In the world of videogames, like most things, expectations can make or break the reality of something. I remember when the first Fable game came out on the original Xbox; there was such hyperbole about what it accomplished that when we all put the disc into our systems and it was merely an action RPG in which you could have interesting interactions with about 5 different NPCs, we took a collective dump on the game all over the internet.
I feel pretty much the same way about Lego Batman 2, mostly due to my own ignorance. I will say right off the bat (get it?) that I’m not a Lego-anything fan, other than actual Lego. But the idea that this game had an open world was really intriguing to me. I didn’t go nuts over it, I (clearly) didn’t follow its development very closely, but when it arrived in the mail I was excited to see how it all played out.
As you’ve already realized, I was an idiot. This isn’t the console game at all. It’s a port of the 3DS version, complete with FMVs at the 3DS’s terrible resolution. Now, should I hold it against the game that my expectations were raised when really it was my own ignorance that caused the disappointment? It’s a difficult question to answer but I, fortunately, ducked a bullet because the game is merely average – whether you were excited for it or not. Expectations can be tossed out the window. If you thought it was going to be amazing, you will likely think it’s average, and if you thought it was gonna be terrible you will likely think it’s average. In this case being average actually helps them sidestep embarrassment.
So what’s the game actually like? Well, it’s a Lego game. That’s it. You punch stuff, collect pieces, hold down the circle button to create devices that help you through a gauntlet of ‘puzzles.’ I personally find the whole formula to be pretty tiresome and not all that fun. Batman does, at least, bring with it some decent combat. There are some combos and slow motion take downs that I couldn’t help but chuckle at, given how violent and awesome the little Lego Batman was being. But combat is actually kinda rare in the game. You spend most of your time punching objects until you find the one that changes your Batman into “Sticky bomb Batman”, or whatever they call him, and then you can solve a bunch of rudimentary roadblocks whose solution is ALWAYS sticky bombs.
I must reiterate that I am not a fan of Lego games and really I’m not a Batman super-fan either (I do like two of the Tim Burton movies and I like the two Chris Nolan movies… but I’ve never picked up a comic book in my life). So with a game of this type your mileage may vary. But if you’re a super-fan of any of the above things you likely made your choice about this game long before now. If, like me, you think maybe the game could be some fun: it is. Kinda. Not really. Maybe if it had an open world? I guess we’ll never know. Let’s just get mad at Warner Brothers for porting the 3DS version and not the PS3 version and we’ll all feel better.