Holy Open LEGO World, Batman!

I enjoy all of the LEGO video games, but I’m genuinely excited about LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes for an entirely different reason. For the first time ever, a LEGO game will feature an open world that you can explore and play through however you like.

Gotham City has never been so gloriously blocky as in LEGO Batman 2, but I can’t help wondering if the designers over at TT Games saw all the fun that Rocksteady Games was having crafting a huge, open world for Arkham City, and thought, “Hey, why can’t we do that?” From this brand new trailer and screenshots, it sure looks like a marriage of Arkham City and LEGO — with a cast of playable superheroes ripped out of DC Comics’ most popular titles.

You and a co-op Robin will be able to explore Gotham on foot or using the ever-reliable Batmobile, and other Bat-themed vehicles. You can also switch costumes at will, giving your character different gadgets and therefore, different abilities. There will be loads of collectibles, areas only accessible to characters with specific abilities (sometimes two heroes will have to use their abilities in tandem to gain access), and plenty of fighting and LEGO building.

But here’s the real shocker: in another major first for a LEGO video game, the characters in LEGO Batman 2 will speak! That’s right, TT Games employed voice actors and writers to allow the heroes and villains of Gotham City to talk.

I have mixed feelings about this. The no-talking rule has been a staple of LEGO video games since the very first one — the original LEGO Star Wars. It was a stylistic choice, but I remember reading about how it always proved challenging for the game designers when it came to conveying things like Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker he’s his father. Understandable, but this little quirk gave the LEGO Minifigure characters most of their charm.

But maybe it’s time to push the LEGO games to the next level. Most of the games we’ve gotten so far have been variations on a familiar theme, using the same basic structure and mechanics. It’s still fun, but I know there are a lot of fans who want more out of the experience, who want TT Games to push the envelope and try new things. Looks like they’re going to get their wish.

An open world with characters who talk might be just what this brand needs to stay relevant.

Enjoy the trailer above and screenshots below. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes doesn’t have a release date yet, but is expected to be in stores this Summer.

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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