|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.5.8|
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: Intel 1.4 GHz | RAM: 512 MB | HD Space: 5 GB Graphics: 128 MB | Supports Macs with Intel GMA processors. (older Intel Mac Minis and MacBooks)
Review:LEGO. The brainchild of a private Danish company established back in 1949. It seems hard to believe that this small and insignificant company would be involved with creating video games 60 years on. It started off with two major films produced by George Lucas, Star Wars then Indiana Jones, being adapted by Traveller's Tales into this LEGO video games genre. Both games received stellar reviews and the LEGO series has spun off into many other games since then. The title I will be looking at is LEGO Batman, brought to Mac by Feral Interactive. The game has the distinction of being one of the only LEGO titles with a completely unique storyline not having any relation to previous texts or movies about the main character. It may seem like a big risk for Traveller's Tales to go with a completely new plot-line, but if done right they pull off a marvellous new addition to the franchise.
As I mentioned in the opening this is a completely new story. The whole game is broken up into three episodes (similar to Star Wars) each giving a unique story taking place in the city of Gotham. In each story villains have escaped from Arkham Asylum and it’s Batman’s job to get them back to where they belong. Batman plays alongside Robin in order to bring these evil characters to justice. While this predictable narrative is quite enjoyable, the real fun comes from playing as the villains. When you complete an episode with Batman and Robin it unlocks an alternate story played by the villains. This shows the events leading up to Batman saving the day. It’s definitely an interesting added incentive to finish each episode, making the game very deep and greatly increasing the amount of gameplay players can get out of LEGO Batman.
The graphics are nothing revolutionary, but they do remain true to the look of the LEGO Star Wars titles. I chose not to use the word “Art-Style” for this game as the graphics don’t seem to show anything special. But, that is not to say the 3D animation on the LEGO characters is in any way bad. It does create a great experience for the player, capturing the humor and fighting moves well. There is just nothing distinct about it.
As a result of the game being released a few years ago any modern system today can play it at full resolution without a problem. This is always a great thing for people running older systems. There is nothing worse than getting a game and not being able to play it to its fullest graphically. LEGO Batman offers a really strong combination of compatibility and graphics.
As with any LEGO game, the gameplay is simply put, fantastic. While there are some pitfalls to this it still remains best in its class in remaining fun and easy to play. One of the unfortunate pitfalls is the lack of camera movement. Mostly this isn’t an issue, but there were some cases where it became more than just an annoyance.
The AI still needs work but there has been a minor improvement from its predecessor: LEGO Indiana Jones. Instead of the AI making many of its own decisions your “partner” relies on the player in making decisions.
The Puzzles on there own were challenging and in some cases a little difficult. Because the game aims to be very user friendly it tries to eliminate as many instructions as possible. In doing this there were situations where I had no idea what to do. But with a little intuition and button mashing I was able to work most of the puzzles out without much trouble.
As always there are many collectibles to find. I have always found this part of LEGO games the toughest, as I usually have to go out of my way in order to find them all. If you do find all the collectibles on one level the game unlocks cool sculptures for you to look at. Not my type of prize for spending hours finding the darn things, but I know there are many individuals out there who love searching everywhere for these collectibles. The only issue I have with this is that there is no way to show it off, except to yourself. An online leader board or gallery, in my opinion, would be much better for people wanting to show off their finds.
Overall the gameplay was a very enjoyable experience. The humor of the game really shines through the excellent cut-scenes and kept me interested throughout the campaign.
Suits / Weapons / Power-ups
One of the ways in which this game attempts to differ from previous LEGO titles is through the extensive use of the new suit system. The weapons available are much like those in LEGO Indiana Jones, with Batman and Robin also gaining the use of a grappling hook. It worked similarly to its predecessor and is as functional as before. The suit system, on the other hand, was not used in previous games, and introduces a new type of gameplay to the mix. Throughout the levels in LEGO Batman there are stations where Batman or Robin can “change suits,” allowing them to gain new powers. Some new powers include the gliding suit for Batman and the magnetic suit for Robin, as well as many more.