When we used to run around the backyard playing superheroes as a kid, I was always one of the bad guys. Mostly, I was Lex Luthor or The Joker because I always found being a villain was much more fun. And of course someone always had to be Superman or Batman. While they may have had superior strength and fighting skills, I had my gadgets and my brain.
That is why playing Lego DC Super-Villains was more enjoyable for me than changing the wallpaper on my wife’s lap top to any photo of John Cena. Yeah, she really hates that. She really, really does.
Beware the Syndicate
Lego DC Super-Villains borrows its plot from the Crime Syndicate storyline in the recent Justice League comics. A criminal Alfred Pennyworth from an alternate Earth opened a gateway allowing the evil Justice League from his world to invade our Earth.
The Crime Syndicate was made up of immoral versions of the Justice League. Its members were Owlman (Batman), Ultraman (Superman), Superwoman (Wonder Woman), Johnny Quick (The Flash), Power Ring (Green Lantern), Deathstorm (Firestorm), Sea King (Aquaman), Atomica (The Atom) and Grid (Cyborg).
In Lego DC Super-Villains, the Crime Syndicate replaces the Justice League and the only group that has a chance of standing against them are strangely enough villains such as Lex Luthor, The Joker, Captain Cold, The Scarecrow, Livewire, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and a cavalcade of other sinister characters.
Harley Quinn is the first to uncover the Crime Syndicate’s scheme. Once she does, Lex Luthor spearheads a rescue, recruitment mission from The Legion of Doom’s headquarters which consists of locating such villainous heavy-hitters such as Sinestro, Black Adam and Gorilla Grodd.
Say Hello to Your Evil Twin
You, the player, are also part of the game. After designing your own villain, you help free Lex Luthor from prison and join the Legion of Doom as they confront the Crime Syndicate. This small change is a big change. Making your character part of the story, part of the cut-scenes and the interactions is not only a great idea but it also pulls you even further into the story, giving you a stake in all of the twists and turns.
Puzzle Déjà Vu
The use of the characters to solve various environment puzzles is the same as the previous Lego games. Each has unique powers that are useful for certain situations. Captain Cold’s cold gun freezes fire. Cheetah can dig and find hidden items or clues. Solomon Grundy can use his super strength to tear through walls and other obstacles.
One new power has criminal masterminds and leaders like Lex Luthor and The Joker being able to gather their minions. Their grunts band together to perform distinctive tasks like forming a human ladders or activating pressure plates.
Level design with all of those environment puzzles is Lego DC Super-Villains’ Kryptonite. Almost every level takes place inside of one type of building or another. You are either playing The Suicide Squad in Belle Reve Penitentiary, breaking into S.T.A.R. Labs or breaking out of prison. It’s rare that you find yourself flying through space or swimming in the ocean like in other Lego games. It is one concrete facility or factory after another and that gets old really fast.
Traveller’s Tales mixes up that monotony with some cool boss battles. Nightwing and Bat-Girl take on the villains. Gorilla Grodd battles King Solovar. A monstrous creation of Doctor Hugo Strange chases The Joker and Livewire and many more.
Lego DC Super-Villains Conclusion
The Lego video game series has made some strides in recent years moving away from the static pattern of gameplay with releases that broke the mold such as the Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, Lego Marvel’s Avengers and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
Playing as the DC villains is a clever twist that will get the attention of any superhero fan. However, Lego DC Super-Villains doesn’t offer anything new besides the minion maneuvering and the custom character and that is okay. One just hopes this isn’t a case of three steps forward and two steps back for thee Lego gaming franchise.
- THE GOOD
- An impressive roster of villains.
- Challenging boss battles.
- Custom character adds an entirely new dimension to the gameplay, interaction.
- More of that hilarious Lego humour.
- THE BAD
- Repetitive environments and gameplay.
Bad guys are such good fun. Who needs those stinking heroes?