Indeed, the world's greatest detective embarks on a much more lighthearted adventure in Traveller's Tales LEGO Batman, the latest in the developer's series of franchise-warping adventure titles. At a demonstration at the Warner Bros. booth at E3, the general atmosphere exuded less of the dark and harrowing action and more of the slapstick that the LEGO games are known for.
"We're genuinely trying to make a LEGO Batman universe," he noted.
Much like previous LEGO entries based on Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the emphasis in LEGO Batman is on simple, accessible platforming action, with drop-in and drop-out multiplayer—the kind of game that anybody can pick up and play. Batman and loyal sidekick Robin both feature relatively basic controls, boiling down to jumping and attacking, with a few new tricks and power suits available as the game progresses.
But the real departure in LEGO Batman is in the sheer volume of content; the game comes packed with two modes for both the heroes and villains, featuring 50 levels a piece with intertwining stories. While Batman and Robin shake things up in the hero block, the villain levels are utterly awash in characters and scenarios, with at least 17 playable baddies such as Penguin, the Riddler, Bane, Catwoman, the Joker and Mr. Freeze, among numerous others.
Once all of the 50 levels in either campaign are cleared, the levels can be played in free mode, allowing players to pair up their favorite characters in cooperative play across any stage of the game.
"With [LEGO Indiana Jones], everyone wanted to play as Indy. It was hard to get them to care about other characters. But in Batman, I think everyone's going to have a favorite," added Earl.
If you like Batman, it's worth a look—same if you dig Traveller's Tales' LEGO franchise. If you're a fan of both, it's a must-play.
LEGO Batman is expected on store shelves this fall for the Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii and Nintendo DS.