Platform: PS3, Xbox360, Wii, PSP, PS2, DS, PC
Batman, Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Batgirl, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, The Riddler, Mr Freeze, Harley Quinn, Two Face, Bane, Clayface, Poison Ivy... who’s left? That’s only 16 of the 30 characters you can play. And don’t forget Bruce Wayne, Alfred and Police Commissioner Gordon.
The preview code I played only had three levels - rooftop, carnival and an ice stage - although I’m told there will be at least 15 levels for the heroes and 15 levels for the villains to go through. The only selectable characters available to me were Batman, Robin, Joker, Mr Freeze and The Riddler. Graphically it’s a step up from Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. Moves per character seem to have been bumped up with many more special actions that require a bit more skill to pull off. Due to the variety of characters, the weapons and vehicles were also abundant. My personal favourites were the freeze gun, Riddler’s mind control and the rocket-powered Batmobile.
Unfortunately the AI seems as dumb as ever, at least in the preview. I had to backtrack a few times to get my group of computer-controlled characters to follow me correctly. Hopefully you’ll have a mate to play with in co-op mode, so this won’t be an issue. What I believe will be an issue (and one that the developers have strangely thought of as a plus) is that the game will feature a completely original storyline. The main reason why I loved Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones was for the in-house jokes about the movie and to see how the developers recreated certain scenes. Without this, I’m not sure I’ll enjoy Lego Batman quite as much, but we’ll just have to wait and see when the game releases.
Expected release date: Out now.