Back in 2013, DC launched a huge crossover event called Forever Evil. In the series, the Justice League vanished and were replaced by look-alikes from another dimension. Right from the start, these characters (The Crime Syndicate) were hell-bent on taking over the world and had the power to do so with the absence of the Justice League. The only ones who can stand up to the new guys are the villains from the main DC dimension. But will they stand up to the new guys? Or will it be villainous business as usual? Lego DC Super Villains borrows some of the elements from Forever Evil but lightens the mood with the typical humor and gameplay.
Now, DC Super Villains starts pretty similar to Forever Evil. Only this time, the villains break out your character from prison in order to stop the Crime Syndicate. Your character, lovingly named The Rookie, is a blank slate. He or she doesn’t talk and can be customized however you see fit. Customizing characters is not new to the franchise, but works this is the first time that you can use a custom character in the main story. There are quite a few customizable options, and you can get as serious or crazy as you like. The only difference with having the customization at the beginning of the game is you can’t pick powers. Powers come later on as a part of the story.
While the customization at the beginning of the story is a brilliant move, the use of the Rookie is rather curious. You would think that your custom character would appear in the entire campaign. But he or she actually does not. In fact, there are stretches where the Rookie takes a back seat to some of the more iconic villains like Lex Luthor and Joker. I understand the decision to do this. The iconic villains need their spotlight, and it is a Lego staple to have as any characters in the game as possible. I just think that the Rookie should have been on display more often, especially since it is a huge selling point to the game.
The other characters are voiced so well, and the dialogue is so funny that in the end, it doesn’t hurt the game to have the Rookie take a back seat. Hearing Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy is such a delight, and the rest of the cast is spot on with their depictions. There are plenty of visual gags and puns throughout the main story. And don’t think that it follows every beat of Forever Evil. Besides the Rookie, it also brings in characters that weren’t involved with the miniseries. Again, it had to be done so the developers could bring in as many characters as possible.
Usually, I would talk a little about the gameplay. But let’s be real here – it’s a Lego game, and you already know what the gameplay looks like. You will break, build, and find collectibles. I get that some are fatigued by this, but I am not. It’s Lego. I would be shocked if they changed their core gameplay. But there are a few cool visuals that are new to the series. The Flash and Reverse Flash can access the speed force in order to construct large objects. Visually, it looks really cool, with the screen stretching out when they first enter, then the high-speed movement to collect the pieces necessary for the construct. Another addition is the use of the left joystick to make one construct perform two different functions. Moving the joystick left or right will move the story along or unlock some collectibles.
Even though most of the gameplay has been done before, it still is a lot of fun, especially when you can free roam the world. The story is surprisingly short, so you will have a lot of time to roam around Gotham, Metropolis, and other locations. There are plenty of characters to unlock and gold bricks to find. And the environments are such a treat. Gotham feels like it was lifted right out of the Tim Burton movies. Metropolis is a shining beacon of light while Gotham is set in perpetual darkness and rain. Much like the Lego Batman movie, you will find a plethora of characters that are well known and obscure. The more characters you find, the more options you have if you want to create more characters.
Lego DC Super Villains doesn’t innovate, but it is another solid, entertaining ride. There are a ton of wonderfully voiced heroes and villains on display throughout the fun, albeit short story. The introduction of the Rookie is a nice change of pace, even if he or she isn’t around consistently. Sometimes, it’s good to be a little bad, and Lego DC Super Villains lets you be as bad as you want to be.
Editor’s Note: Review was written based off a purchased copy of the game.
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Typically solid Lego gameplay
Wonderful voice acting and environments
Customized Rookie to start the game...
...Although he or she isn't utilized a lot