DC’s Justice League – Cosmic Chaos review: Superhero surprise
(PS/Xb/PC/Switch) **** Age: 7+
You may be convinced the world doesn’t need another superhero game (or film for that matter) but hear me out. Justice League, Cosmic Chaos achieves the rare feat of being both largely unheralded and surprisingly good.
Its low profile can be connected to the target demographic of younger players for whom the darker themes of DC and Marvel would be too much. Instead, this knockabout brawler in the mould of the many Lego games keeps the tone frothy, funny and very accessible.
Older fans of the DC universe might develop a sneaking regard for it too, given the depth of its love for the deeper cuts of lore and characters. Front and centre, though, stand the trinity of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman who face off against the relatively obscure DC supervillain Mister Mxyzptlk and his mischievous plans for mayhem in the seaside town of Happy Harbour.
With a vibe that’s part Lego and part Minecraft Dungeons, the trio take turns punching the daylights out of Mxyzptlk’s army of henchmen (er, henchfish, actually) while he cackles maniacally. Happy Harbour is a compact playground for the main quest line but the bustling streets of suburbia brim with dungeons and side adventures.
Combat majors on repetitive fist-fighting but half the fun involves swapping between the trinity as you manage cooldowns on the amusing special attacks (which include, among many, Superman’s laser eyes, Batman’s drone and Wonder Woman’s shield bash). Sure, it feels only superficially challenging but Cosmic Chaos rarely lets the pace falter.
Any hint of boredom gets swept away by the sparkling script, delivered with knowing aplomb by a terrific voice cast including Nolan North. Everyone spouts one-liners as if they’re going out of fashion and pretty much everything is played for laughs, at everyone’s expense.
You can certainly grumble about the lack of variety in the combat and, unlike so many Lego games, it lacks full co-op in story mode. Co-op appears as a separate free-roam option, which might mollify some, but it feels like a jarring omission not to be able to team up on the main quest.
Nonetheless, Cosmic Chaos looks and sounds like a superior cartoon show made interactive. For grown-up DC fans, it would be a shame to ignore it while the kids have all the fun.