In recent years I think the LEGO games have become tired. This is for a few reasons, but I am always up for something starring the Caped Crusader. Unfortunately, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham suffers from all the set-backs of the modern LEGO game.
If you’ve played a LEGO game before, you’ll know that it consists of going through a hub-world to the next level, breaking everything you see in your path along the way for studs to spend on unlockables. Levels in these games don’t change much either, with your standard solve a few puzzles, fight some baddies and collect mini-kits pretty much taking up the entirety of the main game. LEGO Batman 3 doesn’t do much to change the tried and tested formula, but to be honest, why change something that isn’t broken?
As in previous LEGO games, there are a huge amount of characters to unlock over the course of the game, and for any DC fan, you’re favourite comic book character is likely there. As this is essentially a Justice League game, there are representatives from all across DCs vast history to play as, but I couldn’t help feel that I just wanted Batman.
Therein lies this game’s first issue. It’s called LEGO Batman, but it’s not a Batman game. He and Robin are pretty much the main two characters, but this is a game full of Superman, Wonderwoman, The Flash and Green Lantern. In fact, arguably, The Green Lantern is the main character this time around as the game tasks you with visiting planets from that series in order to save the world from the grubby paws of Braniac and his magnificent shrinking machine.
The plot, unfortunately, is a little hard to pin down. The game never quite feels comfortable in its own skin, never sure exactly what it wants to be. The earlier stages in the game are more enjoyable than the later ones, and this comes down to the story really getting bogged down around halfway through. It loses momentum. Thankfully, the gags never lose momentum.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a very funny game. I loved Batman’s relationship with the other heroes, but the star of the comedy is The Flash. The Flash is hilarious from the get-go, right up until the end of the game. I was glad to see the comedy writing improved over the first two LEGO Batman games, despite the plot getting worse.
Outside of the story, there is plenty to get on with, so there is no issue with value for money. However, I felt there was too much content in the game. Instead of one big, open-world to explore there are multiple smaller areas to explore, including several planets. It was too much. I never enjoyed the hub-worlds in the game. The camera felt awkward, and the side-quests were boring time-consuming things.
Playing the game felt daunting at times because of the size of the thing, it’s surely far too big for kids to really get their heads around. For the most part though, you can ignore the extra content in the game and just stick to the stages. As I’ve explained above, the levels start strongly, with more of a Batman flavour to them, whilst the second half of the game suffers from tedium in the level design. The puzzles in the game ranged from good to the downright infuriating, with incredibly vague design occasionally ruining the overall experience of the level.
Glitches ruined the overall experience too. While glitches weren’t that prevelant, there were definitely some stinkers. Often I’d jump into something and the character wouldn’t land properly, including one time they actually got completely stuck, meaning I had to start the stage again from scratch. LEGO games have always struggled with this particular issue. Why they haven’t tackled it I don’t know.
The game crashed once, which wasn’t nice, and another time I couldn’t progress in a level because an item I needed didn’t load properly or went missing or something. As per usual with the LEGO games, there were some issues with camera angles too, particularly when flying as someone like Superman or Wonderwoman. It’s baffling that a game as nice-looking as this contains so many issues with camera and glitches.
I did have fun with LEGO Batman 3, but not as much as I wanted. It’s a game full of nice little touches as well, but I’ll leave those as a surprise if you decide to play it. I love Batman, but I was left vastly underwhelmed by this, a shame.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes Batman to space, but I wish he stayed in Gotham. I loved the little touches, level design is usually strong and the graphics are lovely with some really hilarious lines thrown in for good measure. The trouble is, the game falters on far too many occasions, with a poor plot, overall lack of Batman and poor glitches all whilst the game is far too big for its own good.