First there's the movies, the cartoons, the Burger King
meals, the video games, and now there's the LEGO
franchise complete with kits and a shiny new game.
Except here's the catch, this game is not based on any of
them; more of a mish-mash of the Tim Burton films
crossed with bits from the comics thrown in to please the
oldies. There's nothing wrong with taking in all these
influences, but each Batman regurgitation has its own
slant - here it's just that everything's made of LEGO.
Don't get me wrong, the LEGO games are addictive,
entertaining and have some of the best co-op modes
known to man. There's just one problem with this
instalment: it's a bit passé. There's no geeky enthusiasm
to be had working out which scene of the film is being
re-enacted. It's just 'Catwoman likes diamonds', 'The
Penguin likes exploding things' and 'Man-Poo (sorry,
that's Clayface) is stupid.'
However, it's not all doom and gloom in Gotham City.
This is LEGO Batman, after all. You'll get the opportunity
to control everybody's favourite Batman characters from
the series, from Harley Quinn to Alfred Pennyworth. The
detail is sublime and unlike many Wii ports, this is
exactly the same as the PS3 and Xbox versions.
If you've played the other LEGO adaptions of other
franchises by Traveler's Tales, you may be a little
disappointed that the controls have not changed a bit,
but of course, rather than using such things as the Force,
or Indie's whip, you get to use the Batarang. Also, some
of the jumps are a little tough to pull off, thanks to the
perspective angle. As usual, there are some killer vehicles
to unlock and use during Free Play mode.
The game is divided into two sections: Heroes and
Villains. While in the Hero Mode, you only get Batman and
Robin as default characters, you do unlock various suits
such as Batman's Demolition Suit, or Robin's Scuba Suit
to help them out along the way. The villains on the other
hand, cannot be varied or upgraded. Rather, there's just a
lot of them, each with their own characteristics such as
being able to swim through acidic/toxic goop. There's a
huge array of baddies to pick from, and it's really a treat
to see under-appreciated ones being brought to life, like
Killer Moth or Bane. And of course, there's the opportunity
to create your own Hero or Villain.
The humour may be weaker and game may not as
fan-associated, and it may just be 'another one of those
LEGO games', but by all means, give us more of the
same. In complete honesty, they may be slowly taking
over the movie industry (Betcha LEGO Toy Story will be
next) but these games are still just all-round good. LEGO
Batman is an enjoyable game in any case.