Why so late? I wanted to actually play the game first and after 22 hours of playtime and roughly 65% of all collectibles found I’m ready to say that LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is… well, it’s a game I’m happily going to give even more hours to until I reach 100%.

The Positive

  • The uncomplicated action combined with the gratifying reward system is addicting. I spent many nights playing this well past 4 AM. It’s a game where you always feel like you could do just one more thing and then call it a night and it just pulls you in deeper and deeper.
  • The affection the creators of this game have for the source material is evident throughout.
  • It’s the most charming and the funniest LEGO game yet, in my opinion. Adam West is the greatest factor here. As much as I enjoyed rescuing Stan Lee in LEGO Marvel, Lee is famous for his writing and West is famous for his comedic timing. The end result is an all-around more hilarious set of challenges and his narration of the bonus level had me in stitches. The rest of the humor in the game is the usual LEGO formula of taking iconic characters and exaggerating their personalities to 11 while also keeping it cute. This leads to amusing gags like Cyborg turning into a washing machine as his “Stealth Suit,” Alfred’s serving tray being used as a shield to make him impervious to flame, and a very Schwarzenegger-inspired Mr. Freeze. I also still find myself cracking up about one of Dick Grayson’s “Holy___, Batman” line weeks after hearing it.
  • Switching between suits has always been a big part of LEGO gameplay and LEGO Batman 3 makes those transitions easier than ever. Now when you approach a hot spot requiring a specific suit, just pressing a single button will cycle to that outfit automatically.
  • The Resogun-esque levels are a great new addition, but much like the rest of the game it could have been more of a challenge. The VR mini-games are also especially fun and feature a stylish presentation.
  • Couch co-op in a LEGO game can be the most fun thing in the world if you and your partner have good chemistry. However, if your Player 2 cares nothing for comics and even less about video games you’d be better off playing alone because they’d just slow you down with their endless questions or frequent mistakes — Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience! One nice feature is that you can customize the way the co-op play is presented on your screen. There’s the static split screen (which I prefer) and then there’s the more dynamic version that splits, joins, and swirls about your display depending upon where players are located within the stage.
  • It’s entertaining for fans of all ages, but adults are going to have the most fun because they’ll notice all the callbacks to classic stories they love.
  • Catching the references is half the fun! And it’s not just about spotting obscure characters or homages to Batman films and stabs at bad comic films like Halle Berry’s Catwoman, there are countless nods to shows and movies like Tron, Doctor Who, Jurassic Park, and other properties hidden throughout the game and even tucked within the end credits.
  • It has the funniest end credits I’ve seen in a game.
  • Hours upon hours of content. Many games only take 6-10 hours to finish and then you’re done forever (well, you could play them on a higher difficulty if you choose, but mostly done) but if you want to get the full LEGO Batman 3 experience you’ll be investing around 24 hours or more. There’s SO much to do after you’ve wrapped up the main campaign. The number of unlockable characters, hidden side missions, gold bricks, red bricks, mini-kits, and more is just staggering. Plus there’s the bonus mission! Great googly-moogly.
  • Amazing bonus level. The bonus level in this game is an homage to the Batman ’66 TV Series and it’s a thing of beauty that every fan of the show should witness. It’s comedic gold, wildly fun, and crafted with so much love that it’s hard not to smile the whole time you’re playing it.
  • The game’s voice talent is stellar. Troy Baker, Adam West, Clancy Brown, Travis Willingham, Christopher Cory Smith, Dee Bradley Baker, and others really make the cut scenes count. And then there are the numerous celebrity cameos throughout the game, which were all quite good. Conan O’Brien especially brought a lot of humor to the game.
  • The DLC looks like a load of fun. I haven’t played it yet, but The Dark Knight pack and the Batman 75th anniversary pack look like they add enough new elements to the experience and pay homage to things I love so they could be worth checking out.

The Negative

  • The uncomplicated action combined with the gratifying reward system is addicting. I spent many nights playing this well past 4 AM. It’s a game where you always feel like you could do just one more thing and then call it a night and it just pulls you in deeper and deeper.
  • The music is overwhelming. I love the Danny Elfman score as much as the next guy, but there should be customizable settings for sound. Instead there’s the option to turn the music off or on, not up or down. More variety in the score and the freedom to dial it down would be a major improvement.
  • It’s more restrictive than LEGO Marvel or even LEGO Batman 2. The free roam of Gotham is gone and replaced by free roam of various hubs, which just aren’t diverse enough and quite limited. Flying around the Mario Galaxy-like planets is tremendous fun, but the kind of fun that just doesn’t last. Lot of wow-factor the first time soaring over Oa, though.
  • Visually, I’ve always thought that these LEGO games should have more landscapes fully constructed of LEGO and I hope that as we move on to the newest generation of consoles that’ll be possible. I’d love to see a LEGO game with as little organic textures as possible and more bricks.
  • I know “Beyond Gotham” is in the title, but I would like to have seen other locations besides just those from the Green Lantern books. And a little Gotham — just a little — wouldn’t have been so bad. It no longer feels like LEGO Batman, but instead it’s really LEGO DC Comics Universe. Other than the Batcave and a brief venture through the Gotham City sewers, you don’t spend much time in Gotham at all. Nor any other DC city, unfortunately. Sure, you’ll have a boss fight in the Fortress of Solitude, but any other comic book locale is a Green Lantern one. A full level is set in Europe, but should’ve been a tour of various places like Star City, Fawcett City, etc. etc.
  • Give me the ability to switch the voices of select characters off. While Conan O’Brien is uproariously funny, by the time he welcomes you to the trophy room for the 30th time you’re ready to douse that LEGO host in “Kragle.”
  • Most of the characters are written well as far as LEGO caricatures go, but I found Wonder Woman’s super-charged testosterone to be an annoying way to portray that hero and The Flash’s need to claim everything as “Mine!” was a trait that I just didn’t understand. *Reader Josh pointed out that this was explained in a cutscene that I overlooked.
  • It’s called LEGO Batman 3, I should be playing as Batman when it comes time to win the game. Instead, you’re forced to play as Flash in order to complete the story’s final action.
  • I did experience a few hiccups with the camera. On multiple play-throughs of the second level, the camera goes a little crazy during a boss fight with a giant cloud of bats.
  • I want difficulty levels. The game does a good job of riding the line of being way too easy and being challenging enough to maintain your interest, but I’d like the option to crank it up a notch and also get the achievement/trophy for the hard work of overcoming that increase in difficulty.

Recommended System

I suggest playing it on the Wii U if you’re in it for the co-op fun. The LEGO series isn’t exactly a graphics juggernaut so you don’t need the horsepower of a PC or a PS4 and the Wii U offers the convenience of giving Player 1 the touch screen controller and Player 2 the freedom of the entire TV.

Overall

Game review scores that are numbers get a bit iffy because some people see anything below an 8.5/10 as being the end of the world so I’m just going to give it to you straight on a more relatable grading scale that includes Full Price, Wait Until It’s Cheaper, Rent It, and Don’t Bother. That’s clear, right?

LEGO Batman 3 is so enjoyable and has so much content that I think it’s worth Full Price for die-hard Batman fans and a Wait Until It’s Cheaper for the casual fans and folks who are just in it for LEGO. Of course, that’s if you love to find all the hidden items because if you’re seeking to complete LEGO Batman 3 at 100% you’ll find yourself 20 hours in and still only at around 60%. Anyone who’s just in it for the story could Rent It and be done with the main campaign in 10 hours or so, but seeing as how you’re reading this review at a site called Batman News I think it’s safe to say you’re a Bat-fan and this is a must-play for you and a fine addition to your gaming library. Plus, I think if you rent it you’ll find that unlocking characters and discovering hidden Easter eggs is so much fun that you’ll just end up buying the thing later on anyway.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is available now on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC.