LEGO Batman (Wii) Review


Lego versions of various popular movie franchises have proved to be popular and well received games over the last couple of years. First it was Star Wars, then it was the classic adventure series Indiana Jones. Now, its the caped-crime fighting adventures of Batman that have been immortalised in Lego. With numerous movies to draw inspiration from, not to mention a large selection of villains, Lego Batman certainly has enough material to create an exciting adventure. So, how does Lego Batman stand up compared to its predeccessors? Read on to find out.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Lego (insert franchise here) video game series, the basic premise is an action/adventure game involving, in this case, characters from the Batman franchise in all their blocky, Lego glory. The concept is a clever one, and the merging of Lego with the Batman world is seamless. With Lego Batman, the game revolves around the escape of a number of Batman’s nemeses from Arkham prison, including The Riddler, Two-Face, Penguin, The Joker and Catwoman among many more. Playing as Batman and Robin, your main objective is to track down and capture the villains before they wreak too much havoc on Gotham City. However, Lego Batman also allows you to play as the games villains as they attempt to bring Gotham City to its knees.

As said, Lego Batman is part action, part adventure. You take control of both Batman and Robin, with the second character controlled by either the computer or a friend. It is far superior to play with a mate, as having the second character controlled by the game is frustrating. The CPU character will often die in a certain place, only to be respawed in the same place again, leading to death after death. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a real pain. This problem was also a major criticism I had with Lego Indiana Jones, so it is disappointing to see that the problem has not been rectified. Playing with a mate, on the other hand, is a joy. There are some well designed puzzles that require teamwork, particularly as both Batman and Robin have different abilities, including the ability to use different suits. For example, Batman has a bomb suit that allows him to drop bombs, while Robin has a magnetic suit that allows him to walk up certain surfaces. The combat is solid, and the game doesnt harshly punish you, taking away points rather than a life. This is a bonus if any younger, more inexperienced gamers want to play. It’s also a bonus as your CPU controlled sidekick is bound to get itself killed over and over again.

As you progress through each level, you’ll need to fight enemies, solve puzzles, drive various vehicles, find treasures, and build things if you’re going to succeed. Like the previous Lego games, you’ll need to replay the levels on Freeplay mode (unlocked once the level is finished in the story mode) to get most of the treasure and hidden items. The reason for this is that you will need to use different characters to get to certain areas in each level. Each chapter in the game also has a vehicle based level. The majority of these are just frustrating, unnecessary experiences as the vehicles generally don’t control very well. Thankfully, they are few and far between so whilst they are frustrating, they dont pop up too often.

Like Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Batman has a rather large hub world that allows you to play the various levels in the game, create your own characters, unlock new items and characters, and peruse the various Lego treasure you have collected. While it was a university in Lego Indiana Jones, the hub for Lego Batman is the Batcave. It’s quite a large and slightly uninteresting place to explore, but it permits you to play the various levels in the game, and once you have completed a chapter as Batman, it allows you to replay a chapter as the villain.

Graphically, Lego Batman blends the unique Lego look with the darkness of the Batman series in a unique and successful way. The various environments of Gotham City look good, and the main characters are full of life and their own sense of uniqueness. Being based on Lego, everything looks simple, but this is expected. The music is appropriately dark and ominous, though a lack of voice acting for the various characters is a missed opportunity. However, despite a lack of voice, the characters still maintain a real sense of personality through their various behaviours and mannerisms. In fact, the developers have done a great job of instilling a sense of life in the characters despite the lack of a voice cast.

In the end then, Batman plays and feels very much the same as the previous Lego games. While this is a good thing, in some respects, it is also a problem in others. On the positive side, the game stills sticks to the same formula and gameplay mechanics, meaning seasoned Lego gamers will be right at home with this third Lego series. However, the game fails to draw in anything significantly new or fresh, and the same glitches that hampered my experience with Lego Indiana Jones still exist in Lego Batman.

Not changing the gameplay isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as at the end of the day, if it aint broke, then don’t fix it. However, the problem here is that there are aspects of Lego Batman that are broken, namely related to computer controlled characters, a sloppy camera, and repetitiveness. For fans of Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Batman is sure to please. Fans of Batman will also find something of value with this game, as it provides plenty of nostalgia. If you haven’t played one of the Lego franchise games, then Lego Batman is as good a place to start as any. It’s not brilliant, but it is a solid action/adventure title with plenty of meat, but a lack of polish.


Graphics 7.0

Gameplay 7.0

Sound 7.0

Tilt 8.0

Value 7.0

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About The Author
Toby Mizzi
First gaming experiences were with my older brother playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Master System and Sega Mega Drive. I was about 12 years old when the PS1 and the N64 were just about to be released, and I wanted to get a PS1 based on my experience playing some demo PS1 games at a Video Games Heaven store. On the day we came to lay buy the PS1, they had demo N64 consoles set up in the middle of the shopping centre and we naturally took some time to sample the goods. Dad, who barely played games, decided that the N64 would be a better console and I have never looked back since then. Don't get the time to play games as much as I did when I was younger, though I still enjoy nothing more than sitting back on the couch and being absorbed into a totally different world.

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