I had not planned to try another LEGO game so soon after the Harry Potter games, but my eldest really wanted to play this one on her computer, so I decided to play, too. I reached 100% completion last night, just a few minutes ahead of her :D
This game is nothing like the Batman: Arkham games that I so adore, nor is it like the story-driven LEGO: HP games. Gameplay is standard fight, explore, build, destroy everything possible and grab all the coins (studs) possible.
There are three chapters from Batman & Robin's perspective, plus three chapters from the villains' point of view, with each chapter spanning five episodes for a total of 30 levels
- 300 mini-kit pieces (10 per level)
- 30 red bricks (which unlock new abilities - don't forget to turn on in the Extras menu once you purchase!)
- 24 hostages
Why are there only 24 hostages when there are 30 levels? Because one episode in each chapter is done entirely in a vehicle, and there are no hostages - only shooting, exploring, simple puzzles, and collecting. Vehicle types: Automobile, watercraft, aircraft.
Our home base is - not surprisingly - the Batcave for our heroes, and Arkham Asylum for the villains. Once you unlock and purchase the extra characters, you'll find them wandering around in their respective area, and can switch to them when they are nearby. You can also choose whichever character you wish to play as when you enter a level in Free Play mode.
Characters are mostly unlocked during gameplay. For instance, you may want to play as The Joker, but you won't be able to unlock him until you complete the villain level that has him as a playable character.
To be honest, I found the stories and combat to be a bit on the ho-hum side, especially when we were playing only as Batman and Robin (the first three chapters). True, they both have a variety of suits with their own unique abilities, but Story Mode was still kind of boring. Once the villains started unlocking, though, things got more interesting. Once unlocked, Nightwing and Batgirl were my preferred characters on the heroes side (they have the same suits as Robin and Batman), and Man Bat my favorite villain to play.
Not only is Man Bat interesting to look at, but he is a powerful fighter, has super strength AND and the ability to glide!
There are a couple of minor annoyances along the way, with finicky ladders, and glass that just did NOT want to break when using the sonic suit unless you were standing the right distance away from it. There's one glass window that will not break unless you bomb it - something that will not work on any other glass window in the whole game
LEGO Batman is not an amazing
gaming experience, but I really had fun getting my 100% once I got past Story Mode and had everyone unlocked for Free Play Mode. The puzzles are pretty easy, but there's something satisfying about mindlessly demolishing everything in sight and collecting all of the coins and hidden things. Recommended for all LEGO game fans!