The game itself is actually pretty long; you and a friend will be at the story mode for a good ten to twelve hours before you reach the final boss. While that's probably a lot shorter than your typical role-playing game, it feels like the perfect lengthy for this type of comic book-inspired story. While the plot is interesting, it doesn't really pick up until the last four or five levels. By the time you've reached the end boss you will gone through a full rollercoaster ride. The game does play on a few too many comic book trappings (including a few "surprises" that you can see coming a mile away), but it's still fun to see what happens to Superman, Batman and the rest of the gang as they do their best to save the world.
The game is presented in an overhead view much like Champions of Norrath and other similar dungeon crawlers. The game's angle isn't that big of a deal, but I noticed that it has a funny way of making these super human characters look small and unimpressive. They are still performing amazing acts, but when you're so far above the action you never really get a sense of how incredible they really are. This overhead camera angle is especially limiting when you're playing characters who can fly, the fact that Superman can only get about twenty feet off the ground is actually quite absurd when you think about it.
Perhaps it's because of the camera's position, but the graphics in Justice League Heroes are generally unremarkable. There are a few cool looking backgrounds and the cinemas are worth watching, but the game itself has something of a dated look. Thankfully the presentation picks up a bit towards the end, there are a few bosses that actually made me sit up and notice. I'm not sure if that's because the rest of the graphics are so dull or something else, but whatever the reason it's good to see that some attention was put into the final few stages.
The voice acting fares a bit better than the graphics. Snowblind Studios has done a good job of mixing recognizable actors with a lot of no-name talent that gives the script their all. The cast includes both Ron Perlman and Michael Jai White, two actors that already have experience playing popular comic book characters (as Hellboy and Spawn, respectively). Despite the fact that I had never heard of any of the other actors in Justice League Heroes, they all did a good job with what they had to work with. Some of the writing is a bit on the hokey side, but it's on par with the kind of thing you get in your traditional comic book. Thankfully the one-liners are kept to a minimum and the tone of the game is kept on a serious level.
There is a lot to like in Justice League Heroes, especially if you have a friend who doesn't mind spending some time beating up crazy enemies with you. The game doesn't push the system to its limits and it can be a bit on the repetitive side, but it's also a lot of fun in the same way that all of those classic dungeon crawlers are fun. Hopefully this is just the beginning of the Heroes franchise, if this game is any indication then there's a lot of potential for future installments. If you're the type of person that has always wanted to play with Superman, Batman and all of DC's other classic characters then this game is right up your alley, you could do a lot worse than Justice League Heroes.
While Justice League Heroes is a fun game with a lot of levels and cool superheroes, it's unfortunately marred by outdated graphics, repetitive game play and terrible AI. If you can get over its shortcomings then you will find yourself having a lot of fun playing with some of DC's greatest comic book characters.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!