E308: Wii Fanboy fights crime in LEGO Batman

When I showed up at the Warner Bros. meeting room to demo LEGO Batman, I was excited, but also kind of reluctant. You see, the formula of these LEGO titles had started to show its age, as reviews of LEGO Indiana Jones weren't the most favorable. I was a tad bit worried that LEGO Batman would not be the game I was hoping it to be. Thankfully, my fears were never justified.

In total, we were shown 3 levels in the game. The first level showcased the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, as they traversed the gritty back alleys and dilapidated rooftops of Gotham City. The level itself was fairly large, showcasing several vehicles that could be used, as well as the staple miscellaneous pieces that are used to build objects that allow the player to progress through the level.

Using Batman and Robin is very much the same as in previous LEGO titles. The controls for combat and interacting with the environment can be switched between waggle and using buttons, allowing for folks who tire out easily to switch to the traditional button scheme.

Playing with Batman and Robin revealed one of the coolest features of the game, and that is the tech suits. These open up new abilities for our heroes, as well as change how the player gets through the level. For example, one of the tech suits I saw Robin use provided him with metallic feet, which let him cross large gaps by walking across the bottom of a metal bridge that was much too high up to jump to and walk across. Batman also had a cool tech suit that put a jetpack on his back and allowed him to glide across large distances. These tech suits are a welcome addition and really spice the game up, but, sadly, aren't available to the villains.

This brought me to my second two demo levels, the first of which had me navigating The Joker's lair as, well ... The Joker, along with his partner, Harley Quinn. Each villain has their own unique weapon, with Harley rocking her pistol and The Joker wielding a joke buzzer that he could use to incapacitate his enemies. Here, the level was split in two, with a co-operative tone being utilized throughout. Harley had to hit switches for The Joker to move on, and vice versa.

I also got to check out Mr. Freeze and The Riddler, whom each had their own unique weapons (Mr. Freeze wields his freeze gun and The Riddler rocks his cane). Here, I was thrust into a large city level, fighting off plenty of police officers and even stealing one of their cop cars to run over everything in sight. It was really fun.

Overall, after my play session with the title, we found that LEGO Batman was an enjoyable title. For as much as the critics complained about LEGO Indiana Jones, I don't see that being the case with LEGO Batman. Keep your eyes on this one, folks. I'm pretty sure it won't disappoint.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.