I’m torn with Travellers Tales and Warner Bros Interactive’s newest entry in the famed Lego series. There is a certainly whiff of nostalgia omitting from it, but what challenges me is the direction of its game-play. The latest in the Lego Batman series, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, speaks for itself in terms of where the plot has gone but questions ran through my head when i received this game; will it be as big and as diverse as the fantastic last installment? Is the grade-A silliness still there? Can i build the Tumbler Batmobile from The Dark Knight films and tear up Gotham city?
The plot, as i said before, is pretty much predictable from the games title. Beyond Gotham takes Batman and the rest of the Justice League into the cosmos where the evil Brainiac plans on harnessing the power of the Lanterns to shrink all the planets to keep as collectables. Its up to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin and Cyborg as well as the Green Lantern to stop Brainiac from going through with it. Not only that, Batman and co reluctantly joins forces with their arch enemies such as Joker, Cheetah, Firefly, Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy to take out this menace. Its an interesting choice in plot line and the comedy that the Lego series is renowned for is here in all its glory. I was constantly entertained as each character getting hit with different Lantern powers which represent the seven deadly sins midway through is comedy gold.
The game-play found in Lego Batman 3 is traditional and untouched. The typical Lego destroy-this, collect-that game-play persists with no real changes present. Levels are separated by numerous fully explorable hub worlds which is enabled later on. These are only fun due to the many characters and gold bricks scattered around them to unlock and collect, after which the fun dissipates meaning your left to wander around aimlessly. Levels are traditionally designed identical to past games in the Lego series. Solving the simple puzzles is as fun as ever and the many hidden puzzles more often than not requiring a second playthrough so you can use an unlocked character with the required power so you can collect minikits, Adam West in Peril’s and red bricks. Aside from the traditional levels and hubworlds, Tron-esque minigames are included this time around. These are varied games such as a tank shooting game, maze navigation, kill everybody and more of which are included in certain levels to hack machinery. I found these nothing more than a tacked on extra which left me rushing through them as they slow down the story pace to a stand still. There are tonnes of characters to collect in Beyond Gotham. Old favorites such as all the Batman goodies and baddies as well as the Lanterns and even lesser known characters such as Beast Boy and Miss Martian are fun to play. You get a need to unlock everything in this game once the story is complete which does wonders for the longevity.
The visuals are beautifully coloured especially on the Lantern worlds. Each landscape coloured corresponding to that Lanterns ring power such as pink for love. The miniature versions of famous cities such as London and Paris which are seen early on are great fun to play through and are marvelously created in Lego form. Characters new and old all look fantastically detailed with their different costumes going as far as the old 1960’s Batman and Robin which look stellar. The entire game is as pleasing to the eye as the rest of them which never really goes to anywhere near never-done-before territory which is a shame.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has a fun new storyline which is teaming with that typical Lego humor and charm. The game-play is virtually untouched but it was saddening to see the fully open world sandbox gameplay seen in the last game gone with only hub worlds fully explorable. Beyond Gotham is a fantastic addition to the Lego Batman series however we have all seen it before.
Story - 4/5
Graphics - 4/5
Game-play - 4/5
Overall - 4/5
Version Reviewed - PlayStation 4