-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)
It’s known in my circles that I’m a big fan of the Lego franchise games. I’ve played everyone of them because they are charming, witty, funny, and just down right a good time. There have a been a few exceptions to that, namely the Lego Hobbit game, but this was primarily because the 3rd movie would release later as DLC and not on disc.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is made by the same studio as the previous incarnations and has the reputation of being the firsts of many things. Lego Batman was the first comic book superhero Lego game and the first to be written with an original story and not based off a movie. The sequel was the first to have voice acting and open world exploration. So when the 3rd was released, I was curious what it would have that was different or unique from the rest of the lego games. Sadly there was nothing that would make it stand out in that regard. However, This is the second best Lego game I’ve played, just under the Lego Marvel game.
Let me begin with the story and plot. At the end of Lego Batman 2, you see Martian Manhunter in the Justice League Watchtower as he sees a blip on the map. This is Brainiac, a common villain to Superman. The story is that Brainiac wants to collect the Earth and in doing so, needs to shrink it down. He traps each color of the lanterns, Red/Rage, Orange/Greed, Yellow/Fear, Green/Willpower, Blue/Hope, Indigo/Compassion, and Violet/Love. This is to power a giant crystal that can shrink planets.
Upon seeing this, Manhunter calls all Leaguers to the Watchtower, and thus our adventure begins. I really did enjoy this story because it takes itself just serious enough to be cohesive but makes fun of DC comics and Lego games frequently. There are moments where I laughed out loud due to the nature of the scene, or just simply appreciate the visual pun.
Speaking of the visuals, there are moments where I can tell some serious love went into the backdrop. Such as when there is a large background area, I feel as if I could go there, had the game allowed it. Or when you visit comic specific locations, you can see just how much study was put into the details. Just about everything is made of legos, and if it’s not, there are Legos all over it.
As I stated before, Lego Batman 2 was the first game to use voice acting. This game not only uses voice acting but even was able to get some surprise guests to show up. It’s quite amazing how much talent is in the game, Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Tara Strong, Nolan North, Dee Bradley Baker, Fred Tatasciore and that’s just to name a few. There are voices in this I will not spoil due to it being too much fun to stumble upon them yourself.
My gripes with the game are that it feels shorter than previous titles. This took me roughly 5 to 6 hours to complete where others have taken me 7 to 8. As I really enjoyed the surprises, i wish they were implemented a bit more into the story. They felt very last minute because when you see that there is 150+ characters to unlock but the main plot only uses 15 playable characters and maybe 40 overall. This seems like missed opportunities.
Overall this is an experience you shouldn’t pass up. The comedy is wonderful and the gameplay is engaging and loads of fun, especially when playing as the flash. The lack of story characters and short story are not a hindrance. If you have enjoyed the previous games, you really like this one. I give Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham a 9 outta 10.
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