Following up a string of successes — and the previous
Batman games — Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
calls on 150 DC characters to offer a platform puzzle experience
that is both familiar and fresh. This time round the novelty is on
multiple character suits and space battles.
The set-up is that Brainiac plans to destroy the Earth using the
power of the Lantern Rings to shrink our world and add it to his
miniature collection of cities from across the universe. While the
plot may be derivative, what this means for the game is a wider
range of play-styles and locales to play in.
From Zamaron to Odym players work through the different Lantern
worlds each offering a unique challenge. Alongside this main
campaign are Bat Computer virtual reality challenges that serve as
mini-adventures including battle arenas, races and detective
Getting hands-on with Lego Batman 3, the biggest
excitement was the new character suits now on offer. Press a button
and the Gadget Wheel pops up for each hero to select different
suits and abilities. This moves beyond novelty as the related
skills and weapons are called upon to progress through the
While there is — as expected — no Wii or DS version, families
are well served on the Wii U, 360 and PlayStation 3. Next
generation consoles are also catered for as well as Vita and PC.
The number of platforms is impressive but I would still like to see
the PlayStation 3 version ported to Vita rather than it being
grouped with the 3DS.
I spoke to Arthur Parsons, Game Director for Lego Batman
3. In particular I wanted to know what was new here if you
already own the older Lego Batman games. “We’ve got a
whole load of new suit mechanics. All of the characters in this
game have unique abilities. For example, in Lego Batman 3
Cyborg now has 8 different suits giving people a whole new
“Early on the Justice League and the Legion of Doom are right in
there and have to work together against Brainiac and then we go off
to space and visit the Lantern Worlds which is completely new for
As we saw for Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ fan requested Venom Big
Fig, Travellers Tales are keen to hear from the community again.
Where there are particular DC characters or forms of characters
that fans want to see they have actively encouraged requests and do
their best to include them.
Interestingly Parsons talks about the experience as “the
ultimate super hero movie for the family in 2014.” Whether that’s a
slip of the tongue I’m not sure, but certainly for many children
this, rather than a blockbuster movie, will be the event to look
forward to at the end of the summer.
After fielding my questions Parsons played through
level 3 of the game with me. Getting hands on it was
impressively crisp on the next generation console, but more than
just the visuals there was a real sense of glee that came from
being reunited with these DC characters. (I think I may be having a
bit of Marvel fatigue with too much of Disney Infinity
2.0 the last few weeks.)
One level in particular stood out. Taking to space with Batman
and Robin you are soon battling the Joker in a shooting mode that
reminded me of Resogun, the PlayStation exclusive shooter.
Here though you can play in Lego co-op mode as the craft separates
to double the firepower when a friend is in tow.
Dealing with the Joker and getting down to the space station
then took us to a level with mechanics much like Mario
Galaxy. You walk around the structure as it spins beneath your
feet giving not only a sense of weightlessness but also opening up
new ways to sneak round the back of tricky enemies.
We wrapped things up inside the space station working with a
Batman suit that lets you fly, and assisted by The Flash. Opening
the landing dock doors lets in an invisible spaceship that looks
remarkably like Wonder Woman’s comic book jet plane.
Viewing more Lego Batman 3 game footage after playing
the game other characters were also on show. These included the
Legion of Doom Characters Lex, Cheetah and Joker. Then there is
Cyborg, Martian Manhunter complete with a big-fig transformation,
Atom, Bat Mite, Solomon Grundy, The Flash and Wonder Woman.
Touches like these make the Lego games a lot of fun for fans of
the related franchise, and a great way to introduce new-comers.
While in other contexts fan service is seen as icing on the cake
here it’s a must have staple.
Provided Traveller’s Tales gets this right, and offers a strong
experience on the handhelds as well as the consoles, this should
match the success of Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Lego
Movie Video Game (which are both still selling well).
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is released in the Autumn
on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation
Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Windows PC.