LEGO games have the uneasy habit of fully replicating the world that they are licensed to. Lego Star Wars was arguably the best Star Wars game since EVER, Lego Indiana Jones was nicely done and a good touch to the universe… but Lego Batman? Now this is a tricky one. Our perception of the dark knight has changed so much over the past few years that a Lego game based upon Batman couldn’t happen. Why? Because Batman is dark. Let’s face it, he dresses up as a bat and beats people into a pulp, his parents were shot dead in front of his eyes, and the films represent a disgusting and depressed vision of him. Not exactly LEGO game material.
LEGO Batman tells the tale of… something. I don’t know, it doesn’t really need a plot other than “dudes escapes from Arkham, go get them.”, but that’s fine for a LEGO game. The only trouble I have with it is the fact in previous titles, the story was played out by the actual film. LEGO Batman is not based on any film, cartoon or anything loosely story-based Batman, which is a big change from the usual. It would be of course hard to make a LEGO Batman game based on any of the films anyway, I personally wouldn’t like to see Catwoman almost eaten alive by cats or the Penguin biting someone’s nose off.
There’s a certain charm and innocent humor in the LEGO game world, that isn’t seen in any other game. It’s not dark, brutish, slapstick or intelligent – it’s just charming humor that anyone would laugh at. The whole brick style of the game is really top notch, and it’s obvious that they want this to be LEGO Batman, not a full Batman title. Every single game in the LEGO series has combined two loves. Star Wars and Lego, Indiana Jones and Lego, Batman and Lego. They always do a good job in terms of presentation and I doubt they’ll have stop.
Lego games are always usually played the same. Go through a level from point A to B, taking on multiple challenges and puzzles. Oh and enemies. LEGO Batman has both shooting, beating up, mind control and everything else you could think of. It’s all done at the touch of a button, square/X for main attacks and circle/B for the special attack. Each character has his or her own special attack, Batman can pick up dudes, Robin can headlock and the Riddler can control people. It’s all good stuff. But what else do you do inbetween all this?
You collect stuff. Studs. No, not big fat sexy ladyboys. Studs, Lego studs, the smallest little brick things that used to get all sticky and get lost. I hated the little Lego pieces as a kid, but now you need them in a video-game for ‘Super-hero’ status. Collect so many studs and your bar goes all the way up and you can like, but super-dooper awesome. Alongside that, you collect mini-kits which.. build things… not really any purpose other than saying ‘I collect virtual things’. There might be an achievement or something, but it is actually still fun trying to find ways to collect them.
In conclusion. Good Lego game, great game but not a Batman game. It offers a variety of ways to play through the game, and different styles too. You can be the collectible nutcase, the co-op man or even just a casual player. You can even play as the Villains too which is a nice touch. So, when it comes down to it, Lego Batman isn’t about Batman… it’s about LEGO BATMAN. It does what is says on the tin, re-creates a comic book universe in Lego form, and does it well… although I’d still prefer something else. Something dark, edgy and right for the Batfans… some which is a service to the Batman universe. Not a combination of something else… hmm