LEGO Batman follows the same basic formula that Travellers’ Tales have been using in their previous LEGO games. You’ll have three episodes that are split off into various missions within those episodes. Although, this time instead of each episode focusing around a specific movie, TT has put their own spin on the Batman universe. It’s actually a somewhat fresh experience this time around since you’re playing through a story you’re not familiar with instead of a movie retelling in lego form.
Story structure is handled similarly as the previous titles. There are multiple episodes to complete with multiple chapters within those. Each chapter will having you taking on a lesser-known villain, leading up to the big baddy at the end of the episode. The general story idea is that all of the villains have escaped Arkham Asylum, splitting into three different groups. One group is helping the Penguin, the Riddler and the Joker.
Basically, you can play the story twice since initially you’ll be playing on Batman’s side. Then after finishing that you can switch over to the villains side and play as them. It adds a little extra length to the story and also mixes things up, it can be fun to play as the villain after all. By adding this storytelling technique into the game it also gives more variety in the gameplay since you’ll have twice as many characters to play with than if it was just the good guys.
The core gameplay is the same as it’s always been with previous LEGO titles. It boils down to just smashing all the things and beating up all the enemies, with a dash of special abilities. This time around you can earn newer abilities in the form of different suits you can wear, letting you do anything from walking up walls, gliding long distances or swimming under water.
In ways to further shake up the traditional puzzle-solving, beat-em up gameplay some levels will let you take control of different vehicles ranging from the Batmobile, Batwing or even a weird walking robot the Joker has.
For being one of the earlier LEGO titles in the franchise the graphics are nothing to write home about, but they aren’t terrible either. Obviously the game isn’t going for realistic graphics, but what is presented to you does its job. With not much being on the screen at once there wasn’t any texture issues or pop-in, and the framerate appeared to be steady throughout. For a LEGO game though, it looks really good and everything you see has a nice shine to it.
The music and sound effects are probably one of the higher points of the game. With using some music from the Batman films, it fits the mood perfectly and helps you become immersed in this brick built Batman world. Like previous LEGO games, there is no actual voice work, but instead just audio cues and grunts that the characters use, which can be comical most times.
While LEGO Batman doesn’t really bring anything new to the franchise it does what it does very well, so why change right? With the added twist of being able to play the villains, you add some replayability and keep the game from getting too stale. It still keeps that LEGO game charm to it from the quirky cutscenes that tell the story to the noises the characters make instead of voice acting, all rounding out to a familiar and enjoyable package.
- Good character, vehicle and level variety
- That LEGO charm is still there
- Batman, need I say more?
- Controls can get frustrating at times
- Has a chance to get repetitive with same basic formula