Over the past couple of years I’ve taken the Warner Bros name to be one of quality when it comes to video games. Warner Bros have ensured that Batman found the games he deserved in the form of the Arkham series, they whipped NetherRealm back into shape for Mortal Kombat and Injustice, and they’ve produced plenty of other nice titles too, such as the ever entertaining Scribblenauts. A strong position indeed for a name more commonly associated with motion pictures.
But Young Justice: Legacy is the sort of game that has the ability to unravel most warm wishes you’ve ever held towards anyone involved in its creation. Young Justice: Legacy is a roaming beat-em-up of such uninspired ineptitude that it reflects badly on all involved. It’s the sort of game that raises questions, most key of which being “did anyone actually play this before it was deemed suitable for human consumption?”
That’s more than a touch melodramatic and I apologise, but Young Justice: Legacy really is brain meltingly dull. Based on the DC franchise of the same name, Young Justice: Legacy casts you as a bunch of post-Teen Titans, pre-Proper Superheroes knockoffs. The twelve playable characters include the expected (Nightwing, Superboy), the quaint (Beastboy, Artemis), and the irritating ( Kid Flash and – OK, just Kid Flash).
To be fair to Young Justice: Legacy its writing is fine, and quite good for the audience it’s aimed at. The animation and dialogue do grasp the flavour of the show (which is unsurprising, given the show’s writers were involved), but it’s the glue between the short story segments, the actual gameplay, that renders it so utterly redundant.
As already stated, Young Justice: Legacy is a roaming beat-em up, and in the fashion of modern roaming beat-em ups it’s also got some light levelling up and skill building elements too. Controls for combat are as such: by default the face buttons will allow you to jump, attack with heavy and light blows, and dodge, while pulling on the trigger will give you access to four special attacks that consume a meter next to your character’s portrait. These special attacks vary depending on character, but their purpose is focused on utility (Nightwing can stun foes, while Superboy can hurl big rocks, for example).
Thing is, the combat in Young Justice: Legacy is about as satisfying as swatting a mould of Jelly with a feather. Scratch that, Jelly stroking would be more entertaining. There’s just no bravado to the combat. No oomph, no pizazz. Attacks flop towards enemies and shave off segments of their health bars until they fall over, there’s no capacity for flair or imagination, no fun combo attacks to experiment with; just prod buttons until the baddies fall down.
When the point of your game is to beat up legions of identical drones then you need to make the act of beating up said drones entertaining. Young Justice: Legacy fails to achieve this, and with games like Double Dragon Neon, Diablo III and Dragon’s Crown offering far superior roaming fisticuffs it makes Young Justice: Legacy a pointless title to play. It is a failure. Couple unsatisfying combat with some of the most uninspired level design this side of your local storage unit, and you’ve got a recipe for the unremarkable.
One of Young Justice’s levels is genuinely a museum exhibit on one subject that appears to take up a space about ten times the size of the British museum – this is the sort of dystopic copy & paste game-world that we endured during the N64/Playstation era because it was the accepted norm. Nowadays it just comes across as lazy.
The only “difficulty” I encountered in my time with Young Justice came from boss fights, as these are the only enemies that show any competency in taking you out, but then the game’s three-character system makes it too easy to revive fallen comrades and continue the fight unhindered. Not only is the game unsatisfying and dull, its mechanics dilute any challenge as well. And that’s Young Justice’s three strikes: it’s out. I’d honestly rather watch Ang Lee’s HULK while tied to a chair with my eyes taped open, Clockwork Orange style, while someone convinces me that it’s a good film, than endure Young Justice’s excruciating and flimsy designs for a minute longer.
VERDICT: Young Justice: Legacy manages to do the narrative and character side of things well, but those things were accomplished in the franchise’s other media already. Young Justice: Legacy exists as a video game accompaniment to the TV series, and in this regard it’s a repetitive, unsatisfying, and unimpressive failure. There are better scrolling beat-em up’s out there, and there’s more than enough Superhero media around to help you avoid playing this. Oh Warner Bros, how could you let something like this shamble to life?
BAD. Ugly, lazy, and unpleasant, if we’ve scored a game so low then it has serious issues. A 3/10 game will suffer from a combination of uninspired, lacklustre design, unfixed bugs and poor presentation.
Review code provided by publisher.