If you’re a gamer and you aren’t familiar with the Lego games, you may have been living in a cave. Even if you haven’t played one, which you really should do, then you’ve probably heard of them in some way, shape, or form. TT Games releases one to two every year. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham follows its story involving your favorite DC superheroes such as Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and the Flash who must team up with a motley crew of villains in order to stop Brainiac. The story falls into the background though as entertaining gameplay, puzzles, and humorous scenes become the focus. Exploring Gotham city from Lego Batman 2 has been replaced with a space station and several other areas including the Batcave.
If you have played a Lego game, then you will instantly be familiar with the formula. It hasn’t changed much since TT Games started out with Lego Star Wars. Every character has different abilities that you must use to progress through the level. These abilities are flying, heat vision, large size, grappling hook, just to name a few. Most characters have more than one ability as well. This can be both bad and good. The TT Games formula is great but has seen nothing more than tiny revisions in the years they’ve been making them. More of the same isn’t necessarily bad though.
Batman, Cyborg, Robin and some of the other characters have numerous suits they can use to make it through the levels. This required less switching between characters which allows you to stick with your favorite character more frequently. Character switching is still required though. Different levels let you control two or more characters and the game switches it up enough to keep it fresh.
There are some minor changes to the gameplay that have improved it since the last game. When you are close to an area that requires a different suit than you are wearing, one button will let you switch suits without bringing up the selection wheel. Also, some characters who can’t throw objects can still bring up an aiming reticle and then lunge themselves at the targets. These are small but appreciated changes that show TT Games has tweaked their set formula for the better.
Plenty of humor can be found in Lego Batman 3, just like the other Lego games. Children will love the cutscenes and adults should enjoy them as well. I found one particular aspect pretty funny in the way the Flash was portrayed. There are also several cameos from real-life celebrities turned into mini-figures including an odd but enjoyable one from a late night talk show host. I won’t spoil any of these for you.
The music was of cinema quality which is especially notable when you take to the air as either Superman or Wonder Woman and the original scores from their respective movie or TV show plays. The voice work was also excellent and the characters all had great voices that matched their looks and personalities. However, I did find myself missing Will Arnett’s Batman voice from the Lego movie.
Once the story missions are over, just like the other Lego games, you are able to switch to any character. There is still so much to do when you finish the story. All the free play missions, finding gold bricks, the red cheat bricks, unlocking all the characters, and so on and so forth. I found several areas that I wasn’t aware after I finished the story. Some of these are smaller planets that you can fly around. I was really impressed with one of these areas.
The game was also fairly bug-free when compared with some of TT Games other releases. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of bugs I found. I can’t remember a Lego game being as smooth as this one. On that note, little has changed with the camera and there were parts where I couldn’t see or find my character due to the camera being focused on someone or something else. Also, you were unable to pull up a list of characters which is a minor annoyance. It was difficult to find the character you wanted to switch to at times when there were four of them in your party.
All in all, the game did not disappoint and TT Games still has not worn out their tried and true Lego game formula. I had a lot of fun playing it and creating my own superheroes in the Minifigure creator part of the space station. At some point, I’ll likely go back and try to get all the achievements and every single gold brick in the game.