The Lego games would typically be outside of my usual remit, but I’ve somehow managed to dip my toes into both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones incarnations without even realising it. The former was a nice go-to game when I was weirdly, worryingly into Xbox Live Achievements (even though I don’t remember playing it for long), and the latter came with my replacement Xbox when I somehow fucked the first up beyond repair (and I hated it). So, Lego Batman was a weird one for me; something I played out of general curiosity to see how DC’s most beloved hero would receive the shiny plastic treatment.
I honestly don’t have too much to say about the game. The Lego series has always been the quintessential casual game: easy to pick up and play, charming, fun, and ideal for short ten to fifteen minute sessions. Lego Batman is all of that, plus and minus a few quirks.
This is obviously the first instalment which isn’t suckling at the teats of Lucasarts, and in a lot of ways that’s great. It gives the game room to breathe and try out some of its own ideas without people worrying about the portrayal of the source material. This is very much that lighthearted, slapstick Batman of 1960s TV fame, too, which is perfect for this kind of title. I feel like something is lost in not being able to see your favourite scenes from recognisable films transplanted into studs and bricks, but it isn’t a deal breaker.
The Batman universe’s (I’m suspiciously tempted to use the word “Batverse”, for some reason) huge range of heroes and villains lends itself particularly well to the format also. There are a lot of playable characters in Lego Batman. Of course, Batman and Robin are your principle avatars during the Hero campaign, and the game does a good job of making the minor puzzles work just as well without the need for a constantly rotating sidekick like in the previous titles. Now, Batman and Robin can don different suits which lend them special abilities. It works, but the Villain campaign is much better – here, you’re handed a couple of slimy dastardly-doers per mission (all the usual suspects are present, alongside some incredibly esoteric ones) who each have their own special ability. The addition of this dual narrative is probably Lego Batman’s strongest element, and it works very well. There’re enough differences between the two campaigns that you essentially have two – albeit very similar – games in one package.
For some reason online cooperative play is suspiciously absent, but local multiplayer is still around if you’re into that kind of thing. There’s a lot to do, but good luck finding a partner who’s just as keen as you are to find all the hidden collectibles and such. The game completion percentage climbs pretty damn slowly, all things considered. If you’ve got kids and you can’t be bothered showing them any attention, this is the way to go.
I think that might have been some kind of recommendation.