Brief Impressions: Lego Batman

By Alec Meer on July 28th, 2008 at 9:01 pm.

So last Tuesday I wandered down to London, city of black snot, horrible musicals and formerly of Kieron’s recently deceased beard, to see Lego Batman. Well, also to watch an early screening of The Dark Knight, but I can’t really jaff off about that here. Short answer – very much agree with Big-Face Kermode, which isn’t always the case.

I didn’t get much time at all with Lego Batman, nor did I get to interview Travellers’ Tales as hoped, but I did get to play as Mister Freeze (I feel oddly ashamed that I had to Google to check whether he was a Mister or a Doctor – or, as it happens, both. I used to know such things, damnit) and The Riddler.

As far as I could ascertain, I was playing what had already been shown at E3 – Squire Kumar has a brief report on it here. I was a little disappointed to hear he deemed it so similar to previous Lego games, so I endeavoured to find proof that he was mad, bitter or madly bitter. Sadly, I only made it about 12 seconds into a not hitherto seen level before being caught by the PR, so vague whispers that we might get to see vehicles remained only whispers. All I saw was what he’d seen, and while I possibly enjoyed it more than he, he most certainly seems bang on the money.

Still, what was immediately obvious from a short while pratting about with two of Batman’s less menacing (but high-comic-potential) baddies was that this Lego Game is a little more unbound than Star Wars and Indy. In what I saw, it was doing precisely diddly squat different to its predecessors’ formula, but Batman’s rogue’s gallery is a little less straight-laced than Lucas & Speilberg’s. There’s also that whole not being based directly on the events of the film thing. So you’ve got Freeze laying down massive ice blocks and the Riddler telepathically controlling NPCs (OMG retcon), and while the jump’n’punch’n’puzzle style felt absolutely familiar, it also seemed a little wilder. Travellers’ Tales reps at the event talked of LBM taking their Lego games “to the next level”, which may be newspeak or may be hints as to this other stuff we were steered away from seeing.

We’ll see. I’m thinking it may not restore the Lego [Insert Franchise Here] series’ critical standing to quite the love and awe it once engendered, but it seems as though it’ll return the spark that was a little absent from Indy. Also, it has Man-Bat. God bless comicbook writers.

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15 Comments »

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  1. cyrenic says:

    I’m going through the Lego Star Wars Complete Saga right now on the Wii with my wife. The core gameplay is so simple that I have a hard time thinking of what they could do to avoid sameyness other than dressing things up a bit (new vehicles, characters, etc.)

  2. Irish Al says:

    Well, they haven’t avoided sameyness, in Indy at least. But then again you might *want* more of the same. Like with Chocolate Hob Nobs.

  3. Solario says:

    If Crazy Quilt isn’t in it, I ain’t buying it.

    That credo has served me well and I see no reason to diverge from it.

  4. Mythrilfan says:

    Kieron’s beard. The… wha… NO!

  5. Fede says:

    Kieron’s recently deceased beard

    Aww. No good.

  6. RichPowers says:

    Will we be seeing a Retrospective on Kieron’s beard sometime in the near future?

  7. GeorgeR says:

    I’m still excited for it. And Man, the beard? What?

  8. Ben Abraham says:

    The video review you link to in the article is no longer available.

  9. Sunjumper says:

    Actually the video is just unavilable outside the UK.

  10. Malagate says:

    Hmm, a Lego franchise game I might buy, especially if it’s still got some of ze humour that I heard about in the earlier ones.
    Also, “city of black snot”? This needs more publicity, everytime I go to London I experience the same thing, what the hell makes it do that?

  11. mrrobsa says:

    @Malagate:
    The air is toxic.
    If you meet a Londoner over 65 they will invariably be mad.

  12. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    My beard felt a great disturbance, as if a thousand follicles cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    Also, if Batman is Man-of-Bats, what on eath is Man-Bat? Bat-of-Mans?

  13. Nick says:

    I hate Kermode.

    Good skiffle player though.

  14. K says:

    Man-Bat is a bat that delivers bottles full of men to your house.

  15. KingMob says:

    Was going to comment on Kieron’s beard but I see it’s already covered by comments above. Obviously beard-envy overtook the rest of RPS and they rose up to destroy him.

    ps. Man-bat is more victim than villain, typically. But he looks pretty scary in that image.