Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Review

Developer: Traveller’s Tale
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, IOS, OS X
Reviewed on PS4

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a toy box, full to the brim with shiny goodies yet it suffers from the franchise’s persistent flaws.
For those new to Lego games, the campaign follows a sequence of levels that focus on smashing objects, collecting studs (in game currency) and solving puzzles by changing between characters with different and very often arbitrary abilities.
Once the story is completed, the levels can be revisited with any unlocked character, adding access to new puzzles and further unlockable items.
This system of, solving, collecting then unlocking content is what drives the game; it’s addictive and always satisfying to see another one of the 165 playable characters become available.
Though, this has been a quality of the games for years now and doesn’t score any points for innovation.
Originality is severely lacking here, though there is a huge roster of characters there is very little reason to pick up Lego: Batman 3 rather than its predecessor.

It’s addictive and always satisfying to see another one of the 165 playable characters become available

The attraction of Lego Batman 3 is supposed to come from its marketed ‘space exploration,’ where certain planets are available to free roam across.
This sounds brilliant, being able to explore an entire (small) planet, but it is far more dull than it seems.
The available planets are the home worlds of the different lantern corps; Green, Yellow, Red etc… and as such are generally just a rock with a colour scheme appropriate to the lanterns that inhabit it.
This is cheap variety and no Batman fan, or human being for that matter, has ever wanted to visit the planet of the Orange lanterns.
The story itself has some brilliant set pieces, such as trying to save miniaturised European cities from Braniac’s shrink ray as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.
There are also Resogun-esque levels that add some fun shooting variety to the gameplay and are far more exhilarating than the previous on-rail-shooter vehicle sections.

The available planets are the home worlds of the different lantern corps; Green, Yellow, Red etc… and as such are generally just a rock with a colour scheme appropriate to the lanterns that inhabit it.

As a whole, the story campaign is the strongest in any Lego game and puzzle solving has been made smoother by the ability to change between any collected ability suit at will.
Unfortunately, the controls and the camera angles are still awful and most of the face buttons on the controller do more than one thing so the game will consistently change Superman into Clark Kent rather than switch to an appropriate character, these flaws have been around for years and it’s frustrating that Traveller’s’s Tale have not addressed them
Lego Batman 3 has also reintroduced smaller hub areas as glorified level select menus, though it is nice to wander around the Bat Cave and the Justice League Satellite, it would have been far easier to delegate their functions to the pause menu.
Having to walk around a hub to access content slows everything down and quickly becomes irritating.
The game looks colourful and runs smooth on PS4 but all Lego games are visually limited by their source material.
A lot of hours can be sunk into Lego Batman 3 and though most of these are fun, it is frustrating to see so many returning flaws to the series.

+ Mountains of collectables
+ There is a charm to it all
+ Smashing EVERYTHING
– Returning flaws with controls
– Terrible camera
– Weak open worlds

7.5/10

Try this if you like:
Skylanders – Lego Marvel Superheroes – Ratchet and Clank – Disney: Infinity

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