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September 14 2008
Lego Batman: The Videogame - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
15/10/2008WB GamesWB GamesTraveller's Tales
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-2None$89.95
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Batman and Robin in Lego Batman.
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Watch out for the Joker's gas!

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Taking on numerous thugs!
With Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones under their belt Traveller's Tales have turned their efforts towards another monster franchise for a new game, Lego Batman. There won't be any change to the formula with Lego Batman: The Videogame retaining the same game and graphics engine as previous titles, and gameplay which is largely the same as well. That's not a bad thing though as each game in the series is tremendous fun from start to finish. So, let's see what we've got this time around then shall we...

Lego Batman brings the one-and-only Caped Crusader to life in a completely original storyline. Players will take control of the Dynamic Duo, Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin, as well as bonus hero Nightwing to fight Gotham City’s most notorious criminals including The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, Two Face, Bane, Clayface, Poison Ivy and many more. The criminals have broken out of Arkham Asylum and are set to wreak havoc on the city.

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Remember to collect the Lego studs.
As with other games in the franchise the game is played from a third person perspective and is split up into fifteen levels - five levels in each of the three chapters. Not only will you be fighting on land, but also on the sea and in the air with numerous vehicles on offer including the rocket-powered Batmobile, sleek Batboat and stealthy Batwing. As with other games in the series there will be two characters on-screen at once which is critical to solve many of the puzzles - and you'll be able to switch between them with the press of a button. As expected new abilities will be unlocked including Batman's Demolition, Sonic and Glide suits and Robin's Gravity, Magnetic and Dive suits to help fight Gotham's villains.

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The Riddler makes an appearance.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this game is the Villain Mode which allows you to replay the story modes, but from the side of the villain's so you can see what they managed to experience. As with other games in the Lego franchise it will be possible to replay any level in Freeplay Mode with any characters you’ve unlocked. By doing this you will be able to access previously hidden areas to find additional rewards and bonus content. Naturally it will be possible to collect Lego Studs and special Lego bricks throughout the game to unlock extra content including power-ups and bonus levels.

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Catwoman looks sexy, even in Lego form!
There are a couple of disappointments. Firstly the XBox 360 version will include achievements, as yet Warner Brothers Games has not confirmed that the PS3 version will include Trophies which is disappointing. Also disappointing is the fact that there is no online multi-player for the game although there is drop-in, drop-out 2-player co-op as an option which should provide quite a few thrills.

As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Lego Batman is looking pretty impressive. Characters have all been wonderfully modeled, and the game world is also bright and colourful, while retaining the Batman look. As with the Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones we can expect the gameplay, and cut-scenes to include plenty of humourous moments.

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Lego Batman is bright and colourful.
If there is one aspect of this series I would love to see TT Games fix prior to releasing Lego Batman it's the horrendous screen tearing which has plagued other titles released to date. Sure, there's an option to turn on V-Lock, but that drops the frame rate considerably. Time will tell if the development team have overcome some of these issues.

Audio in Lego Batman should also be impressive. The developers have secured the rights to use Danny Elfman's music score from the 1989 Batman movie while voice-overs will be performed by numerous noted actors including Tom Kenny who has done voiceovers for the animated TV series.

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Lego Batman goes for the big kick!
With Electronic Arts seemingly canning development of The Dark Knight at Pandemic Studios in Brisbane (with rumours of staff layoffs it's as good as dead - don't expect an official announcement though as the game wasn't actually announced to begin with!) that leaves Lego Batman from Warner Brothers Interactive as the only place you'll be participating in some Batman action in the near future. While this game doesn't include the latest movies (can anyone say sequels?), Lego Batman: The Videogame covers much of the Batman universe with many of the most loved characters and is certain to be a hit when released in around a months time.