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'LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes' preview: Superman and Batman unite

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Supergirl in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros Interactive


LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes is the follow-up to 2008's family-friendly LEGO Batman: The Videogame, and features a whole new story that opens up the roster to DC's biggest characters, from Superman to Wonder Woman and many more.

The worlds of Gotham City and Metropolis collide as presidential candidate Lex Luther teams up with the Joker, forcing the caped crusader to make an alliance with Superman to take the duo down.

The sequel offers more than a few new playable characters, though; expect new suits, the debut of voice acting and an expansive hub unlike anything you've seen in a LEGO game to date.

LEGO uses voice for the very first time

Like the original LEGO Batman, developer Traveller's Tales has been able to break away from the stories established in films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones to sculpt their own story.

A boon is the introduction of voice acting, a first for any game in the long-running LEGO series, paving the way for an original script that can tell a more complex story gestures and funny noises alone cannot.

The LEGO games' trademark humour remains intact, though, with the same brand of slapstick comedy accompanying some sharp dialogue.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros.



LEGO's most versatile character yet - Superman

The majority of stages sees players swap control between Batman and Superman, and the latter's smorgasbord of abilities makes him one of the most versatile characters ever seen in a LEGO game.

His power of flight allow him to fly freely towards and out of danger, his lasers can destroy gold bricks and cut out shapes in the environment, and X-ray vision lets players see through walls for pipe-connecting puzzles.

He does, of course, also have a severe allergy to Kryptonite, making the alliance with Batman all the more important.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros.



DC's finest enter the fray

There are dozens more additions than Superman to the roster, though, with each DC character bringing their own respective abilities into the LEGO world.

Wonder Woman can also take to the skies, Green Lantern can cobble together green bricks, while Flash will be able to sprint rapidly, a particularly helpful ability when it comes to navigating the expanded hub world.

As well as lesser known characters such as Supergirl and Killer Moth, Gotham City's own rogues gallery also makes a return, from Catwoman to Harley Quinn and many more.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros.



Suits you, sir

A feature returning from the original LEGO Batman are suits, allowing Batman and Robin to survive dangerous hazards and solve puzzles.

Batman's Power Suit decks him out with shoulder rocket launchers, for example, allowing him to target and blast away silver LEGO bricks.

Elsewhere, the Sensor Suit allows characters to bypass security systems by turning invisible, while the Bat Suit allows Batman to destroy blue LEGO with sonar and glide across vast expanses.

Robin, meanwhile, has a Hazard suit that allows him to mop up hazardous sewage. All these suits are used in clever conjunction with other characters for puzzles; Batman can glide through Kryptonite-affected areas where Superman cannot, for example.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros.



An open-world that's a pinch of Arkham City and Grand Theft Auto

LEGO games are notable for their hub worlds that allow players to access the campaign's levels and a host of secrets, and LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is the biggest and most ambitious yet.

Instead of the usual isometric viewpoint, players can now explore Gotham City in a more traditional open-world fashion. Panicked citizens flee from crazed criminals, and civilian vehicles and Batman's own Batmobile can be used to explore the city.

The size and scope is similar to last year's Batman: Arkham City, and it retains all the moody and dangerous qualities we've come to expect from Gotham but with a twist, notably with its towering LEGO men statues that signify the various districts.

Supergirl in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros Interactive



Gotham City's secret bricks and boss battles

Gotham City is also the primary source of Gold Bricks - the primary collectables seen in LEGO games - which are hidden away in nooks and crannies, and behind elaborate puzzles that require specific suits or characters to find.

It's also where new villains are unlocked, too. Computer terminals found throughout the city trigger boss encounters somewhere in the city, and once beaten, can be used in the hub or to unlock further secrets in the main story missions.

Supergirl in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

© Warner Bros Interactive



LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, DS, 3DS and Vita this summer.

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