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    LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Review

    The stable of LEGO games from Traveller’s Tales just keeps growing. It has visited many well-loved licenses in the past, and it returns to those that prove most popular regularly. And every now and then the developers make a big switch up or massive tweak that changes the way we play LEGO games. But they also stick to certain series stalwarts, so LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has no shortage of object smashing, building and character swapping. But this isn’t one of the revolutionary LEGO titles. While Beyond Gotham introduces a new idea or two, it doesn't do anything super-fresh.

    It is ambitious, though, sporting the largest unlockable character roster of any LEGO game to date. With the rich DC universe to pick and choose from, Traveller’s Tales worked over 150 characters into the game. That’s pretty impressive, but the weight of the cast manages to draw the focus of the game away from the titular character often. It should have been called LEGO: Justice League, because that’s what it feels like. With tons of DC characters in the mix, Batman feels like a bit-part player
    at times. That doesn't ruin the game, of course, but it does seem odd that the guy who’s name is in the title gets comparatively little screen time.

    The big change that Beyond Gotham brings to the table comes in the form of suit changes. Heroes have several suits to choose from, each of which change the abilities of the character. Batman, for example, has a detective suit that helps him investigate areas, as well as turn invisible. Robin has a hazard suit that lets him traverse dangerous areas. There are several options for each character, and a
    large part of solving the traversal puzzles (which are the meat and bones of the title) comes down to using the right suit for the job. They’re easy to switch, too, and it makes it feel as though there are even more characters in the game.

    Beyond Gotham is not without its problems, however. The worst one is that the AI is not all that smart. Supporting characters often get stuck on geometry or act ineffectually overall. That is mitigated by multiplayer, and that is where the true joy in this game lies co-operative play. Like its predecessors, Beyond Gotham is best when enjoyed with a friend.

    Another niggle stems from the fact that the game is more finicky than usual for the activation of button prompts. If you need to hit a specific button to do something, you had better be in just the right spot for it. Otherwise you need to move away, and try again. It’s a little too unforgiving in those terms, even though the overall design and challenge of the game takes on the expected LEGO light-heartedness.

    Aside from the fairly lengthy campaign, there is a lot to do in Beyond Gotham. It offers two large hubs (the Bat Cave and the Watchtower) from where the player can explore, find side quests and generally do all the things you would expect in a LEGO game. And that is, depending on your perspective, another potential problem. Beyond Gotham lacks the freshness that it needs. Aside from the varied suits, it doesn't bring much new to the table. Considering that the last few LEGO games have been innovative, it is a little disappointing (even though it ties into the ebb and flow of Traveller’s Tales development style). It’s still a lot of fun, though, and is a great choice for the whole family.


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