A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego DC Super-Villains is an action/adventure game available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. The game features characters from the DC Comics universe, with a particular focus on the bad guys. Players even create their own “rookie” criminal to join the villains in their plots and schemes. The game’s violence is generally slapstick and cartoonish in nature, though some characters do use weapons such as guns, swords, etc. Since players are the bad guys, many of the “enemies” are typical hero characters, including superheroes and law enforcement. Lego DC Super-Villains includes support for additional content, such as new characters and levels, which are available as separate purchases.
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What's it about?
Bring on the bad guys, because in LEGO DC Super-Villains, the balance between good and evil has been thrown out of whack. It begins when an alternate Justice League from another Earth appears out of nowhere, offering assistance to the Justice League of ours. But these new “heroes” are actually the Crime Syndicate, doppelgangers from Earth-3, a world in which the concepts of good and evil are reversed. After quickly dispatching the Justice League, who’s left to stop the Crime Syndicate’s nefarious scheme? Proving that sometimes it takes a bad guy to beat an even worse guy, it’s up to the criminal underworld of the DC Universe to band together and take the fight to the Crime Syndicate. After all, this planet’s only big enough for one evil group of supervillains bent on world domination. Create your own Lego DC villain and take to the streets as the latest member of the Legion of Doom. Spread your crime spree through the streets of Gotham and Metropolis, and even to the farmlands of Smallville, as you work to expose the Crime Syndicate’s true nature to the world … and make a few scores of your own in the process. Who says crime doesn’t pay?
Is it any good?
This fun adventure game proves that villains can have just as much fun as the good guys, and could make players fans of the bad guys. Well, the worst of the worst in the DC Universe get the absolute best Lego and WB Games have to offer in Lego DC Super-Villains, an insanely fun action game that finally gives the devils their due. This game learns its lessons from the past, shoring up minor failings that have been kryptonite to prior games. The camera keeps up with the action and players don’t get lost in environmental clutter. There are character filters to help find exactly which characters can use specific skills. And most importantly, the Customization isn’t just an afterthought, but it’s a key part of the entertaining story. Players create a villain at the beginning of the story and get to watch it develop and grow as the plot unfolds. For the first time, it feels like you’re genuinely invested in your custom creation as much as you are the with the rest of the superpowered roster.
That isn't to say that Lego DC Super-Villains, much like the rogue’s gallery represented in it, doesn’t still have a few minor character flaws. The biggest issue is its focus on being the bad guy. Despite the slapstick and tongue-in-cheek humor that’s a signature part of the Lego games, parents might still find some issue with characters beating up on superheroes, law enforcement, and innocent bystanders. It’s sort of like Grand Theft Auto lite, with players encouraged to give in to their dark side just a bit. Another minor quibble is the constant stream of seemingly pointless texts sent to your in-game phone. While these add a little extra dialogue to the story, they serve no real purpose other than wrapping up a mission or pointing out a place of interest. Finally, while local drop in/drop out co-op play is nice, there’s still no online features. None of these quirks take anything at all away from the overall entertainment value though, leaving Lego DC Super-Villains poised to take over from the usual superhero gaming fare.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Lego DC Super Villains affected by the cartoonish nature of the gameplay? Would the violence have a larger impact if the visuals were more realistic and graphic?
What are the characteristics of heroes and villains? Can “heroes” be bad and can “villains” do good? What is the appeal of playing a villain from time to time?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: October 16, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
- Last updated: November 15, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.