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We all knew there would be an official The LEGO Batman Movie tie-in for LEGO Dimensions, but had to wait until the cinema release date before we could get our hands on it. Having now seen the film a number of times, I was eager to play the game and see if it could meet my expectations.
We’re provided with not one, but two minifigures in this Story Pack which makes for an improvement on the Ghostbusters and Fantastic Beasts editions. Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, appears here in her purple and yellow costume as seen in the final section of the film and features some excellent print detail on the legs. She has a double-sided head, with a slight smile on one side and a shocked expression on the other. She also comes with a purple cowl complete with additional pony-tail and some very cool yellow Batarang accessories which I’m sure will show up in plenty of MOCs in the future.
Robin is the second of the included minifigures with his green goggle/hair element and a shiny yellow cape. He also has a double-sided head with one side showing his chirpy smile and the other a more anguished look. Although these aren’t unique to the LEGO Dimensions set, they are both fantastic minifigures and a welcome addition to the ever-expanding roster of characters.
Being a story pack, you’re paying a bit more than the other packs, but it comes with a lot more too. Before you get stuck in with the digital content you can opt to build the physical component, which in this case is a fairly cool, though not huge, Bat-Computer. I put it together in about 15 minutes using the instructions provided, but it does come up within the story (like the original LEGO Dimensions portal did) and provides on-screen instructions should you decide to wait. It was quite simple to build, but surprisingly fun considering the size and, with the finished result shaped like a bat, it’s quite impressive. Compared to the original portal build that comes with Dimensions, it seems a lot smaller and is begging for some modding. Minor gripe aside, it still looks good once in place.
The in-game build comes courtesy of another Bat-vehicle, this time in the form of a mini Batwing. Although definitely not my favourite of the Dimensions mini-build vehicles released to date, it was fun to put together and can be rebuilt into a sports car and Bat-tank, providing characters with flying and towing abilities in-game.
It is somewhat surprising that, considering the title of the film and game has Batman in it, the character is not included. It therefore requires you to bust out the Dimension Starter Pack Batman (which we all know is supposed to be a different character) to complete your trio of cape-wearing crime-fighters to proceed.
Robin allows you to play as two characters, and by holding down one of the action buttons, he will ‘riiiiiipppppp’ off his costume and change into Nightwing which was an unexpected reveal. His abilities include acrobatics, illumination, repair, dive, and he gets a new skill which allows him to crawl into special ‘Robin-vents’ displaying the same hilarious agility as when he climbs the front door of the Fortress of Solitude in the film. The change to Nightwing isn’t just superficial though, as you can cut vines, deflect lasers, pole vault, and glide – making Robin an incredibly useful and versatile character to have.
Batgirl is also another great addition with similar abilities to Batman, such as boomerang, grapple/rope swing and stealth. She also has new ‘high security access’, with panels that are exclusive to The LEGO Batman Movie game.
The story is split over six levels, with various checkpoints along the way making for many hours of solid gameplay. These are punctuated with the usual cut-scenes that are heavily based on The LEGO Batman Movie although don’t manage to quite hit the mark in the same way. The sheer quality of animation in the film makes you wish the game looked half as good visually, but feels a bit crude in comparison. You can clearly recognise the voice of Will Arnett as the Dark Knight, but although Alfred and the Joker sound fine for the purposes of the game, they sound nothing like their movie counterparts which is a shame.
It follows the plot of the cinema release fairly closely, although occasionally there are slight deviations in order to make the narrative work in a video game. You revisit several of the locations that make an appearance, such as the Gotham Energy Plant, the Fortress of Solitude and even the Phantom Zone, with the latter in more detail than we’re privy to in the movie.
All the usual gameplay mechanics familiar to LEGO-game players are present and correct. I was particularly thrilled to find that I didn’t have any freezes/bugs/restarts/crashes throughout the entire game which must be a first for a LEGO video game (although I’m sure they’re there somewhere…).
Aside from the usual minkits and boss battles, the biggest new addition is a brilliant Dimensional ability called Phase. This allows you to bring in components from the other franchises in order to solve puzzles. It was slightly confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t too difficult to master and reminds you of the massively diverse variety of IPs across LEGO Dimensions.
Along with an excellent Adventure World, albeit yet another version of Gotham City, and the new-to-Year 2 Battle Arenas (these will be covered in the relevant Fun Pack review), The LEGO Batman Movie Story Pack is an excellent game with plenty to keep fans busy.
This product was provided for review by Warner Bros.