E3 2008: Warner Bros.

The Warner Bros. booth was super busy, and we really didn't have the time for much. But we made the most of it and walked right past the giant-sized LEGO-made Batman and Robin to go see LEGO Batman.


LEGO Batman: The Videogame (X360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS, PSP)

We joined TT's Luke Cashmore for an Xbox 360 demo of LEGO Batman, described here as the biggest and best LEGO game yet. Double the size of LEGO Indiana Jones, at least, and it has also been under development longer than the latter. The goal was not to lose anything from the previous LEGO formulas, but just keep adding to it.

LEGO Batman includes two gameplay modes, hero and villain, each lasting at least 15-20 hours of gameplay, with over 30 playable characters (for now). There are plenty of unlockables (including little things from the comic books that the most die-hard fans will appreciate, such as Bane's cell number) and freeplay as in previous LEGO games. Evil characters that you defeat will become playable for the villain mode, where you can set traps for the good guys.

The game is darker than other LEGO titles, which is fitting to the Batman theme, yet still colorful, with the environments and characters being restricted to the Batman DC world and theme. The stories aren't based on any of the movies nor events from the old TV show, they are brand new to the Batman world. The fully orchestrated soundtrack is taken from the movies, TV show and cartoon.

An interesting gameplay feature is the suit swapper. In strategic places there will be platforms containing special suits for either Batman or Robin. Batman has a glider suit that can be used for “jumping” long distances, a detonator suit, a sonic radar suit (to smash glass for example). Robin has a magnetic suit that lets him climb walls, a toxic goo suit, the technology suit (allows you to drive a small remote-control car to access small areas that you normally can't) and a diving suit. The suits are always connected to environmental puzzle elements, so they are placed near where they have to be used. Of course, you can swap characters as necessary during gameplay, or you can co-op it with a friend.

Some of the levels include Gotham City Cathedral, Bat Cave, Asylum, sewers, rooftops, a funhouse and fairground (where we watched Harley Quinn and Joker as playable characters).

We were also left with some speculation for what could be a future project: "We would all like to see a LEGO Matrix... but that's not me confirming!", said Luke.

LEGO Batman will be essentially the same on all consoles, with the Xbox 360 version containing achievements (and a demo on XBL), but the PS3 version isn't likely to have trophies. The DS version is being done by a separate dev team, to make use of the system's features and add some extra levels. The storyline will be the same across all platforms. Expect it this Fall.