Lego games and I have never really seen eye to eye. I’ve attempted a few in the past, but not usually got past the first level or so. This time (and mostly because it was Batman) I decided to grit my teeth and complete one.
The premise is simple, everybody breaks out of Arkham Asylum and it’s your job as the dynamic due to round them all up. The Hero side of the game is broken down into three distinct stories consisting of five chapters, each with the end credits and an achievement popping after once complete. Once you’ve completed the first story, you can then go to Arkham, and take control of the villains you’ve just put away, and do same the missions from their point of view.
The game mechanics were pretty simple, press X, many, many, many times and smash everything. Eventually something will either glow, or bob about, at this point, simply craft it into something usable and then continue to the next section. The best advise I can give is, if smashing everything doesn’t work, and when playing as Batman and Robin, whip out your batarang (not a euphemism) and attempt to tag stuff with it, eventually you’ll get to break something and this will hopefully enable ‘something’ to allow you to proceed. When playing as the villains, using their special ability will normally open the next area.
Each of the ‘stories’ include at least one level in some form of vehicle from the Batman universe, this being the likes Batmobile, Boatboat, Batwing etc. These would be the very similar levels, but in the different related environments, air, road, water. I found myself keeping my thumb on the fire button and simply destroying everything until I could eventually move on.
Once all levels are complete, you are able to go back to any of the levels in ‘free play mode’ and clean up. There are loads of collectables, (some of which are unreachable the first time around), and loads of challenges to do. I completed a single run through of the game with under 50% completion, but don’t see myself going back.
This game is designed for two players, and to be honest, playing the first half solo was quite painful. Enemies would focus on you, and your partner (whoever you weren’t controlling at the time) would tend to just stand looking at the floor. Sometimes your partner in crime would sometimes get lost in the level and I found myself on a number of occasions have to backtrack across half of the level to find where they’d got to. There was one particular frustrating bit where I had to stand Batman on a platform, then have Robin hit a switch, however once I’d placed Batman on the platform, and switched to Robin, Batman would come running to me and jump off the platform…..I tell you, the controller nearly went! Luckily I was able to play through the villains story arc with C, and this was a game changer. No longer did I have to rely on poor AI, however did find we got stuck a little more as the AI wasn’t attempting go in the right direction.
Another frustration was the camera angles. There were numerous times I went to make a jump, only to find the camera moved slightly making me fall to my death and lose all my Lego coins. I believe there was one specific level which I finished with no coins at all! (the Poison Ivy level) In the later levels, but C and I struggled to do a double jump to get to a ladder, we must have had ten attempts each, but just couldn’t reach it…very frustrating.
As much as I like Batman, and Lego, we found this game a grind. As it’s one of the earlier Lego games, there was no voice acting and the stories were told with grunts and points. A combination of that, with the same section of the Batman theme music on loop for sixteen hours lead me to do something I very rarely do, I muted the game and played music while playing.
If this wasn’t Batman themed, and I didn’t have the second game to play, and I hadn’t have convinced C to play the second half with me, I would have quit after the first level. I am however glad that I’ve finally finished a Lego game, and hope they get better from here on in.
Approx Time taken to beat – 16 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:2/5]
Games TrailerTags: Approx Time, Arkham Asylum, EVERYBODY, Games Trailer, Lego