Lego Batman Impressions

Batman is the next universe to receive the Lego video game treatment, and we got a first look at how the dynamic duo are shaping up in brick form.

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Fresh from the success of Lego Star Wars, developer Traveller's Tales is now applying its winning formula to DC Comics' superhero world of Batman. With so many different versions of the Batman story and characters recreated in comics, films, and TV shows over the years, we were keen to see just what style the game would take. In the build we saw Gotham City closely followed the dark vision of Tim Burton, something which was only enhanced by the Danny Elfman score (although it should be noted that the licensing for this has yet to be settled). While Lego Batman will still be aiming for a kid-friendly rating, the source material is much darker than that of George Lucas' space fantasy, and that's something that producer Loz Doyle was keen to stress when we met him in London this week.

Lego Batman will rely on the same co-op dynamic as Lego Star Wars, only this time starring Batman and Robin. The main difference between Jedi knights and the dynamic duo is the way they fight, with the lightsabres ditched in favour of hand-to-hand combat and an assortment of high-tech gadgets and gizmos. With such short arms and legs, recreating punches and kicks was a challenge for the development team, but it was overcome by a few stylistic touches that extend the range of standard attacks, as well as adding new moves such as grapples and throws. The gameplay will also hinge on Batman's cool arsenal of toys, with not only a batarang as standard, but a number of different suits that will enable each character to access different parts of the level. We saw how Batman's demolition suit allowed him to blow up big objects and lay traps, while his extendable cape allowed him to glide over long distances. However, it was Robin who had the better share of gadgets in the sections we saw, with a magnetic suit that allowed him to walk up the walls of metallic surfaces, and a tech-suit that could be used to take control of other gadgets such as a RC car.

The dynamic duo make their Lego transition with brand new gadgets, such as Robin’s magnetic suit.
The dynamic duo make their Lego transition with brand new gadgets, such as Robin’s magnetic suit.

While Lego Batman remains true to the source material, this is still a Lego videogame where most of the puzzles are based around piecing together the famous Danish bricks. In the demo we saw, Batman had to piece together ladders in order to make his way around the levels. On one occasion, he was able to build a mini helicopter in order to scale the roofs of Gotham, while at others he could construct tightropes to get from building to building. He can also climb and use gadgets at the same time--moving up a grapple line and firing a batarang at the same time, for example. One thing's for sure, these heroes look a lot more agile than their Lego bodies should allow them to be.

You'll not just be playing as the good guys in Lego Batman; The game features a full roster of bad guys that include The Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Scarecrow, and they'll all be playable once you've defeated them in the main game. Playing as the bad guys will also have an impact on the levels themselves, and the carnival level we saw changes from saving Commissioner Gordon as the good guys, to fighting him as the Joker and Harley Quinn. As the game is dependant on the co-op dynamic, the bad guys also have certain buddies that they like to pair up with. This includes the aforementioned clown partnership of Joker and Harley, as well as Penguin and Killer Croc--the latter of which, we saw in the sewer level. One particular highlight was seeing Killer Croc build a huge mechanical crocodile vehicle--one of the biggest in any Lego game--and then run riot with it through the sewers.

The Riddler is just one of a cast of bad guys including The Joker, Penguin and Harley Quinn.
The Riddler is just one of a cast of bad guys including The Joker, Penguin and Harley Quinn.

Seeing a small proportion of these levels meant that we were unable to get a feel for the story at this stage. Having said that, we're pretty sure that it hinges around a pink gem that Batman is trying to return, as it was passed between Catwoman and The Penguin at the end of the Gotham rooftops level. We're looking forward to seeing more of the villains and their special abilities, such as the Joker's electric handbuzzer that turns enemies into Lego skeletons, and Harley's ability to get into secure locations by wiggling her hips and winking at the security guard.

While Lego Batman is being released on a multitude of platforms, Traveller's Tales claims that this is the first Lego game that they've built specifically for next-gen platforms such as Xbox 360 and PS3. The environments are more detailed than those of Lego Star Wars, and they feature nice incidental effects, such as rats running around, and smoke rising from the grates. The game can also be played in two-player co-op across Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, while both versions will support 720p and 1080p resolution output. It's also still hitting PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable with all the same content, while they're currently experimenting with motion-sensitive batarang controls for the Wii.

The game still hinges on teamwork, and you can play co-op over Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
The game still hinges on teamwork, and you can play co-op over Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

With Lego Batman, Traveller's Tales look set to replicate the same sly humour and solid co-op play that they pioneered with the Lego Star Wars series. It's clear that the game isn't trying to break major new ground, but rather take the fundamentals of the previous games and transport them to an entirely different comic book universe. With this and Lego Indiana Jones in the pipeline, it will be a busy year for the British developer, but we hold hope that the game will still make its planned Q4 2008 release date. With plenty of time before now and then, expect to see more on Lego Batman in the coming months.

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Avatar image for davonas
davonas

this game is awesome, really cool

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hugo655

i love lego games

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hugo655

awesome game

Avatar image for mike1146l
mike1146l

kool

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furryfrump

Lego batman, at this rate there will be a lego james bond

Avatar image for Cecil_Highwind
Cecil_Highwind

Kool.

Avatar image for bralyto96
bralyto96

LEGO Batman is the best

Avatar image for deactivated-5bcb8ec2e27a5

This is great news.

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Noob_Krusher

Pretty sure the online thing is incorrect. No online play. Either way, this is gonna rock!

Avatar image for SethandJeremy
SethandJeremy

Awesome

Avatar image for DAVID9891
DAVID9891

Lego star wars,Lego indiana jones and now Lego batman I just can't what for Lego spiderman

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FPSrulez105

i cant wait!

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km1498

I love the batman character, hopefully they can make this as good as they made the star wars games.

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Alizerothree

I am loving Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. This is going to be AWESOME!!! :D Can we have a Lego Secret of Mana?

Avatar image for jknight5422
jknight5422

Question: what is the EXACT Batman story arc this game is trying to emulate? Is it trying to emulate the movies, the first 20 issues of Batman, a combination, or...or what? I'm definitely not interested in going through a lego-Batman movie adaptation. I try hard to forget the old Batman movies. *shudder*

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vinallen

this game will going to be great

Avatar image for Peppotheboom
Peppotheboom

Sounds funny, but I don't think it will be so great.......

Avatar image for jonzo187
jonzo187

Lego games are good but they are all the same thing!...!

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samdonni

Whats the obsession with Lego games all of a sudden?

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megamaster32

wheres lego superman this game looks alot of fun and funny

Avatar image for brawlinireland
brawlinireland

cometkd i cannot wait for this game!!!!! i have indiana it is fun, but just make them talk plzzz...... The whole funny bit of the Lego games was seeing how they did the cut-scenes without talking i.e the famous scene from star wars when Darth Vader says that he is Lukes father

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greater_bird

They're picking fantastic properties to Lego-ize!

Avatar image for mexiwarrior
mexiwarrior

man this game looks freakin awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for cometkd
cometkd

i cannot wait for this game!!!!! i have indiana it is fun, but just make them talk plzzz......

Avatar image for SilentHill176
SilentHill176

This looks like it's going to be a good lego game. so i can't wait for this one to come out.

Avatar image for ali-009
ali-009

lego is trying to make batman alive again,but i don't care because i hate batman,but im waiting for lego indiana jones,it look's cool,but this game will be a shock for who like batman.

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ali-009

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Mega-Tom

Looks fun, but no thanks

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IronBass

I must admit it looks interesting. It may not be Halo or Killzone, but it deserves a chance.

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blueguykisame

i will definately rent this, i will only consider buying it. Either way it looks like a game i must play one way or another.

Avatar image for BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

looks cool i think i'm going to get this and Indiana Johns also

Avatar image for PhantomRoy08
PhantomRoy08

hopefully they will talk and keep off the lame cartoon jokes. GROW UP!

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beer_tree

I think Lego games have passed their prime. I dont really think they are as interesting anymore, with more and more technology, kids dont even play with regular Legos, so I dont see how they would be interested in a Lego computer game.

Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

There is a game called Lego universe (a MMO) in the making that will come out Q4 2008. I saw it when I searched around for different lego games.

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ravengeist

man i want this game!

Avatar image for drzkeny
drzkeny

This is goin to be crazy!!!!! lol

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sonynhater

Lego Lord of the Rings... I would be the first person to buy that

Avatar image for CowMan07
CowMan07

I still want lego spiderman and lego hulk, please god/sentient being who helps us with games.

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Banjo_7

@ aaron. no there isn't, in the newest issue of EGM they say it's fake. duh retard >_>

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bogyo666

This preview was obviously written by a defeated man. He has his own opinions about this game but would rather keep his job. He grins and focuses and endures and in enduring grows stronger and not unemployed. Salute to the grim ink warrior. Hail!

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ringwraith58854

@murfrey, take a look at a lego man and you will receive your answer.

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ninjarat

Lego Marvel universe!

Avatar image for murfrey
murfrey

And Robin has a big red one...

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murfrey

Why does the Joker have a green penis in the screenshot?

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aaronsg100

There is going to be lego halo

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Rooster44

Hehe lego GTA :P

Avatar image for weee091
weee091

lego gta would be stupid and i will never platy gta again

Avatar image for Julenissen55
Julenissen55

Lego GTA would be awesome:P

Avatar image for BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

awesommmmmmme i got to get it!

Avatar image for omrikk87
omrikk87

co-op live? awesome that was the one thing that LGSW miossed ,i think this could be a great game , batman has a big fanbase , awesome characters and superb "buzz" and "the it" thing along with spiderman ,TMNT and X-men , could lead to a very very good game with the right choices and always beeing true to the fans just like in LGSW,cant wait.