Over the weekend, Warner Bros. confirmed that Batman remains a big part of its interactive future. In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Ames Kirshen, vice president of product development for the Arkham and DC Comics games at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, stated, “Batman is one of the cornerstone IPs for Warner Bros. With the Arkham series, we were finally able to realize the full potential of the character.” It's not a very bold statement, though it is an obvious one.
Since Lego Batman first arrived on the scene in 2008, the Dark Knight has had quite a run of success with his various video game incarnations. Combined with the Batman: Arkham series, the pointy-eared millionaire has easily recorded tens of millions of game sales over the past seven years. Given the recent success with Batman: Arkham Knight (horrible PC launch notwithstanding), it makes a lot of sense for Warner Bros. Interactive to keep the big guy around in some form or another, even if current fan-favorite developer Rocksteady Studios is claiming to be done with Batman.
While at first Lego Dimensions appeared to be yet another NFC figure game built to cash in on the success of Activision's Skylanders series, but in the months since it's been revealed to be a game built to cash in on Skylanders' success with some interesting improvements to the formula. With the concept of having to actually build all the figures and vehicles, Lego Dimensions offers enough difference from its competitors at the onset to make it appealing.
Factor in the inclusion of just about every license under Lego's belt, and you've got a game that lets you team Scooby-Doo and Batman with Doctor Who, while they try to stop an invasion into Springfield. After months of lead-up, the arrival of the ultimate fan fiction mash-up game is almost here.
Poor Scooby-Doo and Shaggy; those guys can never catch a break when it comes to getting a decent meal. Maybe if they actually got paid for some of the cases Mystery, Inc. helped solve, the refrigerator in their home wouldn't be filled with cobwebs. I mean, honestly, these guys have helped bring the Black Knight, the Indian Witch Doctor, Redbeard's Ghost and the Ghost of Bigfoot to justice, to name a few. You'd think that would at least earn them enough scratch to stock the house with Scooby Snacks or Lunchables or something. Also, why are these guys always so hungry?
Fortunately for the hungry heroes, a familiar friend drops some pizza and a mystery box off on Scooby's and Shaggy's doorstep. Unsure of what this glowing blue box means, the duo set to work uncovering the mystery therein. It's almost like these guys treat solving these kinds of quandaries like a job. Once completed, we see that this box was no ordinary box at all, but was actually a Lego Dimensions portal complete with minifigures of Scooby and Shaggy. Cue the theme music, boys.
We already knew Lego Marvel's Avengers would have the biggest roster of any Lego game developed by TT Games to date, but we still don't know the exact character list. During Gamescom this week, TT revealed a few of these new cast members with in-game models for the first time, giving us a better idea of who and what to expect. While your standard Avengers have all but been confirmed (at least as far as the movie roster is concerned), there's a whole lot of Marvel heroes and villains that have yet to have their shot at Lego fame and glory.
During San Diego Comic-Con, TT actually teased a few of these characters, including Kamala "Ms. Marvel" Khan and the Jane Foster Thor, but this is the first time we've seen Squirrel Girl and the Young Avengers' Speed. Most importantly, Ms. Marvel's Lego-fied version actually looks like Kamala Khan. After the America Chavez incident, it's good to see TT Games is actually on point with its representation of the character, and fans won't have to cry out in hopes of having Ms. Khan recolored.
Upcoming collectible toy video game Lego Dimensions has already promised a wealth of crossover potential with the likes of Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle starring alongside each other in an adventure that spans (almost) all of Lego's properties. While we've been focused on characters from Back to the Future, Scooby-Doo and Portal joining the fray, we almost forgot about the idea that many of these characters exist in different forms within the Lego Universe already thanks to the Lego Movie. TT Games hasn't forgotten though.
In the latest trailer for the developer's new flagship Lego title, we get to see a multitude of familiar faces from all ranges of Lego lines, but it's the chance meeting of DC's Batman and Wyldstyle's former flame, Batman, that gives us the clearest idea of what to expect from the upcoming action game. The lines between realities have been blurred beyond recognition, and now Batman and Batman will have to figure out which Batman is the Batman-est Batman to don the cape and cowl.
This year, TT Games continues its brief tradition of rotating comic book Lego game releases from Marvel and DC with Lego Marvel's Avengers. Based on the two Avengers films, Lego Avengers will allow you to play through both movies with the actual cast doing the voice overs. No new audio will be recorded of course; like Lego The Hobbit, this game will reuse the dialogue from the films in place of having actors like Robert Downey, Jr or Chris Hemsworth reprising their roles.
TT Games held a small interview session before the panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, and we spoke with producer Matt Ellison about the upcoming action game. As the third Lego game TT will be releasing this year (Lego Jurassic World is available now, and Lego Dimensions arrives this fall), we discussed what makes Lego Marvel's Avengers different and what new elements would be incorporated, from characters to mechanics, to keep the Lego experience fresh.
Thanks to the success of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, and also a little ol' thing called amiibo, the NFC figure craze can officially move into the sustainable trend category. These collectible figure-based games are no longer just a hot trend, they are a legitimate force to be reckoned with at retail. Adding more fuel to the fire this fall will be Lego Dimensions, the first NFC game to actually require your to build your adventures before you can play them.
Since launching in 2005, the Lego [Insert Video Game License Here] series has stayed true to its roots, while offering incremental improvements with every iteration. The earliest games relied heavily on sight gags, while later additions were able to incorporate full voice over tracks to great effect. While we've seen Lego Marvel Super Heroes in action before, Lego Marvel's Avengers is the first superhero license to be based on a film. We've gotten a handful of Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings games, as well as other comic-based titles, but even the previous Marvel Lego game was an original tale.
With this retelling of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Lego will let us relive the movies as they happened, including voice tracks taken straight from the cinematic cuts of the two blockbusters. That means, yes, Scarlett Johansson will voice Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson will be Nick Fury, but you shouldn't count on hearing them say anything you haven't already heard from the dozens of times you've watched the films themselves. That doesn't mean there won't be some new tricks up TT Games' sleeve. In fact, in our short time with the demo, there were some nice new touches already in place.
In case you forgot, there's a Lego Marvel video game still on the docket this year. That's on top of Lego Jurassic World, Lego Worlds and Lego Dimensions, all of which are either currently available or coming very, very soon. Though we haven't had a Lego Marvel game proper since Lego Marvel Super Heroes in 2013, we have had one of the biggest Marvel movies of all time release this year. Guess that makes it perfect timing for a new adventure in the Lego Marvel world.
The first full trailer for Lego Marvel's Avengers arrived today, just ahead of its gameplay debut at E3 2015. Like Lego Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings before it, Lego Avengers will combine the cinematic heroics of Marvel's most well-known team of heroes into one game disc. While it is a bit of a shame we won't have quite as big a look into the Lego Marvel U as we did with the previous game, this trailer does bring back fond feelings for Lego Hulk.
Apparently, 2015 is going to be the year of Lego --- at least as far as video games are concerned. In previous years, we've gotten one or two different Lego games from TT Games, but this year four different Lego titles are on the docket. In addition to Lego Jurassic World, Lego Marvel's Avengers and Lego Worlds (just released on Steam Early Access), quite possibly the most ambitious Lego game ever will arrive later this year in the form of Lego Dimensions.
Taking full advantage of the unstoppable trend in NFC figure video games, Lego Dimensions combines the collectible aspect with its iconic brick building to craft an entirely new spin on the aging (and expensive) formula Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Nintendo have done so well with in recent years. Unlike all those other brands, Lego Dimensions won't just be limited to one particular house of licenses, and will offer players the chance to mix and match heroes like Batman and Gandalf with vehicles like the DeLorean and the Batmobile.
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