Justice League Heroes Review

Holy dungeon crawler, Batman! The heroes of the Justice League find themselves in a Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance style action-RPG. So how do our heroes fare in the hack and slash turned punch and bash?

What begins as a routine day of bashing robots gone amuck for Superman and Batman that culminates in a battle with Brainiac turns out to be just the beginning of a much larger battle against a threat that will require the combined powers of the entire Justice League to defeat. You’ll have the opportunity to lead Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Zatanna in two hero teams against a parade of villains from the DC universe, with the chance to unlock additional heroes such as Aquaman and Green Arrow.

You’ll have direct control over one of the heroes in your team with the AI taking over for the other, but you can switch between them on the fly. Each hero comes with a light and heavy attack and these can be strung together in various combinations to create special combo attacks. This hack and slash, er, punch and bash style of attack will be your primary means of dealing with the minions of evil throughout the game. You’ll also be able to make impromptu weapons out of in the environment such as posts, tables, and, in Superman’s case, trucks. Dropping a two ton truck on an evildoer has a nice feel to it, but it can be tricky to align your toss properly so it’s generally more practical to stick with the tried and true fist attack.

Each superhero comes with his or her own set of three special attacks such as Superman’s heat vision or Green Lantern’s plasma shot. These are accessed during a fight by holding down the left trigger and selecting the power that you want to use with the corresponding face button. There’s no need to memorize all the buttons, though, as the game will display a handy overlay on the screen to let you see which powers are mapped to which buttons. Each power requires a certain amount of energy and if you deplete all of your hero’s energy you’ll need to wait for it to recharge before you can use a power again. Speaking of recharging, the heroes’ health bars work in essentially the same way. They drain down as you take hits but if you can keep yourself out of trouble for a moment the health will recharge automatically. Isn’t it great to be a superhero? Even if you find yourself completely drained of health, it’s not a total disaster as the game has numerous checkpoints and save locations. If you lose your AI partner, a quick trip back to the last save location will regenerate him or her and bring him or her back into the fight.

The game wouldn’t be a dungeon crawler without an RPG aspect to it, and that’s just what you get with Justice League Heroes. As you dispatch justice you’ll earn experience which will level up your heroes. When a hero reaches a new level you’ll be given points to spend to upgrade the hero’s powers and abilities. This system allows you customize each hero’s style of play. You can create a pure brawler by putting everything into power and health, or concentrate on the special powers and energy regeneration. You can also find special “boosts” as you make your way through the game’s levels. These come in a few varieties such as “range” and “speed” and can be applied to your heroes’ abilities to further enhance them. All in all it’s a pretty nice little system that works well in the game.

And now for the downsides to the game … after all, what self-respecting superhero doesn’t have a dark side these days. Sometimes the game does begin to feel like a repetitive exercise in dungeon crawling. When the game starts to give out that vibe it makes you feel less like a superhero and more like a barbarian mindlessly swinging a +1 axe. Also, the game can only be played in single player. It’s pretty surprising that a game that has you always fighting in pairs doesn’t give you the chance to hand over control of your partner to a friend.

If you dislike the Dark Alliance style games, you probably won’t find yourself liking Justice League Heroes. For everyone else Justice League Heroes will probably prove to be an enjoyable experience.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 82%. Justice League Heroes is dungeon crawler meets superhero brawler.


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