Lego Batman 3: Beyond GothamOverview -
Traveler’s Tales is a British studio that created its first Lego-branded game in 2005, 'Lego Star Wars: The Video Game'. Their first Batman title was in 2008, and they have not created anything without "Lego" in the title since 2009. Now owned by Time Warner, they will Lego-fy just about any big franchise they can get their hands on, from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' to 'Indiana Jones' to 'Lord of the Rings'. The second 'Lego Batman' invited in the Justice League, but now, with 'Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham,' DC Universe characters are pouring out of the woodwork to join the Batman minifig.
Lego is a plastic, brightly colored toy world above all else, and the game portrays that aesthetic accurately. The visuals are decent, with few problems, although there is nothing particularly advanced here. Lighting and other effects are simple. Lego faces change in only rudimentary ways, and textures and fabrics are basic. The design of the alien worlds later in the story is quite good.
The voice acting is hammy and overstated, which adds to the camp effect and makes for a more funny game. The Joker and Solomon Grundy are great examples of this, with the former sounding like a less evil version of Mark Hamill and the latter being portrayed as a lovable, dimwitted ape. Music and sound effects are well done and occasionally lifted straight out of other DC properties. Whenever Superman takes to the air, the theme of the Christopher Reeves film franchise can be heard, and the same for Wonder Woman and the 70s TV show.
'Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham' is a good Lego experience, but it adds to the franchise only incrementally. The series has been around for nearly a decade and has made great improvements since it began, but needs more innovation to avoid going down the path of burnt-out IPs. Besides the new characters, there is little difference between this game and last year’s 'Lego Marvel.' The storyline is also rather short, and can be finished in six or seven hours. Despite that, it is a good time for kids of all ages with co-op and free play continuing as a base for the series' signature charm.
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