First Impressions: Where does he get all those wonderful toys? Oh right, he's made of Lego.
Lego Star Wars was a gamble for LucasArts and the game's developer, Traveller's Tales, there's no doubt about that. A game based on the sacred
Star Wars saga based on the popular brick-based toys could have easily crashed and burned. But Traveller's Tales pulled it off and Lego Star Wars (and it's subsequent sequels) proved to be some of the most pure fun I've had in a game in a long time. So it's no surprise that gamers the world over have clamored for Traveller's Tales to Lego-ize more franchises and they have responded with the announcement of Lego Indiana Jones and the game we'll be talking about today, Lego Batman.
Lego Batman will pick up right where Lego Star Wars left off with a lot of the same gameplay features. In fact, the grappling hook mechanic from Lego Star Wars II has lifted almost wholesale for Lego Batman. And why shouldn't it? Batman has been using that grappling hook for a long time. Other similarities include the two-player cooperative modes and a variety of puzzles that will require teamwork to solve.
But Traveller's Tales also had to make a few concessions to the Batman world, which first and foremost means no guns (and no Lightsabers for that matter). So guns are out and they've been replaced by a neverending supply of Batarangs. The mainstay of Batman's Utility Belt will be used to stun enemies and hit distant switches. Batman's "toys" will also be making other appearances through the use of special suits. Batman and Robin will both have access to a variety of different suits that will supply them with new talents to help solve the game's puzzles.
Lego Batman will also make use of the Dark Knight's expansive rogue's gallery with a villain mode. Each level will include two halves, a hero half and a villain half. After the Caped Crusaders capture the level's supervillain and drag them back to Arkham Asuylum, the game will switch and the villains will get a chance to complete their evil plot (even though they are a cowardly lot). According to a presentation at the Game Developer's Conference, the "boss battles" in the villain mode will be against Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham City police force. That's just sadistically evil fun. Traveller's Tales has confirmed that the Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, the Penguin, Killer Croc and the Scarecrow will be among the playable villains. Although, with this kind of "split personality" gameplay, I'm sure Two-Face will show up as well (especially since Harvey Dent will play a big part in the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight
But speaking of the movie franchise, Lego Batman will not be taking much of it's inspiration from it. Instead, the game will draw most of its attitude from the 60s television series, the comics and the animated series. But fear not, the world of the Dark Knight will be appropriately dark as Traveller's Tales plans to Lego-ize many of Gotham's favorite sites including a dockyard, the sewers, the rooftops and an abandoned amusement park (guess who lives there). And from what we've seen in the released screenshots and trailers, the look of Lego Batman is shaping up very nicely.