** Take the following first impressions with a grain of salt, True Believers! I’ve never played Lego Batman 1 or 2, so this is my first experience with this portion of the Lego Universe. **
I’m pretty sure we’ve discussed on here before about how big of a Lego fan I am. The only thing that limits my love of Lego products is the limited space in which we live. Allow me to introduce the first brief impressions I’ve gotten from TellTale Games latest Lego video game installment: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. And I’m afraid I have a lot of strong complaints with this one.
First, the name. Lego Marvel Superheroes was excellent. It was a story that involved the good guys, the bad guys, the guys we aren’ too familiar with – all of them thrown into a giant Lego Marvel Universe. It was awesome! Each character had their own familiar powers and was made to feel unique and powerful as you adventured around the city and into each stage.
Here we have Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. But why? This story involves the good guys, the bad guys, the guys we aren’t too familiar with – all of them thrown into a giant Lego DC Universe. Yet it’s billed as the third Batman game in the franchise. Why not: Lego DC Superheroes, or Lego DC Universe! But no, we get the extra long name for a game that could have just as easily been called: Lego DC Justice League. So the first confusing part of the game right off the bat is the naming of the product.
Second, we have the levels. Believe it or not, despite being the actual level design that I’m talking about, this is not the worst issue with this game that I feel needs to be pointed out. That said, the levels are long, drawn out and get boring pretty quick. And confusing! There are times during the missions when I will have to pause the game, get out a laptop, smartphone or tablet and look up a guide to know what it is I’m suppose to do next to advance the story. It gives you no real clues whatsoever. I refused to look up some information one night and walked around the level for a good 20 minutes trying everything I could image. Turns out there was one tiny little display in a far, dark corner that needed to be broken so I could get one Lego piece to complete a build. What the holy flipping bat guano is this?!
I appreciate challenging game sessions, but to walk around for 20 minutes with no sign whatsoever that i need to break a tiny little brick display over in an unlit corner? Pfffffft!
Third is all the costumes required for the main characters to achieve certain goals in order to move forward in their quests. In a single level of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham DC Superheroes Universe United Incorporated, you have to change Batman’s costume 3 or 5 times. Seriously. Okay, okay, I’ll give it to Batman to have multiple suites. That’ll certainly help the stores sell those two dozen Batman utility suites the toy company puts him out in. Arctic Suit Batman. Night vision Batman. Batman Batman. It’s insane. I can see some unique costumes related to historic DC events for the characters, but not Bomb Suit Batman. It’s a bit much and only adds to the already confusing mess of the huge levels that can last in excess of 45 minutes to an hour for one mission. Yes, it’s broken up into 3 stages, but it uses the strung along method, and while other Lego games have done this with success, here it just makes me scared to step away for awhile because I’ll have completely forgotten what all I’ve already been through.
And my last big complaint is the main story hub. The Watchtower. The space station the superheroes use as a base of operations to watch over the Earth. This is probably the most confusing mess of all. It is so spread out and unclear of what is where and how to use the sideways teleports and where they take you and so forth. I mean seriously. It is so bad that even the developers knew they had to do something. So they did! First, you got Batmite (don’t ask me, I’m not that kinda fan) who has these little glowing question marks floating all around. When you’re confused (which is a lot) you hit the question mark and Batmite will pop up and offer you a goofy tip. This also happens within the missions because, again, the developers even knew it was going to be a big old heap of mess.
Oh, and as if Batmite wasn’t enough (you know what? I’m not even sure if his name is Batmite, now that I think about it. He’s like this fat fanboy kid who dressed up like Batman and looks kinda clumsy) they’ve decided to throw Conan O’Brian into the mix! That’s right, Conan has his own Lego character. He doesn’t do much, he just kinda follows you around The Watchtower and makes these little comments about what something does.
All that being said.
Playing the characters can be fun. Some of the characters are really fun to take control of and play through the levels with. The flying seems to be much improved over Lego Marvel Superheroes, but that’s about it. Everything else is about the same or just under par in my opinion.
And if you’re wondering why I didn’t talk about the story aspect … well … I really don’t want to add a 5th reason why the game is a bloody mess. Let’s just move on, shall we?
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a really hard, messy Lego game. If you’re a fan of the entire Lego line of video games, you’re going to pick it up anyways like I did. If you pick it up based on your experience with Lego Marvel, you may be disappointed. Overall, it’s not going to kill you, but it may require a new prescription for blood pressure medication.
Oh, and did I mention Adam West was in it? That’s right! You know how you had to save Stan Lee in Peril in Marvel Superheroes? Well Adam West in Peril is DC … er, I mean, Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’s answer to that.
Don’t let me scare you away. I’m a little over halfway through the missions myself and I’ll finish the game out of a sense of duty if nothing else. And take everything I’ve said with a grain of salt because, as I said above, I’ve never played Batman 1 or 2 in this series. If you’re a DC fan, pick it up. If you’re a Marvel fan, go play Lego Marvel. If you’re a comic book fan in general, go play Lego Marvel, then if you really, really just have to, pick this one up.