The main stage at New York Comic Con 2014 was host to the LEGO Batman 3 panel on Saturday morning, with assistant game director Stephen Sharples, game director Arthur Parsons, DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, voice actor Troy Baker (who voices Batman in this game and the Joker in the Arkham Asylum series), and writer/director/renowned geek Kevin Smith.
Like the game itself, the panel didn’t take itself too seriously, with gameplay clips interspersed with the panelists spending a lot of time joking around. It was stated several times by several people how well the game manages to be faithful to traditional DC Comics interpretations of characters, while still keeping the sense of humor that the LEGO games are renowned for. Johns was especially happy with the way the game turned out, noting that the Suicide Squad can appear in LEGO and it still all works. Parsons and Sharples added that they put together a list of 20 things they wanted to ask DC to include in the game, expecting to get only 5 of them but getting all 20 and then another 10 on top of that.
Kevin Smith was often the butt of his own jokes, quipping that he asked the creators to give the LEGO version of his character “the power to make a successful movie,” only to be told, “No, that could never happen.” Parsons did say that the game captured his fanboy nature accurately (while Smith quipped that they also dropped 3 inches on both sides of his hips), and that he will fanboy the player during the free-play part of the game. Parsons also advised players to stay tuned through the end-credits for several post-credits scenes, one of which features Geoff Johns and Kevin Smith together. Smith and Johns are only two of the real people who populate the game: Johns’ colleague Jim Lee is also in the game (although I couldn’t tell whether Lee really requested that his only super power be throwing pencils at people, but I wouldn’t be surprised) as is Adam West as Adam West.
Several new characters were revealed at the panel, including Darkest Knight Batman (from the 1994 Elseworlds comic book), Solar Suit Superman (from the 1990’s “Death of Superman” story), Man-Bat, and the Condiment King. However, the biggest audience reaction was reserved for Duck Dodgers as Green Loontern in LEGO form (voiced by Joe Alaskey, reprising his role from the TV show), and for Conan O’Brien.
A series of gameplay clips led to a surprise visit from actor Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen on Arrow. Amell relayed that he is a little possessive when it comes to when he heard Green Arrow, asking Geoff Johns to play Arrow in the earlier video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, and then in this game. While he didn’t know what to expect walking in, the first thing he says in the game is his “My name is Oliver Queen” speech from the show, except that the speech soon takes all the air and seriousness out of it in typical LEGO fashion. Apparently, the sentence, “I’m wearing really tight pants” figures in there somewhere.
To get Amell as Arrow, gamers will need to grab the new Arrow downloadable content pack, which is the fourth announced DLC pack of six total, with the other three previously announced DLC packs being one based on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Batman movies; one 75th Anniversary Batman pack; and one based on the Man of Steel movie. These things sound worth the investment if only for the chance to run around with a baby Superman, re-create a scene with the late Heath Ledger’s Joker Nurse character, and incorporate Zebra Batman into the game. The Arrow pack will allow players to go back to the desert island where Oliver Queen was marooned, and will also include LEGO versions of Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Helena Bertinelli, Slade Wilson, Roy Harper, Sarah Lance, and Malcolm Merlyn.
LEGO Batman 3 will be available November 11, 2014 and more characters, DLC pack announcements, and other surprises were all promised before the game’s release date. Now have some extra photos of Stephen Amell from the panel. Click to make him bigger.