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Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

Image for Lego Batman 3:  Beyond Gotham

DO have a cowl, man

★★★★

Traveller’s Tales has quickly become the purveyor of quality licensed videogames. Having adopted Lego as its own personal toy box, the likes of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Marvel and Batman have all been recreated in ‘bricked-up’ form with equal parts reverence and charm. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham continues the studio’s sterling winning streak, launching Gotham’s street-level vigilante into outer space for one the most enthralling and ambitious Lego games in some time.

Although, in truth, this isn’t really a Batman game. Set on the Justice League Watchtower in space, Brainiac uses the power of the Lanterns to transform Earth into a miniature Lego playset, urging Green Lantern to unite Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, et al to save the day. But Green Lantern doesn’t have a billion-dollar movie franchise behind it. It doesn’t even have a proper theme tune. So a Batman game it is.

And it’s a pretty good one too. While it features the usual assortment of colourful stages to navigate, set across various planets and familiar DC locales, there’s some fresh ideas being tossed about. A side-scrolling shoot-‘em-up stage lifts influence from Resogun, while a Tron-flavoured hacking mini-game makes for a engaging alternative to the smash-and-build puzzle solving found elsewhere. Despite the phenomenal success the series enjoys, it’s yet to show any signs of complacency.

What’s more, the amount of content here is astounding. There are 150 characters to unlock – each with their own unique playstyle and characteristics – and a plethora of secrets to find, including a hidden Adam West in each of the game’s 15 chapters. It’s a game made for kids, but feeds off fandom of its mature audience, inspiring nothing if not a rampant desire to see everything that this love letter to DC fiction has to offer.

It lacks in scope when held up against Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and still has niggling issues such as fiddly flying controls that make it less than perfect. But with a renewed focus on story and an out-of-this-world cast of heroes, Beyond Gotham is certain to delight anyone with even a passing interest in fun.

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