I’ve been a big fan of Traveller’s Tales’ series of Lego games with the sole exception of Lego Indiana Jones – I didn’t like the muddy palette (khaki, brown and more brown) and the jumping puzzles were too frustrating for reflexively-challenged me. Most of the time spent playing the demo was helping Indy fall into bottomless chasms or exploring spike-filled pits while been chased by a giant boulder
Now, the Lego Batman demo is a different beast entirely. It’s an enjoyable romp through a bright and shiny Lego (Legoized / Legofied ?) Gotham City with excellently animated Lego minifigs of familiar characters from DC Comics’s Batman universe (and less of those bloody jumping puzzles). It doesn’t seem to be tied to any of the Batman films unlike the other Lego games for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises which probably imposes less creative restrictions on the developers.
Lego Batman now sports Hero and Villain modes so that fans of supervillains like dastardly The Joker get to start off as the bad guys immediately rather than having to unlock them first after playing the good guys as in the Star Wars series. Batman is far less “goody-goody” than most typical superheroes but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless. An uzi-toting Joker and acrobatic Harley Quinn are yours to control in the demo.
Robin in his Magnet Suit
New suits which dynamically change the special abilities of your characters allow you to approach some of the puzzles in your adventures through Gotham City in multiple ways. Most puzzles still require that certain suits be worn in order to advance to the next area.
There’s also a new Batarang mode for the good guys which allows you to precisely target and hit distant opponents or objects. It’s something that works better on paper since not everything can be hit with the Batarang and the aiming is rather finicky at times.
The poor man’s batmobile
Top-notch animation : Batman shimmies across a rope with ease while Robin follows along in his clumsy Magnet Suit
Batman prepares to pound a petty thug into tiny Lego bits
As with Traveller Tales’ series of Lego games, Lego Batman manages to appeal to gamers of all ages, non-gaming fans of the Batman universe and Lego enthusiasts. The gameplay won’t exactly challenge any serious gamer but it’s entertaining and endearing (the Lego characters are surprisingly expressive despite the fact that they don’t even speak a single word in the game.)
The series is also highly addictive : I still remember replaying the Star Wars game multiple times to collect enough coins to unlock additional characters and goodies to play with)
I wonder what’s next in store for Traveller’s Tales and the Lego videogames. Since Batman is a Warner Bros license, another WB franchise (Harry Potter or even better, Lord of the Rings) might be already in the works for Traveller Tales. Let’s keep our fingers crossed
Download and play the Lego Batman demo.
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