Here’s your first look at Traveller’s Tales’ third brick-based Batman. The latest in the series builds on the suits of the last installment but takes the action into space, including some very Resogun-like shooting sections - ironically with a less blocky appearance than the original source.
The sections I saw took place right at the start of the game as Joker and Lex coordinate an attack on the Justice League’s Watch Tower. That’s the initial cause of the threequel’s spacey setting and introduces a whole new cast including Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, the Flash among others from the ranks of the JLA.
However, while Joker and Lex kick events off with their assault they aren’t the main enemy of the game. That job ultimately falls to Brainiac, but Traveller’s Tales’ executive producer Phillip Ring isn’t saying much more than that on the villain’s role. What he will talk about though is that, “the majority of the story takes place in space”, adding, “we get to go to a whole host of cool DC locations outside of Earth.”
To get there Batman obviously needs a rocket and my demo starts in the Bat Cave with some very familiar co-op exploration as Bats and the Boy Wonder assemble the parts they need to build their space ship. The suits are back and this time you can switch between them at will, the only limit now being that there’s a fuel mechanic to certain outfits. So Robin’s Illumination Suit (letting you explore dark places) needs batteries, while Batman’s Jet Suit needs fuel to get around. These suits aren’t just limited to the Dynamic Duo either. One other character I saw getting dressed up was Cyborg who has a mecha-style Giant Suit, a Demolition Suit and a ‘Stealth’ Suit. I’ve put that in quotes because it hides him by turning him into a washing machine.
Perhaps one of the more interesting change ups this time are the shooter sections where you take on flying Joker teeth and other attackers. The battle I saw took place around the Watch Tower, a structure that even looks like a Resogun level, not to mention the action rotates around it. “We wanted to do things like this,” explains Phillip, “because that kind of 2D arcade shooter feels like it’s perfect for space combat and we get to have loads of Lego bricks flying around and blowing up.” You can also collect green power ups for extras like smart bombs, lasers or shields and the whole seems to strongly channel the feel of Housemarque’s blaster.
The immediate changes are obvious - the new cast, the always accessible suits, the shooter sections and the space setting but it sounds like there’s more to come. “Wanted to push the story and show new locations, show new worlds that people haven’t been to before and refine what we can do in the game,” says Phil. He ends with a classic ‘we’re not talking about that right now’ tease: “I’m a little bit restricted about what we can say. I know we’ve got some fantastic things we’re really excited about showing but with this being the first announcement we’re not revealing it all. In particular the voice acting: there’s some really cool stuff we’re putting in place for that.”