The Lego series of games have spawned multiple games based on movies (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc), but the first Batman game was an original title having no true source material to back itself on. The end result was a fun, but flawed game that didn't quite have the charm of previous Lego games up to that point. When Traveler's Tales announced a sequel in Lego Batman 2, I became intrigued, but not until I saw the tagline "DC Super Heroes" that I got excited.
I was given hope by the game's title that this was more than just a Batman game, and sure enough, I was right. Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and a cast of villains fill up this title with all the characters you could ever ask for. Then you throw in an open world like in Grand Theft Auto, plus for the first time ever in a Lego game, voice actors!, and you have a very enjoyable experience on your hands.
The game has a story that flows well, basically Lex Luthor is running for president, enlists The Joker's assistance in taking out the super heroes, and from there the battles begin. For 80% of the single player, you're using Batman/Robin, Superman appears in the middle, and a few more characters near the end. So this is still a Batman game, but it's not till the storyline is beaten that the real fun opens up. At that point you can just run around in the open world and choose any character you want (good or bad) to play.
All the vehicles you could imagine are in the game as well, Bat-Copter, Bat-Cycle, Bat-Boat, and of course, the Batmobile. All of these make getting around Gotham with ease. Bad guys are around every corner, and as you unlock more of the city in the open world, more bad guys appear to defeat and unlock.
Co-op is a blast (note, co-op is offline only), I played and beat the game with my 3 year old son in tow for the entire ride. He enjoyed it so much that I can't see this title coming out of regular rotation for years (or the eventual sequel). He had fun playing the single player story, but can't put the controller down for the free roam in the open world. He's flying around as Green Lantern, picking up his green objects, while making me run around as his nemesis, Sinestro (beating me up, and then getting an achievement of course). Now that he's seen The Dark Knight Rises advertisements on TV, he wants me to find Bane so he can use him as well. Like I said, everyone you can imagine is in this game, including 10 others via downloadable content.
Overall, I can truly say I enjoyed Lego Batman 2 more than Batman Arkham City. While Arkham City was great, it was at times, a frustrating experience, while this was more fun/comical. Also, not sure if it's the fun/cute factor of the Lego characters and their now voiced lines or the fact that I played through it as a father/son experience, but this one's a home run.
-First off, Superman, what more can I say. His dialogue is great (as is Robin's), but he sort of steals the show here. Not to mention, his original movie theme music plays every time he flies. I'll just zoom around the open world to hear it as I'm flying. Something about that is just perfect.
-Level design is great, missions are surprisingly longer than any previous Lego game I can remember, but all have at least mid-level save point. Some have 2-3 save points. This breaks the levels up rather well.
-The game has everyone in it, the entire cast of DC heroes/villains are here, you name them, you can play as them. I can only hope/pray they give a Marvel game this same treatment.
-Dialogue! The characters all have voices, and their voice actors are top notch, believable for the person they are portraying. This gave everything more life, especially in a game with an original story.
-Major glitch in level 12 of the game, had to replay the level 6 times before finally passing it. Here's my trick, don't save mid-level, turn off motion blur, and don't play co-op during it. This is the only glitch I encountered, but it was a biggie and completely halted gameplay until we could get past it. It was very frustrating to have the game freeze during the cutscene at the end of the level over and over again.
-Night, the entire game is played at night, and there's a beautiful sunrise off in the distance that would like see a day/night cycle begin. It doesn't really take away much, but would have been fun to see the gorgeous Gotham City that was built here in daylight.
-The HUD/Map are hard to follow at times due to the lack of a key. Nothing is listed on the map as to what anything is, and trying to get from A to B can be frustrating at times.