Review: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
After LEGO The Hobbit, it was the time for the Dark Knight to turn into a minifigure in what it is its third adventure with the Justice League. On the menu: Brainiac is determined to add the Earth in his private collection of worlds, and our DC Comics superheroes are forced to ally with their sworn enemies to counter the threat. Ultimately a title with a deja-vu feel to it, but still works correctly on many parts.
As we all wait for Batman: Arkham Knight coming this summer, how about you waste a bit of time in the LEGO version of Bruce Wayne, his faithful companion Robin, Alfred and all the Justice League in a new adventure that intends to break some more bricks? Thus, before going into detail, note that LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the epitome of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” saying. So do not expect to find any revolution in this opus since the game is intended primarily for LEGO franchise fans and DC Comics secondly.
If LEGO Batman 2 took place only in Gotham, this third segment propels us into the Justice League’s watchtower where you will actually start the adventure. However, before joining our companions such as Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, Cyborg and others, you will become familiar with the gameplay via a tutorial mission in the sewers chasing Killer Croc, followed by an excursion in the Batcave with impressive dimensions. It’s a good way to remember the gameplay of the previous opus, allowing us to switch as we see fit between various characters to use their skills while enjoying some fun inspired passages (mainly referring to the arrival at the watchtower via a Resogun inspired shoot’em up sequence). While over a third of the game will take place in the den of various superheroes before passing into the vessel of Brainiac and other planets.
As it is the case with all Lego games, there’s a myriad of heroes to play with. This time, no less than 150 characters are available, plus guest stars like Adam West (which you need to save in each level) or even the Conan O’Brien whose appearance is reduced to a guide of sort for the hubs. What is interesting in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is that everyone is set to defeat Brainiac, which will have you team up with the villains you despise. Through this agreement. you will benefit from such unlikely trio like Batman / Joker / Luthor or even Grundy / Robin / Cyborg. As you can imagine, it will be subject to leveraging each other’s qualities to progress, although in absolute terms, but we regret once again that the pattern is exactly the same as other LEGO games. Destroy elements and build new tool represent a good part of your game time. Of course, the use of various character costumes is a new feature, but it quickly becomes annoying to use.
But since Marvel heroes constantly change costumes, there was no reason than DC ones could not enjoy a vast wardrobe (especially true that it was already the case in LEGO Batman 2). In fact, although some characters are privileged, all have at least one or two powers available. For example, Martian Manhunter has shape-shifting techniques, can mind control other characters, Green Lantern can create holographic fists and Cheetah can dig underground tunnels, etc. I did find that several characters have similar capabilities, we still benefit from the many costumes given to some key heroes such as Robin, Batman, Lex Luthor and the Joker. Outside the wacky side of some of them (the washing machine Cyborg is hilarious), these outfits will allow you to find clues thanks to their abilities such as special vision, electrical suits, ice, hacking, you name it. I’m actually happy that the novelty of this function has been reestructed via a quick to access wheel, offering direct retrieval of desired costume. Friendly, though all still denotes the small number of additions to LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham in comparison to its predecessors.
it is regrettable that the developers do not even hide the lack of ambition in the evolution of their series
If TT Games offers a perfectly calibrated game still based on humor, great comic book references (like Superman and Wonder Woman have a dinner date) and Coop mode, it is regrettable that the developers do not even hide the lack of ambition in the evolution of their series. I still remember LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game back in 2005, and if this episode was the one that since refined its gameplay, and became an icon, it is still a base that remains the same with scarce elements added here and there year after year. Frustrating, even if the fans will likely end up getting LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the game offers only what we expect of it. Now the real question is what the game concept will offer us in the future, excluding new franchises, if TT Games finally begins to rethink the concept to attract a new audience while retaining the old.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham was reviewed using an Xbox One copy of the game purchased by the reviewer. The game is also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• A huge roster of characters
• Quirky references to the DC Comics universe
• Sometimes funny (without being hilarious)
• The costume's wheel
• Some story mission are original
• Split screen mode
• Huge game if you want to finish it 100%
• Game becomes redundant soon enough
• Several story missions are a bit messy
• Unnecessary Tron-like hacking sequences
• Precise knowledge of each costume's powers quickly becomes an obligation
• The open world of LEGO Batman 2 has been replaced by a hub
• A game concept that really needs to change things up