Warner Bros.

Scribblenauts Unmasked includes 130 Green Lanterns, 33 Batmans, and every other DC hero

Scribblenauts Unmasked includes 130 Green Lanterns, 33 Batmans, and every other DC hero

Select press were shown a hands-off demo of Scribblenauts Unmasked at a preview event in LA yesterday, and the signature encyclopedic completeness of the series was in full effect. 5th Cell didn't want to get a few DC heroes into the game, they wanted to get every DC hero into the game. We were shown sweeping screens, packed with characters both popular and obscure.

There will be over 2,000 characters in the game, and we began to try to stump the developers. We didn't win, although we did list a few heroes that were only reprensted by placeholder art.

That one guy from that one panel in that one comic from 1976? Oh yeah, he's in there. There are 130 or so Green Lanterns, and 33 Batmans. Did you know there is a Green Lantern who looks like a planet? His name is Mogo, and he's in there. You can also add different words to the name of certain heroes to change their attributes in the game; during the demo they spawn a zombie Batman, who promptly fell over before infecting the rest of the heroes on the screen.

Wasting time, the Wikipedia way

This Scribblenauts game features an actual story, with Maxwell and his sister Lilly trying to help out the Justice League through some unnamed issue. You'll travel to Wayne Manor, the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps, and the batcave, among other locations. The levels we saw were drawn in the game's signature style and filled with tiny details, along with characters that needed some kind of help.

The game will procedurally generate a series of tiny missions called “heroic feats,” every time you load a level, and you'll be asked to spawn objects or heroes to solve problems and earn reputation points which can then be spent on content in the game. Once you clear a level you can simply return and play through another set of challenges, generated on the fly.

You can also create new heroes by mixing and matching different pieces of existing heroes, and then give them names and super powers. If you've ever wanted to play in character creation in the DC universe, this is a good way to get started; you'll have parts of 2,000 or so heroes to mix and match to create your own.

You won't have to hit up your old books to find obscure heroes to test the game's collection, as Unmasked comes with an in-game app called the Batcomputer. You can look up files on any of the characters, browse through the world of DC heroes, and see how everyone is linked together in this extensive fiction.

If you've ever lost yourself researching a mundane topic on Wikipedia before veering way off course, this is your tool: You'll start by looking up a detail about Alfred the butler, and suddenly you're reading about an obscure hero from the 80s. An obscure hero that you can then spawn in the game to see what they can do.

Scribblenauts as a series has always been about play, and finding unique ways of solving problems. Introducing licensed characters seems to go against that goal, but based on what we saw the team behind the game is in love with the possibilities of the DC Universe, and the ability to create your own mix-and-match heroes while taking part in classical Scribblenauts gameplay in familiar environments is incredibly attractive.

Scribblenauts Unmasked is coming to the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and PC this Fall.