What Do You Mean the Batmobile Can't Turn on a Dime?
Of course, the game is at its best when you can have a friend playing on the same couch instead of relying on the AI, which, as always, is a bit brain dead and confused as to just what you want it to do. It was not uncommon for me to get to the end of a puzzle only to see that my AI partner hadn’t started on its half of things, leaving me with some lost progress. Make sure to stay close to your partner whenever possible, because tending to get too far ahead makes them just head back to the start and not even bother trying to play catch up.
The game will last you roughly 8-10 hours to beat, but as always there is a wealth of replayability. Trying to collect everything will require a marginal time sink and probably require a guide as well. The LEGO games have always encouraged players to use cheat codes to gain the extra studs necessary so turning on the multipliers is highly encouraged. There are also cheats that point out red bricks, mini-kits, and character studs, but having all of these turned on at once can quickly fill up your screen with flashing, annoying arrows. I’d suggest just going forth with the stud multipliers, trying to find everything on your own, and using a guide/cheats to clean up whatever is left over if you’re a completionist.
While the story missions may not require a lot of time, the navigation may pad on to your playthrough. It’s a bit overwhelming when the game first opens up because there are just so many places to go. You’re given a location on the mini-map at the top, but even when cruising in the Batmobile you’ll see a ton of things that you want to stop a check out. Enemies may be terrorizing citizens, you may spot a collectible, or it may just be an area that looks like it could lead to something special. It’s easy to lose track of just what you’re supposed to do after getting sidetracked and this can lead to a lot of confusion. The icons will point you in the right direction, but you may find that the map is a bit tough to sort out and you end up missing the one road to an area and blow right by where you need to be. Also, while the controls are smooth when you’re a character, the vehicle controls are very rigid and if you’re not careful, you’ll get your ride stuck on something that forces you to ditch it. It kind of kills the mood when your Batmobile gets stuck on a tree and you’re forced to take Robin’s speedbike.
The aggravating camera also makes a triumphant return. Sometimes you can lose your character as it pans to a different area and other times it can move around making it awkward to judge your jumps. You eventually learn to live with it and just make the best of things, but it would have been nice for it to work the right way instead of having to work around it.
Though the game has some frustrating elements, Traveller’s Tales went out of their comfort zone. They added a lot to this game, including an open world and voice acting, and for the most part it pays off. Things could be a bit better, especially in the navigation aspect, but in the end if you enjoy Batman or the LEGO games, you’ll have a blast. If you enjoy collecting every little brick to get 100% of a platinum trophy, this game will provide you more than enough gameplay for your investment.