Gamescom 2014: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Preview – Kapow!
Written Saturday, August 23, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Remember how huge LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was with its 100-odd characters, SHIELD Helicarrier and New York City to explore? Well, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is set to make that character number and size of its playground pale in comparison, with more than 150 playable DC characters promised, alongside the gloriously camp and kitschy 1960s Batman, complete with the vocal talents of Adam West (who will also be the game's 'Citizens in Peril'). As crowd pleasing goes, this ranks up there with the best of 'em, especially when we're shown the 1966 TV show's Batcave, complete with fire poles and the enormous Batcomputer consoles.
The detail doesn't stop there, with visual flashes of 'Kapow!' popping up with each punch that Batman and Robin throw, the audio sting accompanying the dynamic duo's actions. Batman will even run around endlessly with a fizzing bomb above his head, just like the infamous scene from the 1966 Batman TV movie. All that's missing is the Bat-shark repellent and the Batusi. TT Games' passion for its source material shines through in every lovingly-rendered LEGO brick and stud, and its homage to the 60s show is pitch perfect.
You won't unlock any of this 60s content until you've beaten the game's story though, which also looks every bit as humorous and eminently playable as TT Games' previous efforts. Granted, it doesn't appear to be pushing the envelope too far in terms of gameplay innovations, but then, if it ain't broke, why fix it? Where LEGO Batman 3 stands out is in its space-bound adventures, uniting the entire Justice League and an enormous roster of DC heroes and villains that range from the massively popular to the massively obscure.
Heroes like Superman, Doomsday, Arkillo, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Plastic Man, Shazam, Beast Boy, New 52 Catwoman, New 52 Supergirl and Grayson, rub shoulders with the likes of Krypto the Superdog, Batcow, Bat-Mite, The Atom, Blue Beetle, Frankenstein, Firefly, Black Manta, Bleez, Stargirl and impish villain, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Some of these characters only die-hard DC fans might know or recognise, which shows just how deep into the DC vault TT Games is delving for LEGO Batman 3's expansive roster.
LEGO Batman 3 will also be comprised of several planets that you'll be able to visit and freely explore, including the Blue Lantern planet of Odym, where the Reach have captured Saint Walker, holding him captive somewhere on the planet's lush and verdant surface. Cyborg, Flash and Martian Manhunter journey to Odym to track down and rescue Saint Walker, engaging in another of the arcade-style Resogun sections we've previously seen in past demos. Where the last one we saw took place around the Watchtower, this one revolves around a Reach mothership, as Cyborg and Flash pilot a spacecraft, and Martian Manhunter zips around in his chunky Big Fig guise.
Journeying to Odym, Flash attempts to stuff his ship full of cakes to take on the ride, while Cyborg is scared of his own shadow. This is part of each character's shift in personality for LEGO Batman 3's story, which not only factors into the game's sense of humour, but also the narrative. So where Wonder Woman is always angry, Flash is greedy (he tries to steal flowers on Odym) and Cyborg is a big scaredy-cat, other characters will have their own strange quirks and foibles. Hopefully, these will be explained in the full game. Whatever the case, the same spirit of fun persists in LEGO Batman 3, whether it's in Flash's whirlwind move, his ability to sprint on treadmills to blow them up, or Cyborg's ability to manipulate magnets or turn into a washing machine.
Utilising Martian Manhunter, the Flash and Cyborg's unique attributes, the team punches and kicks its way through Odym's aggressive flora and fauna, battling to Saint Walker's prison. Cyborg breaks out his magnetic skills to open up the vessel, freeing Saint Walker from captivity and this part of the mission, and our demo is complete. Once you've beaten the quest on Odym, you'll be able to return to it and explore at any time, as it'll act as one of LEGO Batman 3's several hub worlds, whereas the Watchtower will act as your primary hub.
It's clear that TT Games is looking to go big with LEGO Batman 3 in every sense, from venturing into the expanded DC Universe out among the stars, to offering eight interchangeable suits for the likes of Batman, Robin, Joker, Lex Luthor and Cyborg that can be switched at any time. Sprinkle in the bonus 1960s Batman content, and LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is looking to be the most definitive LEGO DC game yet, by quite some margin. We thought we were getting tired of LEGO games, but we'll be damned if TT hasn't gone and done it again. Resistance is futile.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be blasting off into outer space in autumn 2014.