As the title suggests this latest entry takes place Beyond Gotham in space on the Watchtower, The Hall of Justice, France and the planet Oa for example. The planets can be explored in free roam at any time by accessing the start menu.
Certain missions are discovered by exploration like the throwback mission to Adam West’s Batman. There are plenty of characters to unlock and it will take you 10 hours or more to complete the game find all the collectables.
Unlike Lego Batman 2 the missions in Lego Batman 3 are level based and there’s no open world sandbox of Gotham City. This is largely surprising since they seemed to have continued this new open world direction with Lego Marvel Super Heroes last year.
However it’s understandable considering they planned this release for almost every platform and from a technical standpoint, it would have strained the older hardware to create a seamless experience travelling between the various planets.
Level design is usually the strong point of any Lego game and the same can be said here. Lego Batman 3 follows the familiar structure of smashing objects for collectable items and building parts to solve puzzles. It’s not long until puzzles get familiar and your repeating the same process in a different environment but considering the target audience if it’s not broken don’t fix it.
To change the pace of the game there are segments which break away from the norm, such as a side scrolling shooter level with the Batwing reminiscent of exclusive Playstation title Resogun. There are also hacking mini games that can be frustrating and sometimes a bore in comparison to the main missions.
One of the main improvements made in this entry is the ability to change characters suits seamlessly by holding Y or Triangle. Alternatively you can cycle through them using specific buttons. Only certain characters including the likes of Cyborg and Batman have the ability to solve puzzles using special features of a suit.
Lego Batman 3 features an art direction that fuses real world aesthetics with the Lego universe. Creating the atmosphere and immersion of your favourite characters out of your toy box placed in a digital playground. Lighting, textures and materials is second to none and motion blur compliments the game.
The narrative follows a linear structure so all age groups can follow but really doesn’t matter, as the gameplay is fun and the cutscenes and missions are filled with fantastic voice acting and humorous dialogue. Sound effects and dialogue add a whole new depth to the characters and enhance the experience.
It would have been great to see Traveller’s Tales step out of their comfort zone and try some fresh ideas but there’s no arguing with the heart and soul put into this entry. TT Games have shown their passion for the DC universe and crafted a title rich with content close to the source material.