Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

  • Developer:  TT Games
  • MSRP:  $59.99-$29.99
  • Rated E10+ for Everone 10+
  • Released on November 11, 2014
  • Platforms:   PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and iOS
  • Review:  ★★★★☆

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

Note:  Review based on a Playstation 4 copy.

You will not find a game that adds in more fan service than Lego Batman 3:  Beyond Gotham.  It may be titled Lego Batman but don’t let that fool you.  It takes the entirety of the DC universe and packs it inside.  You have almost every DC character you could reasonably expect or want and the locations, as the title suggests, takes you mostly out of Batman’s home.  Fan service can only take you so far without a solid foundation, but luckily Lego Batman 3 takes the fundamentals of the previous Lego games and for the most maintains or improves upon them.

The game begins by having you take on the role of Batman and Robin as they chase the Croc through the sewer.  He is on his way to meet up with several other villains, such as Lex Luthor, the Joker, Solomon Grundy and more.  Lex wants to takeover the Justice League’s Watchtower in a bid to ultimately install himself as President.  The heroes and villains need to put everything aside when Brainiac arrives from space to threaten the Earth using the captured powers of the various Lantern Corps.  You will journey from Gotham to space as you try to stop Brainiac from shrinking the Earth to add its cities to his collection of miniatures.

It is a wonder that they did not just change the title away from Lego Batman.  There are still plenty of nods to Batman as he does have a large role to play in the story and you even will have to save Adam West from danger in every level.  Yet the rest of the Justice League play equally important parts throughout the actual narrative.  The story itself feels a bit rushed.  Brainiac as the main villain is fine, but about a majority of the story comes from the heroes letting him escape several times and then trying to fix the damage he has already done.  Fortunately it still keeps the trademark Lego hallmark humor and charm to keep you invested, even if the story at times feels hollow.

If you have played the previous Lego games, or specifically either Lego Batman 2 or Lego Marvel Superheroes, you will feel right at home.  The game adds a few new powers accordingly based on the additional characters, but does not stray far from the established formula.  A few new gameplay additions mix things up, such as a hacker mini-game which will have you running across moving and disappearing blocks to reach a goal and a few cylindrical side-scrolling shooter levels which are very entertaining, even though they only show up a few times.

Once you have beat the main story, as it usually goes with Lego games, there is a myriad of extra content to complete.  To fully complete every level, you will need to jump back in with Free Play to use different characters for a required power.  The Watchtower serves as your world hub and access to the extra content.  From there you can jump into the previous levels or explore new Lantern worlds as you unlock them through the story.  Each Lantern world is a mini planet that hosts new challenges and unlockable.  After being spoiled with open world play in the past Lego titles, it is a bit of a disappointment that it is not featured here.  The mini planets are still amusing, but not a substitute for a bigger single world to explore.  There is also a bonus level to unlock which happens to be one of the most entertaining, taking you back to the classic Adam West Batman television series.

The unlockables in the game features over 150 characters to find and unlock.  They have added in numerous characters and villains from the far reaches of the DC universe to find throughout the game.  There are even a few real people added in Lego form such as Kevin Smith, Conan O’Brian, and of course, Adam West.  The voice cast brings each and every character to life with some notables as the three listed above along with Troy Baker, Stephen Amell, Gilbert Gottfried, and many more.

Ultimately the Lego series has another fantastic entry with Lego Batman 3:  Beyond Gotham.  There are a few problems such as with the story and the lack of an open world which keep it from being the best of the series.  In terms of content, this will keep you busy for some time if you want to earn and unlock everything there is to offer.  You will laugh and smile throughout your entire experience, and be completely surprised by the addition of some of the characters you would not think would appear.  In a crowded holiday season, TT Games has put out another stellar entry to the Lego series that easily deserves your attention.

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