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LEGO Batman: The Videogame Preview
publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
developer: TT Games
|ESRB rating: E10+
release date: Sep 23, 08
|» All About LEGO Batman: The Videogame on ActionTrip|
Most LEGO titles from TT Games were great fun, particularly, when we look at games like LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Looking back though, TT Games has disappointed with projects like the mediocre movie-based Transformers. Still, with LEGO games, they've managed to maintain a standard with each product. Of course, it wasn't always perfect. In Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga the developers seem to rely too heavily on a familiar gameplay formula. While The Complete Saga still delivers when it comes to humor and good old-fashioned LEGO-style fun, in terms of gameplay and content it was the same old stuff seen in previous games. Hopefully, TTG will take the franchise a bit further with their next endeavor, LEGO Batman, in addition to incorporating everything that made previous titles fun to play. The game is currently being created for all platforms and is scheduled to arrive later during 2008.
As you'd expect, the game will feature cooperative play, similarly to the LEGO Star Wars titles. Co-op play is going to be available in both offline and online variants. Online co-op is included for Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network and DS wireless network.
This time around, there's a cool new addition to the gameplay. You begin every section in the game in the snazzy lego-superhero outfit of either Batman or Robin. The tasks are to track down Batman's nemesis like The Joker and his side-kick Harley Quinn, Catwoman and others. The cool part is that when you beat these guys, the game offers a corresponding baddie level, where players may take part in missions from a villain's perspective. The backstory remains the same, of course, except you'll get to experience it as one of the bad guys, working against the Caped Crusader. This so-called Villain Mode is exactly what sets LEGO Batman apart from LSW.
The developers also specified they've worked very closely with DC Comics to stay true to the universe, as well as characters that are part of it. Aside from those already mentioned, the game is going to reintroduce us to other familiar characters from the Batman universe. So, you can also expect to see The Penguin, Killer Croc, Scarecrow and others. Every one of these guys uses specific abilities and powers. Killer Croc, for instance, uses devastating punches to send his enemies flying every which way. The Joker, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach in his endeavors. Next to packing a pair of Uzis, he uses an electric joy buzzer (shown in the first Batman movie, when the Joker (J. Nicholson) uses to fry an unwary subordinate). Again, playing with two characters is essential in this game and leaves the area open to more complex puzzles. Joker's associate Harley Quinn will be able to help him overcome certain obstacles. For example, in one section of the game they need to operate a crane, so the Joker uses his hand-buzzer to power-up the switch, while Quinn operates the controls.
Batman and Robin, of course, have their own ways of dealing with enemies and solving puzzles. Robin's magnetic boots will come in rather handy, since he can use them to walk along metal ceilings and similar surfaces. Thanks to his hacking suit, Robin can also access control panels and operate little drones or robots.
TT Games has come a long way since LSW and have worked to make the game visually better than earlier LEGO games. The cute virtual lego-characters are furnished with more detail than before and each backdrop in the game was meticulously designed to correspond with the dark and gritty Batman theme.
As it stands, this game has all the essentials to warrant an entertaining single-player and multiplayer experience; with plenty of characters from a well-known universe, cool weapons, different abilities, co-op play, a huge number of unlockables and an intriguing plot told from both good and evil perspectives.
This particular line of video games has always offered a fun ride and a welcomed breather from generic shooters that constantly clog the market. And yet, there are plenty of gamers keen on mature-oriented titles, who are unlikely to be amused by LEGO-shaped characters. All we can say to them is: "you lose."
Looks every bit as fun as other LEGO games, new additions to gameplay, still features co-op, Villain Mode.
In case they do not reinvigorate the gameplay enough.
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