When it was announced that Batman would be the third franchise to get the LEGO treatment, I had concerns about how the title would come out. With the game now complete, I can safely say that those fears were unjust. recreate the adventures of those movies in the world of LEGO.
The most noticeable difference between this title and the previous LEGO titles is that the game is played half from the perspective of the Heroes and half as the Villains. Instead of having missions divided up by movie, the game has 15 Hero story missions and 15 Villain story missions. Like previous LEGO iterations, once you’ve completed a mission in Story Mode, you can replay it in Free Mode with an expanded choice of characters at your disposal. Your choice of characters to select from for Free Mode missions expands as you beat missions in Story Mode. You will also be able to purchase additional characters from the store.
Some characters in LEGO Batman also have special abilities such as super-strength, hand-to-hand grapple, and mind control. These will be integral to completing certain parts of many levels in the game.
As you play through each mission you’ll be on the lookout for 10 Mini-Kit pieces per level and a red brick that unlocks an “extra” that may be purchased from the Batcave or Arkham Asylum, theVillain hideout. These extras range from stud multipliers to help you gather money faster to suit upgrades for your Heroes. Suit upgrades apply to all of your hero characters and don’t need to be turned on for use like other extras. Suit upgrades include Fast Grapple, More Batarang Targets, and much more.
The engine that powers LEGO Batman is the same one from previous titles in this series and it’s become very refined. I still have issues with the way the camera pans and zooms when playing with 2 players, but I’ve learned to work around its quirks.
Warner Bros. and Traveller’s Tales did a great job of building in a decent story for the missions and keeping the levels interesting enough to replay time and again to collect the remaining items necessary to get the game to 100%.
LEGO Batman also has a host of vehicle missions littered in with the regular missions. Vehicle missions include flying levels as well as water levels and are a nice change of pace. Additional vehicles can be purchased for use in Free Mode just like with characters.
LEGO Batman is an amazing game that has definitely lived up to previous titles in this “franchise.” The expansive number of collectible items coupled with the solid gameplay create a high replay value in this title. The puzzles may be a little complex for some younger gamers, but it will be a hit with those that are familiar with the style of puzzles that appear.
Plays Like: LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones
Pros: Fun, high replay value
ESRB: This title is rated E10+ for Cartoon Violence