot of the story He appears at the beginning as a non-playable character, then you don’t see him until the story gives you access to him near the end of the game. And other than Batman, the other DC characters don’t figure into the story until you meet them about halfway through the game. Unless you are lucky enough to unlock some of them randomly early on, you might not get much of a chance at all to play with them.
And for the sake of all that is holy, why in the world is there no regular version of Batman? There is a post-apocalyptic Batman, a sparkly Batman, and even a gold Batman. What if I want to play as just plain vanilla Batman?
As for technical issues, I only encountered one problem. When unlocking the random items, the game might lock up, with the only way out being to stop and restart the game. This can be quite frustrating, as once it happens, it likely will happen repeatedly. However, this is not a game-breaking bug, as there is an easy workaround – just unlock all items at once instead of one at a time.
Despite the unfortunate drawbacks for anyone who primarily want to play as the DC characters, this is still an amazingly fun game. The gameplay is so addictive, you may find it difficult to stop playing long enough to get anything else done. I have been playing almost nonstop since I first got my hands on it. Also, if you have any children in your life, it makes a great activity to share with them.