LEGO Batman: the best Batman game yet?

LEGO Batman: The Videogame

Building the Dark Knight

The combat in LEGO Batman promises to be the next evolution of the lightsaber-driven battles in Star Wars. In addition to a widely expanded array of close-range grapples, all of the characters will have ranged combat abilities. For Batman and Robin, that means they'll be busting out their signature Batarangs. But our heroes' signature weapons are far more than standard projectiles. Holding down the ranged attack button brings up a targeting reticule that you can move around the screen, stacking several consecutive targets before unleashing. You may recall this type of interface from later Zelda games, Rez HD, or even Panzer Dragoon. Traveller's Tales is determined to incorporate Wiimote gestures into the Wii version of the game, using swipes for Catwoman's whip and control jiggling to build LEGOs with your hands. "We'll got with whatever's the most fun," says Doyle.

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Of course, the Batarang is only the tip of the Batberg. LEGO Batman will also feature action on land, sea, and air with sequences utilizing the Batboat, Batwing and the Batmobile, in addition to villain-driven vehicles, including the Scarecrow's biplane (which was designed from an actual toy available in a real LEGO Batman playset). "These will be free-roaming vehicle levels, rather than on-rails," explains Doyle. "They're in the style of the Hoth levels in LEGO Star Wars II. Lots of exploration, lots of explosions."

Fans of the LEGO franchise seem to have reveled in blowing those things up with a friend, so LEGO Batman is designed with cooperative play firmly in mind. Online co-op will be available on the Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE and on PlayStation 3 over the PlayStation Network. Ad-hoc co-op will be available on the PSP version as well. LEGO Batman will also see the light of day on other consoles, including the PlayStation 2, PC and Mac, as well as an all-new, uniquely designed Nintendo DS version. "The DS version is gonna be awesome," declares Doyle. "It's written from the ground up by the same team that did LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga for the DS. There will be loads of touch screen stuff in there, like Catwoman's whip, all of the panels and switches, and certain attacks like the grapple gun. And the vehicles are going to be really cool too. I can't wait for people to see that version." Considering how charming the LEGO games have been thus far, neither can we.

Stay tuned to this batchannel, where we'll have more details on this game before it hits shelves this fall!

Check out the first video of Two-Face and Scarecrow in action below:

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Hugh Sterbakov

GamePro (online)

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