- Release Date: October 19, 2018
- Developer: Travellers Tales
- Genre: Action Adventure
- Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
The LEGO gaming license is a quiet juggernaut in the games industry. With titles covering the biggest IPs you can ever think of, LEGO titles are often downplayed, most likely, because of their frequency and familiarity. It’s hard to argue their formidable success and the fact that they’ve struck a chord with the audience they appeal to. Pick up any one of the games and it’s always a great time, and LEGO DC Villains is no exception, with the added bonuses of now being able to create your own crook.
Traveller’s Tales has clearly grown in confidence in more recent entries, with the addition of voiced characters allowing the developer to add a wonderful splash of humour that is, at times, genuinely funny. The opening of DC Villains is the same, with your bespoke villain leading a prison break for Lex Luthor that includes catching a guard sneaking a quick doughnut snack, characters in the background goofing off and dialogue that warrants more than a chuckle.
The creation tools are also great, allowing you to craft a villain as intimidating or as silly as you please. For the sake of time, I let the game randomise my creation, which led to a man who had a white broom as his devastating weapon of choice. In my head, I named him “The Cleaner” in the hope this would add a bit of dark mystery, but he looked so ridiculous it didn’t really help much.
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Naturally, being a LEGO game, it plays exactly like all the others: run around the world, smash everything in sight, and see what pieces stick around for you to build something out of to progress to the next area. It’s simple, it’s fun and doesn’t ask much of the player, mainly because the player will often be a young child or a family. To ask that the LEGO series add more complexity to its mechanics would entirely miss the point of the series, so instead, it’s better to enjoy it for what it is.
Along the way, your new villain will encounter power orbs which will allow them to earn new superpowers, and you can also customise how they look. The first is an energy beam that can destroy gold objects and enemies. I chose to make the energy beam a thick, pink light bar that shot out of his eyes, as I’m a big Cyclops fan, but I don’t think I could have admitted that while playing a DC game, so just kept my mouth shut.
The demo ended with a thoroughly entertaining run as the Joker and Harley Quinn. Joker’s attacks are excellent, where he can throw custard pies, summon comedy teeth and even recruit bad guys nearby to do his bidding, like unlocking doors or even just beating up cops. From my early taste, each character has never felt more unique in a LEGO game.
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People may continue to look down their nose at the LEGO games, but they’re coming thick and fast for a reason and it’s because they’re excellent fun, they know their audience and know how to make full use of each franchise the game is built upon.
LEGO DC Villains looks set to continue the trend of small innovations but big ideas based on iconic characters.
LEGO DC Villains Trailer
You can check out the latest trailer for LEGO DC Villains below:
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