I’m not sure if you people have noticed this, but Batman is kind of a big deal at the moment; Talks of reboots for the films and Nolan/Bale’s final movie, you know, that kind of stuff. And sure there are those Arkham games that are pretty darn good, but today’s entry into the BrNN Review Vaults is something that’s been out for awhile but is still worth a look at, seeing as how my next review should hopefully be the sequel to this game. And with all that build up, I give you the review to LEGO Batman…
Like most LEGO games there is no voice work in this game so the story is told all through action and silliness. The story pretty much revolves around all the villains in Batman’s rogue gallery escaping from Arkham and rampaging through Gotham. The villains have all separated into smaller groups that make up the overall levels of the game. There are only three levels to play through here with the Riddler, Penguin, and Joker being the overall baddies in the level, but you get to play the levels again as the bad guys, which is way more fun than playing as the dynamic duo.
Batman and Robin are out to put a stop to the bad guys, but as with most LEGO games the more of the environment that you destroy the better and it feels kind of odd destroying Gotham bit by bit as Batman, but as Clayface or Mr. Freeze the fun never stops.
All in all there really isn’t much story in this game other than bad guys escape and Batman (and Robin) have to get them back in their cells, only for them to escape again. The Batman and Robin portions of the game are silly, but sometimes slower in pace and boring. The villain levels are even more silly and getting to tear up the town as some of comic-books biggest baddies is a blast and a half.
This LEGO game looks like most other LEGO games. If you’ve never seen a LEGO game before than you’ve really never lived. The characters are all Mini-Figs of popular Batman characters along with generic LEGO people as civilians. The vehicles in the game are also all LEGO-fied and well as 95% of the props. The actual maps are the only thing that aren’t actually LEGO. The buildings and interiors are all just regular graphics which after this many LEGO games is still kind of disappointing to me, seeing as how so much else is made of the little bricks of foot doom.
Sound and such is the other thing that’s hard to pin down. No voices equated to a lot of over music and silly sound effects. The music is good, if you’ve ever seen a The Batman Animated show or any of the movies (minus the Adam West one) you get the feeling of the music. The sound effects are silly and make you laugh, but it would be nice in a game that isn’t based off of a particular story to include voices in the characters to know what’s really going on. This is also the first LEGO game to go off script with their story and not follow a popular movie franchise. It works, just not as well as one would hope.
Graphics stand up quite nicely and provide some fun scenes to watch, but the lack of voices make the story too simple and doesn’t let us enjoy the scenes to their full potential.
As Batman and Robin you run through various parts of Gotham City, thwarting evil but using a variety of gadgets that are built into specific suits that you collect along the way. Some of the suits are quite stupid in my opinion and there aren’t many suits to go through. You get some excitement when you find out Batgirl and Nightwing are also in the game, but they are just clones of Batman and Robin. As stated with the story portion, these players are pretty boring to play as in the long run with lots of repetition; press on button to attack, hold it to use your Batarang and hold it in certain conditions to grapple. Yup all one button. None of the suit powers are super fun to play with and ones that could be just feel clunky.
There are also driving portions that are fun to play, but the handling on the vehicles is kinda hinky sometimes and can get frustrating if you’re at it long enough. You get different vehicles though depending on the character and level though, so the visuals and just fan service are cool in these parts.
Then we make our way back to the villains. It’s almost like Traveller’s Tales didn’t think that people would like to play as the bad guys so they made them so irresistible that you really don’t want to play as the good guys. All of them have a unique power, kind of like the characters in most other LEGO games. Some share powers, for instance walking through poison is available to some, while being able to pick up heavy objects is available to others. But their individual powers are where they shine; Mr. Freeze has his ray gun which is way to much fun, the Riddler can control peoples minds and so forth and so on. Yes some people are stuck with boring powers but that’s just how villains in comic books go.
All in all the game is fun. If you play the hero levels without trying to collect everything the pacing works just fine and you are treated to a silly Batman story. As for the villain side of things, there is much fun to be had as you try to stop Batman and take over Gotham.
LEGO Batman is enjoyable to play, but it’s not something that’d I pay more than $20 for. If you have smaller ones at home that enjoy Batman I’d boost that up to $30 seeing as how they’ll enjoy parts more than an adult (even one such as I) and the game is kid friendly. (Seeing as how it’s less than $15 on Amazon.ca, you shouldn’t have a problem getting this game). If you like the LEGO games and Batman then this game is for you. If you’ve never played a LEGO game might I suggest starting with Star Wars for the best overall experience.