Multiple LEGO games span DC Comics and Marvel’s lineups to build stories that spotlighted their do-gooders, TT Games decided it was about time to make way for the bad guy. LEGO DC Super-Villains is a game that puts you in the brick role of DC Comics most iconic villains. Joker, Harley, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Scarecrow and tons more to be announced will be the LEGO DC universe’s only hope. At E3 we played an early slice of the game that showcases its emphasis on creation and the little touches that are the culmination of all of TT Games previous comic book games.
Our demo picks up in the middle of a prison break as Lex Luthor’s right hand Mercy Graves sneaks into Stryker’s penitentiary in order to jailbreak old cue ball. During the riot which releases all the prisoners locked away in Stryker’s, Luthor introduces your custom character which will appear in all the cutscenes the way you design it.
While customizing a character in LEGO games isn’t a new thing, TT Games is expanding on just what that means. In LEGO DC Super-Villains just about every part of your character is customizable from the way they look to what powers they’ll wield, even the animations characters do when you don’t push any buttons on the controller for some time. As you progress and unlock more you’ll be able to update your character along the way, meaning you aren’t locked into any one piece.
DC’s most infamous pair, Harley and The Joker play a big part in the game’s story as well. Joker is the game’s new visual aesthetic as on-screen displays, hint screens, brick builds all have a graffiti style to them that’s bright and oversaturated popping off the screen whenever it appears. In one part of the game Joker and Harley work together to scale a clock tower in Gotham that gave me Burton Batman 89 flashbacks. Here we got a look at not only Harley’s updated Lego look but just how her animations have changed since Lego Batman 3. Harley looks like the one from New 52 but gets around on roller skates like an Amanda Conner drawing. She toys with enemies and even has an animation that knocks out opponents with a giant mallet and a smooch.
She isn’t the only one to get a visual update as the Joker gets remote control fake teeth and a boxing glove revolver.
DC LEGO Super-Villains biggest question is what happened to the heroes? As we saw, the game will have appearances by Superman and other members of the Justice League. Though TT Games wouldn’t say if we’ll get to play as those characters this time around, but they do have a part to play in the narrative. The reason for this villains united movement borrows from many of DC Comics earth-3 stories most recent of which is the Geoff Johns Forever Evil. This LEGO DC Universe gets invaded by a group from an alternate earth calling themselves the Justice Syndicate.
The last scene in our demo sees a meeting between the Justice League we know and the Justice Syndicate. We got our first glimpse of Lego Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Grid, and Johnny Quick. You know them as the alternate versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Flash. We end on a seemingly innocent handshake between Superman and Ultraman but as TT Games confirmed it will go south from there as Lex Luthor and the united villains of Lego earth-1 will find out this Justice Syndicate are the biggest threat of all.
LEGO DC Super-Villains isn’t reinventing the wheel, in fact, for long-time fans of the Lego games much of it will feel like more of the same. However, TT Games new angle on the DC Universe is a radical story twist and their talent is building games that remind us what we love about our favorite comics stories so I’m on board with the studio not New Coke-ing up the formula just yet.
LEGO DC Super-Villains launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on October 16, 2018.