One of the nicer surprises at the Namco Bandai Global Gamers Day event was a playable build of Young Justice Legacy, set for a fall release on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and PC (what, no Vita version?!). Fans of the show should be pleased to know that developer Freedom Factory is cooking up a fast-paced action/RPG in the vein of the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games featuring stylized 3D visuals and a nicely-sized roster of characters from the series. The game has a few months more cooking to do on the developer’s stove, but it’s definitely going to one of those the more dedicated fans of the currently canceled cartoon should dive right into as soon as it hits stores.
The playable map and missions were set on a island jungle/temple themed stage and there was a party of three characters to control. Players will be able to choose their trio of heroes before a map, so making up a balanced team will be part of the plan. While simply heading out with the strongest characters might seem like the best idea, it was great to mix it up with the different characters available in the demo just to check out their powers. There was a nice level of challenge to the game, as enemies weren’t shy about using all sorts of firepower (and sheer numbers in a few cases) in their attempts to whittle the Leaguers down to size.
Standard fist or foot to face and ranged attacks, plus a few character-specific attacks will be available, as well as a time-limited power move that’s charged up as enemies are defeated. Knowing when to unleash those moves is going to be key, as things can get quite chaotic and those enemies don’t let up for a second with the firepower and fisticuffs. There are destructible objects in play such as barrels, ancient-looking vases and other heavy objects that can be tossed at the bad guys. Yes, those barrels explode quite nicely and a well lobbed piece of pottery or other object can be helpful in dispatching a few baddies as they’re headed your way.
In terms of visuals and gamplay, what’s here isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel at all – it’s just shaping up to be one of those solid, fun to play titles geared towards a specific user base that’s going to play this because it’s got a story that fills in a few continuity gaps while being a decent solo or multiplayer experience anyone who can hold a controller can hop into and out of quickly. Doug Panter, Little Orbit’s Director of Marketing, noted that the team was going for this sort of accessibility while setting the plot between the first two seasons in order to answer a few questions and possibly set up even more as the game progresses.
Controls are simple and fluid and Toggling between characters was a snap. In fact, swapping to a different guy or gal was very necessary in those cases where rushing too quickly into one or two areas led to a bit of an ambush. If you’re playing solo and one or two characters get K.O.’ed, you’ll need to run up to them to revive them before your last hero or heroine gets theirs. Should all three go down, you’ll need to give it the old college try from the last checkpoint. As your characters gain levels, you’ll be able to assign and upgrade offensive and defensive skills (mighty helpful ones, at that) before hopping back into battle.
Expect a few light puzzle elements (throw a switch to move or unlock something, fight some bad guys, rinse & repeat until all parts of the puzzle are solved) as well as a few guest stars making appearances not as playable characters, but nice nods to the show (and DC’s long history). Sure, we all want to see an actual GOOD Superman game this century (hey, Batman can’t get ALL the awards, right?), but a cameo here and there is cool enough and shows that familiar blue suit/red cape combo makes for quite a lasting visual impression even if you’re not a big fan of the guy. Panter noted that more info on the game will be revealed at this year’s E3, so I’ll need to hit him up for an update and some more media, as with enough extra polish, Young Justice Legacy could be one of the potential sleepers of 2013 when it ships later this year. Back with more when I get more….