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Traveller’s Tales continues to churn out LEGO platformers based on licensed franchises with varying results, with Feral Interactive bringing many of them to the Mac. Frankly, despite their cute tone and easy-going gameplay model, the games have grown a bit stagnant in the originality department. But LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes manages to break the mold, creating an engaging world you’ll want to return to in search of those elusive plastic blocks.
If you’re familiar with previous LEGO titles, the very first cutscene of LEGO Batman 2 is a bit startling. Leaving behind a series tradition for the better, all of the characters are finally (and thankfully) fully voiced. Sure, the wordless winks and grunts of previous LEGO titles were amusing, but a great cast of voice actors really brings the story to life. And that story is actually fairly awesome.
While LEGO Batman 2 focuses on the further exploits of the Dark Knight and Robin, other DC characters and villains become intertwined into the story. Lex Luthor has found a way to use kryptonite as a weapon to melt black LEGO blocks, and he joins forces with the Joker to wreak havoc upon Gotham. Old pals like Superman drop by, and some of the game’s best moments are the back-and-forth jabs between the two iconic heroes.
Gameplay in LEGO Batman 2 is similar to previous entries, as you’ll primarily beat up foes and collect plastic bits. Despite a few minor control annoyances with grappling hooks, new additions like power suits and the well-presented vehicular sequences feel fresh. Amazingly, the game also offers an open-world setup, and cruising around in the Batmobile hunting hidden collectibles is super addicting. Unfortunately, the sprawling map can be a bit confusing in parts, but not so much as to steer you away from returning after the game’s campaign is completed.
The bottom line. LEGO Batman 2 does a stellar job of addressing some concerns fans have had about the series while holding true to the core, collectible gameplay that makes LEGO games great.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
1.4GHz Intel processor, Mac OS 10.6.8 or later, 2GB RAM, 128MB VRAM
Engaging, original story. Full voice acting. Tons of collection goals.
Confusing open-world map. Occasional control issues.