Families looking for superhero gaming action on a younger, playful level, have a new option called DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Chaos. It’s a humor-filled take on DC’s superheroes with an action-adventure fighting game vibe.
Cosmic Chaos kicks things off with cartoony versions of Justice League members—including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman—all gathering together for a relaxed weekend in the seaside town of Happy Harbor. Their friend Snapper Carr has been elected mayor, and it’s time for a bit of barbeque and celebration.
But before the hot dogs and sodas can be enjoyed and Snapper can take on his new role, the villainous Mr. Mxyzptlk pops up with his magical fifth-dimension powers. He declares himself the new mayor, and aims to torment Supes and his friends as much as possible. Not only that, but Mxyzptlk has also called in Starro, a Starfish-like baddy who uses mind control to brainwash the local townsfolk and several members of the Justice League.
So it’s up to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to tag-team their way through the now not-so-Happy Harbor and foil all of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s wacky plans.
Gameplay wise, players can quickly switch between those three stylized heroes on the fly—dishing out punch-and-kick combos, dodging attacks from crowds of fishy evildoers and using their specialized abilities and weapons. The battling relies initially on a lot of simple button-mashing punches. But each character’s unique abilities make things more interesting with time and upgrades.
Wonder Woman, for instance, can use her lasso of truth to draw distant foes up close, or grapple hook her way around the field. Batman can unleash several bats at baddies, glide after a leap and fling exploding batarangs. And Superman can fly, lift heavy objects and deliver heat vision blasts. The abilities grow from there. Each hero also has his or her own strengths against certain elemental weaknesses of the different villains, making it all the more advantageous to quickly substitute the right super in and out.
Along with the main questline in Happy Harbor, gamers have side quests to complete, additional dungeons to tackle, and lots of collectibles to find (which also unlock special hero costumes from the pages of past comic books).
DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Chaos is a game packed with lots of color, action, light jokes and puns. And there’s nothing truly dark or perilous in its story mix.
Perhaps the biggest plus of the game is the fact that it’s designed to not only appeal to the cartoony sensibilities of young players but give enough variety and difficulty levels (five levels ranging from super easy “Story” to the tough-enemied “Heroic”) for older players who want a bit more challenge. In other words, kids and their parents can find a comfortable level of play to enjoy together.
If you can navigate the game’s obvious fighting premise, there’s not much here to worry over. But you will stumble upon a dash of toilet humor in the form of green and brown sewer stains and mucus-centric visuals. Mr. Mxyzptlk also tosses out some rude gibes at the heroes such as calling Superman a “Super Jerk” or referencing his opinions about “pooper heroes,” etc. A boss shows up in his underwear.
And for those concerned with game depth, the repetitive nature of this game’s onrush of baddies could feel somewhat lackluster and simple.
Anyone can join in on the puns and fighting, but DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Chaos is all about lighthearted superhero action that’s well-suited for younger players.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.