Sometimes it’s good to be bad. Why should all those LEGO superheroes have all the blocktacular fun?! LEGO DC Super-Villains, as its name suggests, lets you loose for a walk on DC’s wild side.
Not only does it break the goody-goody LEGO game tradition by revelling in the seamier types that make up DC’s vast catalogue, it also marks the first time that the player is made an active part of the story.
Upon starting, you’re thrust into the character creator – the very detailed character creator – to construct your own perfect LEGO villain. You start off reasonably powered and progress to being a very handy, multi-capable baddie to have in the arsenal. But the coolest bit? You appear in the story’s regular cutscenes as whatever design you’ve meticulously crafted.
Referred to simply as “the rookie” (well, for the most part, Harley…), it adds a new dimension to a game series that hasn’t really evolved a lot since it began some 20-plus games ago. Sure little tweaks have been creeping in over recent years, but several annoyances remain – and the odd game-breaking bug. It wouldn’t be a LEGO game without them, we guess. Like others, we’ve still been denied a platinum trophy in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 despite achieving 100% completion, and developers TT Games can’t be bothered patching it (plus they ignore any form of contact about it) – and yes, it’s left us bitter and twisted!
Which is a good mode to be in to play a baddie, we guess.
The story here is simple and effective. The Justice League have been banished to Earth 3 by the Justice Syndicate, a bunch of counterfeit superheroes such as Ultraman, Owlman, Super Woman and Sea King who make out that they’re stepping into the role of Earth’s protectors, whereby really they have much more nefarious intentions. This peeves the resident baddies – or “Injustice League” – so Lex Luthor starts gathering a misfit bunch of dodgy types from the Joker and Harley Quinn through to the likes of Gorilla Grodd and Captain Boomerang to kick these interlopers off their turf. No good impostor copycats! Oh yeah, they may also save Earth in the process.
Otherwise, it’s typical LEGO game all the way, so if you’ve enjoyed any other one ever, and are into the subject matter, then you’ll dig this. As such you play through the story solving simple puzzles as you go (TT, please kill those stupid rotate-a-maze things? They’re lame), replay those levels on free play to get all the stuff that you weren’t allowed to access (or missed) the first time round, and spend a bunch of time in an open world performing everything from races to schlep quests. Here the hub consists of familiar places such as Gotham, Smallville and Metropolis, and is a vast and varied place to explore.
One thing that must be noted is the voice cast. The likes of Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, Nolan North, Brandon Routh, C Thomas Howell, Gina Torres, Dee Bradley Baker, Kevin Conroy and Michael Ironside all become the voices of various characters, giving spot-on delivery to an often rather giggle-worthy script.
By now no review of a LEGO game is going to sway you to buy or not to buy, as much like a can of Coke you know what you’re getting. That being said, LEGO DC Super-Villains is possibly the most polished example that’s been delivered so far – but it could still do with some more elbow grease.
LEGO DC Super-Villains is available now for PS4, Xbox One and Switch.