The Lego gaming series has been going on for a long time with the series covering many major movies and other licensed material. Probably the best in the series is the line of Star Wars video games that have been released to cover all of the movies. Another franchise that has had lots of games is the DC comic book universe.
Developer Traveller’s Tales has already released a trio of Lego Batman video games where players had the chance to play as many of the DC comic book good guys. The latest game in the series called Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham came out in 2014 and allowed you to play as many members of the Justice League.
Instead of making a fourth game about the good guys in DC, Traveller’s Tales has now released a new game called Lego DC Super-Villains. As you may guess from the title of the game and this review, this new game concentrates heavily on the bad guys from the DC comic book universe.
What’s most impressive about the game is the fact that LOADS of characters are playable and the main campaign allows you to change to as many villains as possible. Many fan favorite characters are playable such as Joker, Harley Quinn, Reverse Flash, Gorilla Grodd, Deathstroke and many others. Every character has their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to you to use as many villains as possible to get through all of the levels.
Later on in the game, the DC good guys from the Justice League become playable, although that doesn’t happen until near the end of the game. This is because the Justice League have been replaced with characters from Earth-3 calling themselves the ‘Justice Syndicate’!
The Justice Syndicate are pretty much alternate versions of the Justice League characters and it appears at the start of the story that they are good guys. That is until Harley Quinn sees the Justice Syndicate kidnap the Justice League and move them to another planet. The Justice Syndicate are actually bad guys!
Without any good guys around, the only type of people that can stop the evil Justice Syndicate are the super-villains themselves. Sure the game has a similar premise as the Suicide Squad movie, but it’s entertaining because the villains have good chemistry and are very likable in this game.
One of the reasons why the story is so enjoyable is thanks to a very strong voice cast. Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy return to reprise their roles as Joker and Batman respectively while Tara Strong excellently plays Harley Quinn. There are lots of other recognizable talent and the story really shines thanks to the A-list voice actors that have been added to this game.
A special twist in the story also allows players to create their own ‘rookie’ super villain character. This mute main character helps out the villains and you can dress them up however you want. The character doesn’t do and say much, but they’re present for the majority of the game as the villains try and save the world for the very first time.
The story is unique and very entertaining. It features are few twists and turns to the plot making it surprisingly unpredictable. There are even two different endings that you can unlock depending on the choice that you make at the very end of the game with your rookie character.
Graphically, Lego DC Super-Villains looks nice and bright especially if you’re playing the game on an Xbox One X like I did. Sure the game doesn’t break any boundaries when it comes to the visuals, but the graphics are still nice to look at thanks to the diversity of locations that you get to visit.
As much as I liked the story and characters in Lego DC Super-Villains, the one area that brings this game heavily down is the boring and monotonous style of gameplay. Nearly every mission in the game feels the same as you’re just busting the environment down just to construct the next puzzle for you to solve. Sure the game allows you to change characters, but you don’t get a decent chance to fully explore the powers of the characters.
Most of the gameplay is just you bashing the same button to defeat the easy bad guys and bosses while some puzzle solving elements are added in between. The level design is clunky and unorganized because it’s not streamlined naturally like they are in the Lego Star Wars video games. It’s hard to explain in words, but the levels just don’t flow smoothly.
It’s also worth mentioning that this game does not add anything new to the table. If you’ve played every other Lego game, this one feels the same but with worse controls. For some reason, it’s clunky to change characters as they got rid of the character selection wheel. Not to mention I encountered a few game breaking glitches here and there that forced me to restart the game more than once.
Driving vehicles in this game is also a chore because the handling is downright horrible. If you want to get to the other side of the city in the hub world, it’s easier just being a character that flies or runs really fast like Reverse Flash to get to your next destination.
As a whole, Lego DC Super-Villains is a game of two halves when it comes to its overall quality. One half of the game is great thanks to the humorous story and likable characters. However, the second half of the game is flawed thanks to horrible level design and repetitive gameplay. If you are wanting to play this, it’s best to wait until this game goes on sale before you buy it.
[Editor’s Note: Lego DC Super-Villains was reviewed on the Xbox One X platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]