Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
|Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham|
Cover art featuring the main story characters
|Publisher(s)||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
David A. Goodman
WW 25 June 2015
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a Lego action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in November 2014 for multiple platforms. It is the third installment in the Lego Batman video game series and a sequel to Lego Batman: The Videogame and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham was met with a mixed to positive reception upon release. Praise was directed at the amount of content, the game's humour, and the characters, while criticism was directed at technical issues, poor AI, celebrity cameos, conflicting gameplay aspects, and the game's overall direction.
The core gameplay of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is very similar to that of the two previous Lego Batman games: Lego Batman: The Videogame and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. The player controls any one of a wide assortment of characters (of which there are over 150) from a third-person perspective, primarily fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and collecting Lego 'studs', the game's form of currency. Using attack combinations in combat will multiply the amount of studs earned. Up to two players can play in co-operative mode.
There are many different environments in the game. All are based on DC comics' universe's locations. As in previous Lego games, levels are unlocked for 'Free Play' mode once they are completed in Story Mode. 'Free Play' allows the player to replay any level they have completed, but with any characters they have unlocked so far. This permits access to special areas containing additional collectables, that the player was unable to get to before. This is unlike Story mode, in which the player may only switch between the preset characters involved in that scene.
There are several level hubs for the heroes in the game such as the Batcave, the 'Moon', and the Hall of Justice. Here, the player may explore and complete puzzles to find, earn or unlock 'gold bricks' or 'character tokens', access the game's main levels, and complete side quests. There are also other specific features such as enabling 'red bricks' (a form of cheat), and viewing collected 'mini kits' (which are collected in levels). Players may also create their own character using parts from characters already unlocked, as well as a limited array of weapons. The six 'Lantern Planets' are another type of explorable world in the game; they are much the same gameplay wise as the main hub areas and levels, with the main difference being that the Lantern Planets are larger and more open-world focused. The open world exploration is very similar to Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
Individual characters are able to use many unique abilities related to their comic book powers and talents. For example, Superman can fly, put out fires with his ice breath, and has laser vision (which is used to destroy gold Lego objects), the Flash is faster than other characters, the Atom can shrink his size to fit in tight spaces, and Martian Manhunter and Shazam can transform from one form to another. Many characters have the same technical abilities, such as flight, transformation, speed and the ability to shoot projectiles, although, they are all visual and aesthetically different to suit the individual characters.
Players are able to swap the costumes of some of the main heroes (Batman, Robin, Cyborg, the Joker, and Lex Luthor) with many differing ones, each containing unique abilities and different colour schemes. The sonic suit can break glass, the demolition suit lets the user set down and launch bombs to destroy silver Lego objects, and the hazard suit, which lets the user walk through toxic waste and suck up special Lego pieces which are used to progress through levels. Robin and Lex Luthor can wear the Technology suit that can activate Tech panels, and the magnet suit that lets Robin or the Joker climb up magnetic walls and activate special switches. These suits can be changed into at any time after unlock.
Members of six of the seven Lantern Corps are all summoned by a mysterious force, where they are ambushed by Brainiac. The Corps lose the battle against Brainiac's machinations and are brainwashed into boarding his ship. With this complete, Brainiac charts a course for Earth in order to retrieve the final Lantern: Hal Jordan. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Batman and Robin pursue Killer Croc through the sewers. Killer Croc escapes, and hands over a map to his accomplices: Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, and the Joker. At the Hall of Justice, Cyborg completes work on a "slideways teleporter" linking the Hall of Justice to the Justice League Watchtower, and sends Green Lantern through it to meet with Martian Manhunter as a trial run. The test is successful, and the portal is left open.
Back at the Batcave, the Batcomputer detects Brainiac's approaching spaceship. Observing the ship via telescope, Batman is exposed to the mind-control ray; he quickly turns berserk, laying waste to the Batcave and trying to escape via the Batmobile. However, the car's defense system electrocutes him, giving Robin enough time to talk Batman out of his trance with a heartfelt speech; however, Batman maintains it was the electricity, and not the speech, which woke him.
At the Hall of Justice, the Joker and company break into the slideways teleporter room via the sewer using the map Killer Croc stole, and are joined by Lex Luthor disguised as Hawkman, having locked up the real Hawkman in a cage. Luthor is revealed to be the mastermind of the scheme, planning to use the Watchtower's binary fusion cannon to hold the Earth at ransom and force the citizens to make him President. The group enter the teleporter.
Batman and Robin alert Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern to the presence of Brainiac's ship, but are interrupted when the arrival of Luthor's group causes a Watchtower lockdown. Green Lantern goes to investigate Brainiac's ship, leaving Martian Manhunter to send out a distress signal to the rest of the Justice League. Batman and Robin take a rocket into space and are joined by the Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Cyborg at the Watchtower. The group break in to find the ship in disarray and the Joker in control of the main computer. Batman and Superman subdue all the villains, and the Justice League prepare to return to Earth, but are halted when Brainiac sends a transmission to the Watchtower, revealing his plan: to use the combined powers of the Lantern Corps to charge a shrink ray which will miniaturize Earth, allowing Brainiac to add it to his growing collection of planets.
Begrudgingly, Luthor suggests an alliance with the League to fight their common enemy, and Batman concedes. While Superman flies out into space and attempts to stop the shrink ray reaching Earth, the others make their way to the Watchtower's control room in order to use the ship's mechanical arms to grapple onto Brainiac's spaceship and board it. Once there, they are ambushed by Green Lantern, who, it turns out, was brainwashed by Brainiac during his investigation of the spaceship. Robin tries to talk him out of his trance as he did with Batman, but the others cut him off and seal Green Lantern out of the ship. Green Lantern returns to Brainiac's spaceship and takes his place in the shrink ray, allowing Brainiac, having now acquired all the Lanterns, to finally activate it. While Superman tries to keep it at bay, the others manage to successfully latch onto the UFO and infiltrate it.
Making their way to the heart of the ship, the group confront Brainiac, who ends up using his mind-control abilities to hypnotize Wonder Woman and the rest of the group after she unsuccessfully attempts to take control of him with her lasso of truth before realizing he's an android. As he toys with the hypnotized Wonder Woman, Robin, who was unaffected due to a helmet he found and was wearing, is able to wake Wonder Woman from her trance and rescues the others from theirs as well. Brainiac then increases the strength of the shrink ray. Superman, who is still in the path of the beam, is unable to resist it any longer and falls to Earth, weakened. This overloads the shrink ray and causes it to explode, releasing all the Lanterns from hypnosis and instantly warping them all back to their home planets. Brainiac escapes to Earth in a smaller ship at the last minute as the UFO spirals out of control. Some of the group are hit by energy beams from the wayward Lanterns' rings, giving them the emotions associated with the Corps. Robin agrees to stay and watch them as their behaviour becomes erratic while Batman and Wonder Woman descend to Earth to tend to an injured Superman. They follow him to Paris, France.
Meanwhile, the out-of-control UFO crashes into the Watchtower and sends it spiralling towards the Moon, but Green Lantern, having returned from Oa, uses his ring to stop it. Cyborg corrects the course of the UFO and sets its destination to Gotham. Back in Paris, Brainiac arrives and proceeds to shrink the city down to the size of a bottle; Superman, having recovered, rescues Paris before the villain can capture it. Brainiac moves onto London, England and then Pisa, Italy, only to have both attempts foiled in the same way. Finally, he travels to Gotham City and tries to shrink it as well, but is thwarted by Robin, Cyborg and their group of emotional misfits who have touched down in Gotham in the UFO. The Flash traps Brainiac and his ship in a makeshift cage, and everyone returns to the now-fixed Watchtower.
There, Robin tells the group that he managed to retain a fragment of the crystal holding the Lanterns' power from the shrink ray after the explosion. Superman subsequently formulates a plan: to use the supply of energy crystals stored at the Fortress of Solitude in tandem with Robin's shard to create a duplicate shrink ray in order to undo the effects of Brainiac's machine and re-grow the cities. However, in order for it to work, the powers of all the Lanterns are once again required, which is complicated by the fact that the explosion returned them all to their respective planets. Ultimately, the group splits up, and each team travels to a different Lantern planet to meet with the Corps and retrieve a sample of energy from their power rings.
With all the Lanterns' powers assembled, the group meet at the Fortress of Solitude and Superman gets to work on the duplicate shrink ray. After a brief skirmish with the Rogue Lanterns, whose power samples were taken by force, the machine is complete and Earth is returned to its normal size, along with all its cities. However, upon sending the Flash back to Gotham to check on Brainiac, he returns to report that both he and his ship have escaped the makeshift cage.
Brainiac arrives at the Fortress of Solitude and uses both the duplicate ray and his mind-control device to inflate Superman to gigantic proportions and send him on a destructive rampage. Without any Kryptonite, all of the group's attacks are powerless against the hypnotised Superman, until Batman has the idea of electrocuting him to snap him out of Brainiac's control, recalling his incident in the Batmobile. The group assemble a generator and shock Superman, to no effect. Robin then realizes that it was in fact his speech to Batman that broke the trance all along, not the electrocution, and Batman proceeds to deliver a heartfelt monologue to Superman. Gradually, Superman is released from Brainiac's control, and he destroys the villain's ship, sending it flying off into the depths of space. Brainiac himself is imprisoned.
Their mission complete, the members of the League return home, and the villains part ways with them, resuming their lives of crime. Luthor achieves his initial goal of becoming President - but this is only temporary. Both Lex Luthor and Joker are thrown into jail where they are sharing a cell with Brainiac.
^a Available from the "Batman Beyond" DLC pack.
^b Available from the season pass.
^c Available from the "Rainbow Batman" DLC pack.
^d Available from the "Arrow" DLC pack.
^e This character was the winner of a contest for fans to design a character for the game.
On 9 September 2014, WB Games announced a season pass that will consist of downloadable content (DLC) of levels and characters. The Season Pass is available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game, and consists of six releases. Several other packs, not included in the season pass, have also been released.
- Man of Steel (was released at launch, and is based on the 2013 film of the same name).
- The Dark Knight (was released at launch, and is based on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy).
- 75th Anniversary (was released at launch, and follows The Joker and Harley Quinn in crashing Batman´s 75th Anniversary celebration).
- Batman of the Future (was released on 17 December 2014, and is based on Batman Beyond).
- Arrow (was released on 14 January 2015, and is based on the television series of the same name).
- Rainbow Batman (was released for free on 20 January 2015, and includes the rainbow costume Batman character as well as the Rainbow Raider enemy).
- Bizarro (was released on 18 February 2015, and is based on Bizarro World and the film Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League).
- The Squad (was released on 3 March 2015, and is based on the Suicide Squad).
- Heroines and Villainesses (was released for free on 1 April 2015; it features additional female characters of the DC Universe).
The game features both notable celebrity cameos, as well as various actors reprising roles from various DC properties. Both Conan O'Brien and Kevin Smith appear as themselves, with O'Brien appearing as the game's 'guide', and Smith as a playable character. J.B. Blanc voice directs this video game.
Actors that reprise their roles from various material includes Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor (A role that Brown first voiced in the DC Animated Universe, and has voiced many times since, including the previous game Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes); Josh Keaton as Green Lantern (Green Lantern: The Animated Series); Charlie Schlatter as The Flash (Superman: The Animated Series and The Batman); Bumper Robinson as Cyborg and Robin Atkin Downes as Alfred Pennyworth (both from Justice League: Doom); Troy Baker as the Red Hood, Kimberly Brooks as Batgirl, Tara Strong as Harley Quinn and Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy (all in the Batman: Arkham series and, except Baker, Injustice: Gods Among Us); Olivia d'Abo as Star Sapphire (Justice League, Justice League: Doom); Dee Bradley Baker as Larfleeze (Green Lantern: TAS) and Gilbert Gottfried as Mister Mxyzptlk (Superman TAS). Stephen Amell and Cynthia Addai-Robinson from The CW series Arrow reprised their roles as Arrow and Amanda Waller. In addition to voicing the traditional Green Arrow in the game, Amell also voiced the Arrow version in Injustice and the upcoming Vixen web series. Adam West both plays himself and voices the Gray Ghost from Batman the Animated Series and the 1966 Batman variant from the live-action Batman series.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham received mixed reviews from critics upon release. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions a 74/100. GameRankings (also an aggregating review website) gave the Xbox One version a 75.10% and the PS4 version a 74.04%.
Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 3.5 out of 5, saying "Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham doesn’t completely break the mold, but it's a galaxy-wide tour of DC's beloved playgrounds, packed with an almost-overwhelming content load (and more replayability than even diehard fans could stomach)."
IGN's Steve Butts gave the game a 7.4 out of 10 saying "I like Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, but I don’t love it as much as I’ve loved previous games in the series. It definitely delivers on the promise of letting me play with charmingly realized versions of many of my favorite DC heroes and villains, and it even presents a setting with lots of great surprises, challenges, and systems that promote variety. As a longtime DC fan, I do wish it had given me the chance to dig into more locations and plot elements from the comics, but the biggest hurdle for me to clear is the bizarre cameos."
Cameron Woolsey of GameSpot gave the game a 7 out of 10 saying "In short, [Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham] is a delightful, family-friendly hop around the galaxy starring some your favorite superheroes. A wealth of hidden secrets in every level keeps the game high on replayability, while the deluge of extra content promises many hours of adventuring."
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