- + A huge variety of DC characters to play as
- + Collecting studs still has its moments
- + Adam West makes an appearance
- - It gets repetitive very quickly
- - The story is uninteresting
- - One part of a level clearly rips off Resogun
With each LEGO video game I quietly wonder how much longer the series will keep on being entertaining. I’m not worried about Traveller’s Tales’ expertise as a developer, more the fact that they might not evolve the series nearly as much as I want them to. With LEGO Batman 2 players were finally given Gotham City to explore in its entirety, however, in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham it seems like more of a step back.
Instead of an open-ended Gotham to explore players are now given traditionally structured levels. With a total of fifteen chapters, each totting up to forty five minutes of gameplay, there’s plenty to do but not nearly as much variety. I guess there’s something about being given a linear path, as opposed to a larger, more sprawling playground. In Traveller’s Tale’s defence, it would’ve been a tall order to incorporate a fresh take on an open world Gotham. However, I additionally feel that since the only way to continue the series has meant more linear levels, the need for an engaging story is paramount, regardless of the audiences average age.
As a kid I probably wouldn’t mind about such a plain story but since I’m a fully-grown adult I couldn’t help but become uninterested very quickly. The LEGO games might have a mass appeal amongst kids but they’re also equally popular amongst adults, and I believe the story should reflect that. In the shortest of explanations, evil mastermind Brainiac (pardon the pun) intends to use a shrink ray on Earth and keep it all to himself. The campaign starts off on our planet but soon after, moves swiftly into space and into the territory of the Justice League headquarters. Nevertheless you do get to explore the Batcave in its entirety, as well as the Hall of Justice and a few other notable space-based locations.
I strongly believe that Marvel Superheroes stands out as the best game in the series thus far, as it continued to iterate on gameplay with larger character models, and also gave players some elaborate boss fights to participate in. In LEGO Batman 3 the gameplay gets repetitive fast. It wasn’t long until I yearned for a larger playground and more interesting activities to partake in, I felt restricted. Being forced to navigate myself through numerous barricades in order to blow up the Batmobile, just to defeat a mind-controlled Batman, wasn’t fun. I’d have more of a fun time playing through a game that spanned across every Batman movie.
The potential to act out my favourite movie moments in-game excites me, more than playing a simple story of Brainiac controlling people just to keep the world in his pocket. I can’t even imagine how nice it would be to have a constant change of Batman-related music, there’s only so much of the original Batman 89 score that I can take. So what was essentially intended to be a review for Traveller’s Tale’s current Batman game, has turned into a pitch for a better one. I hope both Warner Bros. and the developers are listening to this. With that being said it does at least seem as though the studio already have the idea of visiting famous movie moments. It might not be in the main game but through extra downloadable content players will be given the chance of playing through important parts of DC history, including memorable moments from The Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel. It’s a positive start, however, I’ve yet to play the content and will update this article once I have.
Once again players are able to pair up to help fight their way through the game, yet there’s still no online multiplayer. Given that fact, if you’re on PlayStation 4 you do have the ability to SharePlay, so I guess that’s one problem solved. As expected there’s a huge roster of characters to choose from, and anyone with a taste towards any particular character costume or style will surely be satisfied.