WARNING: MILD SPOILERS FOR THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Outside of maybe Star Wars, Batman has been represented possibly the most in the Lego franchise of games, having been featured in his own trilogy of games, as a playable character in the Lego Movie Videogame and being included as a one of the three characters in the starter pack of Lego Dimensions when it was released back in 2015. For people who bought into Lego Dimensions because it featured characters like Wonder Woman, Superman, and Harley Quinn, the year two content thus far has been pretty lacking but now WB Games is looking to correct that with the The Lego Batman Movie Story Pack. While the new Story Pack doesn’t impress in the way the solo Lego Batman games once did nor will it convince you to buy into the expensive toys-to-life game if you’re on the fence, it’s an easy to recommend product for those with countless figure and vehicle pieces lining their shelves.
At an MSRP of $49.99, The Lego Batman Movie Story Packs gives you a lot for your money: Two new characters in the form or Batgirl and Robin, a Batwing vehicle and a Bat-Computer base build. Of all the physical items that come in the package, the new base build for the portal is the most disappointing, especially when compared to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack that came out in last November with nice touches like platforms that raised with levers and an opening gate. The Bat-Computer isn’t exactly bad per se, however the build itself takes up less space on the bit that attaches to the portal that makes it seem less full when put alongside the Fantastic Beasts Story Pack base.
Everything else in the package makes up for it though. Both Batgirl and Robin are great figures and their abilities will keep them on regular rotation on your portal. Batgirl does everything else that Batman does with the added “detection” ability that works a lot like the tracking power that Owen Grady has in the Jurassic World Team Pack. From now on at least for me, Batman is sadly going to sit on the shelf because Batgirl has become way more useful. Weirdly Robin has the ability to repair items and do so underwater as well which seems uncharacteristic for the character but is nonetheless useful, and a transformation ability allow him to create poles to swing on. This is helpful if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan and didn’t buy Legolas or couldn’t get your hands on the convention exclusive Green Arrow figure. The Batwing is yet another flying vehicle which you may have too many of already, but it has the aerial towing ability without any upgrades that makes it a good vehicle to keep in your regular rotation.
After you’ve finished installing all the necessary updates you can play the campaign that the pack gives you access to which is about 3-4 hours in lengths and does a decent job of recapping the events of the movie it’s based on. If you haven’t seen The Lego Batman Movie, I would recommend seeing it before you play as it will spoil the events and some of the jokes as well. One thing that’s immediately disappointing in this new expansion is the presentation value compared to the last few movie based Lego games which have either features dialogue taken straight from a movie, or in the case of The Lego Movie Videogame, complete scenes from the film. The Lego Batman Movie Story Pack features neither, however Will Arnett and Rosario Dawson who play Batman and Batgirl respectively lend their talent, but having them there really makes you miss that Robin is voiced by a soundalike and not Micheal Cera. Not having the full cast nor the high quality scenes from the film makes this feel like less of a Lego Batman Movie game and more just like a standard Lego Batman game of which there are three already.
The campaign itself is composed of six levels that are pretty much what you expect from a Lego game. The levels themselves are okay, but if you’ve played any of the other Lego Batman games you’ve gone to places like Arkham Asylum before. A later level set in the Phantom Zone is a standout where you have some interesting platforms where you have to stay on them while they change orientation, and the same goes for the bosses that come from the Phantom Zone which are huge creatures that require you to play with the new “Phase” portal ability that’s really fun. Essentially you summon three portals from various worlds which you need to use in tandem with one another by having three characters on different parts of the portal to build or activate something. Forgive me if this has already been used in another pack, but it was new to me and it was a standout in an otherwise good, but also average Lego adventure.
On top of the mini-campaign you also get access to a new Adventure World which will also increase your playtime by another few hours complete with fetch quests, races and other collectibles that you’re used to by now if you’ve bought into Lego Dimensions. You can also access this by just buying the Excalibur Batman Fun Pack, but given that the new Batman has only one new ability that you may or may not have depending on how much you love Adventure Time, you’re ultimately better off and saving up for the Story Pack to get everything in one package. If you’re indifferent to Adventure Time like I am or just want to have all the DC characters in Dimensions you can get your hands on, Excalibur Batman can use his sword to access switches which is helpful if you fall into either of the two mentioned camps.
If you’re a Lego Dimensions fan, love Batman, or better yet, both, you get a lot for $50 in both product and game. If you were hoping that this would be the set that would make you rush out to buy the game, you’re probably better off buying some of the themed toys based around the movie or replaying some of the other Lego Batman games. As someone who has dove headfirst into Dimensions, The Lego Batman Movie Story Pack is an easy recommend to buy set given the abilities you get from the included characters and the amount of game you unlock.