Review: Lego Batman

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Traveller’s Tales returns once more with its Lego games after the success of Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones.  This time Gotham city and its Dark Knight get the Lego treatment, but does Lego Batman bring anything new to the system, or are Traveller’s Tales going a brick too far?

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Even in Lego form, Batman looks the part for the hero of Gotham city.

For those who have never played any of the Lego games before, Traveller’s Tales take a series and recreate it in a Lego style.  Characters, vehicles and locations are all recreated in bricky goodness, creating a charming style and a generally fun game.

Lego Batman Keeps the same formula as other games in the series; you travel through three chapters, each of which focus on a particular villain (Either the Riddler, the Penguin or the Joker) as Batman and Robin make their way through puzzles, grunts and other villains from the Batman series.

Unlike other Lego Games, where you would have to swap between many characters throughout each level to solve puzzles and get to the next area, you are limited to Batman and Robin, but to counter this, each hero has access to various skills (Both can grapple with foes, throw ‘baterangs’ and use grappling hooks) and can also use different suits to use extra skills. For example, if there is a ledge too far away to reach normally, batman can use his glide suit to sweep across the gap safely.  Robin, on the other hand, has access to magnetic boots, allowing him to walk up specific surfaces where batman can’t go.

Lego Batman seems to put a lot more focus on teamwork then the other games, with a number of sections requiring you to work together with a friend (or the computer) to get through certain obstacles and hazards, and it certainly pays off, making you think about how everything will work out.

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Of course, once you complete Batman and Robin’s story, the game isn’t over.  Along with all the extras to collect and purchase, you can leave the Bat Cave and head over to Arkham Asylum, where you can play through each chapter from the villains’ perspective.  Not only does this let you play as a wide range of characters, but each mission takes place in different areas to the heroes’ story, essentially doubling the playability of the game.

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If you feel like being bad, you can take control of one of Batman’s many enemies.

The villains’ side feels more like the previous Lego games, while you will only play as two villains at a time, each character is more specialised for certain tasks.  The Riddler, for example, can use his mind control to take over random people to activate switches and push levers, while Joker can activate special switches (and shock enemies) with his electric buzzer.

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Of course, despite all this, Lego Batman does have a few problems. A couple of times now, I found myself stuck on some of the scenery, unable to escape as the computer was trying to slide my character off, only to move them into a crevice and leaving them unable to escape.  While this isn’t such an issue when playing alone, if you’re playing co-op, you cannot switch characters, making it difficult to escape.

Lego Batman doesn’t really bring many new features to the Lego series, but it does expand the playability and duration of the game by having 30 missions rather then just 15.  But both stories can be completed in roughly 10-12 hours without worrying about getting absolutely everything.

Despite its faults, Lego Batman is a fun game and great experience, albeit a short one.  Fans of the previous games will enjoy it, but shouldn’t expect anything truly different.  Newcomers should enjoy this if they’re looking for a family friendly game.  It’s definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of Batman, considering the amount of characters that show up.  (Even the Mothman gets some playtime!)

Still, it does bring the question of what Traveller’s Tales will bring us next?  Lego Lord of the Rings perhaps?  Or even Lego Pirates of the Caribbean?

ProducersTravellers Tales
Estimated Play Time15+ Hours
RRP£29.99 (DS) – £49.99 (PS3/360)

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