LEGO Batman: The Videogame is the third LEGO adaptation from Traveller’s Tales. They previously took the Star Wars and Indiana Jones universes and converted them into the block form we know and love from our childhood.
In this version, Batman faces his biggest nightmare ever, the jailbreak from Arkham Asylum of every known villain from the Batman universe. Traveller’s Tales has brought the comic book sensibilities of the 70’s version of Batman, added the classic scoring of Danny Elfman distinct music from the Tim Burton interpretation and mixed it together with breakable blocks!
Those familiar with the previous LEGO games will have no problems picking up the nuances of LEGO Batman, while the game is simple enough for the beginner to pick up and learn quickly on the fly.
One of the best features of LEGO Batman is the ability to not only play as Batman or Robin, but the ability to play as both heroes and villains. Who wouldn’t want to play as their favorite super hero or super villain, if you prefer.
Game play starts with a cut scene where the Villains are breaking out of Arkham Asylum. From here you can play as Batman or Robin, switching back and forth between characters performing various tasks to complete the level. Those who have played previous LEGO games will be familiar with the nuances of breaking LEGO scenery to build up vehicles, suits and equipment. Each character has different suits that enable abilities to complete the various levels.
The characters are controlled with the X button for jumping, the square button for attacking, the circle button for grappling and the triangle button for tagging. The left stick moves the character around.
In addition to using the LEGO blocks to build things, there are also LEGO studs that you must collect through out the game. These coins allow the player to unlock other characters such as Nightwing and Batgirl, acquire vehicles or discover facts about Batman.
The Batcave is the base of operations for the good guys and for picking the various missions. This is where the player can buy additional character. There are three vehicles in the Batcave – the BatMobile, the BatBoat and the BatWing. Each of these vehicles is tied to five missions. For instance, the BatMobile leads to an eventual Boss battle with the Riddler. The other two Bosses are the Penguin and the Joker. For the Villains, Arkham Asylum is the main base of operations.
Overall there are thirty levels in the game with a few secret ones thrown in for good measure. Fifteen levels are designed for the do-gooder and the other fifteen are for the nefarious folks.
The tech suits range from a Glide, Demolition, Heat Protection and Sonic suits for the Batman and a Water, Magnet, Technology and Attract suits for Robin. Each of these suits adds special abilities needed to accomplish various tasks throughout the game.
Once you defeat all the baddies as the Caped Crusader, then you can play the rest of the game from the Villains perspective. Each Villain has a unique super power and this makes playing with each one a unique experience.
LEGO Batman has two play modes: Story Mode and Free Play. After missions are completed and characters are unlocked, Free Play allows the player to replay the level with any character (hero or villain) they have unlocked. This gives the player the ability to reach goals that are not obtainable with some characters. For instance Posion Ivy’s skill set allows her to reach a point on one of the boards that other characters are not able to reach.
Pressing the L1 or L2 allows the player to switch between the two characters in the free play mode.
In addition to unlocked characters, the player can purchase Nightwing, Batgirls, Man-Bat and others with the LEGO studs collected on each level. In addition to buying known characters, there is an additional character customizer which can be used to make the greatest hero or the baddest villain ever! The more characters that you have bought, the more options you will have to build your new character.
LEGO Batman does not have to be played solo, as a second player can jump in and out of any mission. All LEGO studs and items collected are pooled to a single active total in an active game save. Unfortunately, there is no online mode. This is a shame since this is a great co-op game and having another human being playing adds to the fun and eliminates some of the frustration of working with a dense AI.
The game is kid friendly where the characters are non-threatening as LEGO blockheads. Even young children can play without worry of having nightmares after meeting the Joker.
Cast of Characters
Game Screen Shots
Game play is definitely fun, but sometimes the AI is lets say a bit lacking. Puzzles can be frustrating as the AI tends to do the wrong thing when trying to solve puzzles unless the player is positioned correctly for the AI to carry out the specific action needed to solve the puzzle.
Also, some of the levels are not clearly designed and finding the solution can lead to some frustration to the player. For instance, levers are sometimes not readily apparent, causing the player to flounder around looking for it for a prolonged period.
The cuts scenes are entertaining and the characters have their own unique personalities. While the game is not based on any specific representation of Batman, it seems to mostly adhere to the 70s take on Batman with violence and whimsy at the same time.
The game play and presentation is the same as the PSP version. Obviously the graphics and sound are obviously better on the more powerful PS3 system. The game can be played in either 780p or 1080p without issue.
What makes LEGO Batman different from other than previous LEGO games is that Traveller’s Tales have come up with an original story instead of one which was based on previous canon such as the Star Wars Trilogy. While the story is not complicated, catch the bad guys, send them back to Arkham, while smashing objects and beating bad guys senseless, the game is fun to play. Plus the ability to play almost any character makes replaying the same levels seem fresh and different.
LEGO Batman is an entertaining take on the genre and offers a fun and unique interpretation of the Dark Knight’s universe.
Almost every major Batman character represented
Lots or replayabilty
Plenty of unlockables
Danny Elffman soundtrack
Lack of online mode
Not much innovation from previous LEGO videogames