|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Also new to this title, the amount of oncoming attackers seems to have been turned up a notch. You are constantly confronted with the Riddler's, Joker's, and Penguin's goons to pummel into pieces using Square to punch and kick and Circle to grapple. The environments you travel through in Gotham and the indestructible objects have been given a more realistic, textured look. It gives the game a darker, Burton-like feel that contrasts the more cartoon LEGO characters and destructible pieces. Also, Batman and Robin can each wear four different suits, making them more functional and a tad more interesting. Batman's Glide Suit, for example, allows you to hop large gaps by holding down X, and Robin's Water Suit allows you to swim into deep waters. Each hero is also equipped with a Batarang, which is thrown by holding down Square and placing your target where you want to throw. Functions such as these give the game more variety, though it's not enough to stay entertained for hours at a time.
For those who don't bore easily, the game offers lots of replayability and lots of stuff to unlock. The Batcave serves as your home base where you go to view each trophy from completed missions, change suits, and choose which levels you'd like to play. After unlocking each level in Story Mode, you are able to play them in Free Play Mode with any character you choose. Free Play Mode allows you to unlock extra goodies in areas not accessible in the story. The Batcomputer is used to check out all the stuff you've unlocked, such as characters and suit upgrades, as well as purchase items with your LEGO studs, such as extra gadgets and information that could help you later in the game. Here you can also view all the story clips, which is something I love about LEGO games. The developers spent a lot of time creating elaborate and entertaining cutscenes, and you may certainly want to watch many of the 95 clips over and over again.
The cutscenes, list of characters, and overall aesthetic of this game are its major saving graces. With everyone from Bane and Scarecrow to Two-Face and Mad Hatter in the cast, comic fans will appreciate the inclusion of so many classic villains. Unfortunately, with the success of the LEGO series thus far, it seems as if Traveller's Tales has taken an unwise 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach. Though their Star Wars and Indiana Jones titles were impressive, they weren't without their flaws, and the development team hasn't done anything to correct them here. They also haven't done much to give this game more functions and more variety for those who have already spent hours on past LEGO titles. Cute character models and lighthearted storylines only carry LEGO Batman so far.
CCC Freelance Writer