Batman In SPAAAAACE!
How do you make Batman even more awesome? Give him a Batmobile with a chain gun on it! No… no that’s a stupid idea. Batman doesn’t kill people. You make Batman more awesome the same way you make anyone more awesome. You put him IIIIIIIN SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!
That’s the whole premise of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham , which we got a chance to check out at this year’s E3. Batman now has his own space ship which he uses to take to the stars and defeat the nastiest villains in Gotham… just in an intergalactic setting.
The game does a good job of not just being another LEGO Batman game with a space coat of paint. It actually alters it’s gameplay to hammer the space theme home. Of course, this is a LEGO game, so things are done a little tongue in cheek. For example, nothing says space like 2D space shooters, and you’ll actually be tasked with playing some LEGO Gradius throughout the game. These segments control basically how you would expect, as you fly your bat ship into enemy territory, taking out turrets and other enemy ships. You’ll pick up power-ups that change your gun and give you shields, narrowly dodge enemy bullets, and face off against humongous bosses, so much so that you’ll probably forget that you are playing a LEGO Batman game.
Similar space in-jokes are littered throughout the more traditional platforming and action stages. You’ll see low gravity making an appearance more than once, which is always fun. A lot of the levels are made out of LEGO technology that is always moving for… no particular reason. In a way, the game feels like it is satirizing standard sci-fi games, and that’s what actually gives it so much of its charm.
A big new mechanic in LEGO Batman 3 is the ability to change your suit. Each suit gives you special abilities and you will have to use these abilities to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Batman can equip suits that let him fire laser blasts, strap on a jet pack, sneak around and more. You’ll end up melting barriers with the laser, leaping huge chasms with the jet pack, and so forth. You’ll also find that there will be several different segments of the game that take place out in the void of space, and you’ll have your very own bat space-suit to deal with that as well.
Much like the new Batman Vs. Superman movie, this game isn’t just about the caped crusader. It’s about all of the justice league. Right off the bat (get it) players were given The Flash and Cyborg to play around with as well. Each of these heroes also have their own unique powers, with The Flash able to run fast and Cyborg able to use super tech. Not only that, but each of these characters ALSO has their own suit selection, each with their own abilities as well. Cyborg, for example, can put on a suit that has a magnet gun that allows him to move things at long distance. There will be over 150 different DC characters, each with their own suits, to play with in the game. That’s, absolutely amazing in scope, especially for a LEGO game.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the game follows the same LEGO formula that you’ve known for ages now. Go into a room, kill some enemies, pick up LEGO bits, go to the next room, kill some enemies, lather rinse, repeat. The puzzle solving breaks up the monotony, but only a bit. If you weren’t a fan of previous installments of the LEGO franchise, you probably won’t like this one.
However, if you do like the LEGO franchise, LEGO Batman 3 is a pretty awesome game. If the roster and gameplay doesn’t get you, the graphics will as this is easily the best looking LEGO game to date, looking on par with the LEGO movie! If the graphics don’t get you, the humor will as once again the game employs slapstick childish LEGO themed humor that honestly gets a couple of chuckles out of me. If that doesn’t get you, the sheer amount of unlockables will, and if THAT doesn’t get you… come on! It’s Batman in Space! What more do you want?!