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‘LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’: We’re Hands On With DC’s Newest Video Game

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Now that the bat’s outta the bag about the new LEGO movie, perhaps it’s the best time to share our thoughts about the upcoming LEGO game, “LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Yup, the fine folks at Warner Bros. and TT Games are at it again, and we got our eager hands on their latest LEGO adventure featuring your favorite DC heroes – before it hits stores on November 11.

Beyond Gotham
As the title suggests, you aren’t confined to the city limits of Gotham. Indeed, TT Games have upped the ante, expanding the story to stretch further into the DC Universe. Taking lessons learned with the massive “LEGO Marvel Superheroes,” they’ve opened up a host of new narrative opportunities. As for the main story, we can’t get into too much detail as we only had a short time to play the game. Suffice to say, you’ll round up the whole Justice League to thwart the baddest and most fearsome DC villains and save the world. Basically, expect lots of punching Lex Luthor in his smug face!

While what we played was heavy with Batman, additional characters will play a bigger role in things to come. Furthermore, these characters feel distinct, with players able to choose what special abilities they’ll need to progress. There’s also freemode, which lets you play as anyone you’ve unlocked to run through the missions. And of course you can jump in with a friend for buddy bashing madness.

Building New Gameplay
This go around, TT Games are offering up new gameplay mechanics to keep things fresh. One section showed off a “Defender” styled side-scrolling shoot’em up tasking Batman — in an appropriately bat-themed spaceship — to explode a bunch of Joker’s space-bots. Maneuvering the ship and blasting baddies was simple enough to pick up immediately. Also, it’s a nice change of pace to the tried and true puzzle-platforming of the LEGO games.

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The classic LEGO game play-style is still fundamentally the same. You’ll smash apart the scenery, assemble blocks, and trigger special sequences to advance levels. As with the previous games, you’ll have access to a gamut of heroes — and villains — to help you uncover each and every collectible. And there are a ton of collectibles, including an embarrassingly huge number of bonus characters. If you have a favorite DC character, it’s most likely in the roster.

Super Setpieces
Visually, “LEGO Batman 3″ is chock full of expressive and bright graphics. It’s still a delight to see all your favorite LEGO-ized DC heroes hopping and bopping in famous comic book settings. The level we played featured a Justice League Watchtower somehow taken over by Joker. After destroying the outer defenses — with our handy Batwing we previously mentioned — it was up to Flash, Cyborg, and Batman to take it back. The scale of the station seemed impressive against the starlit backdrop and a glowing Earth, such that it made the battle feel really, really big. Overall, the short slice we played on the PS4 looked great.

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DC DLC
It might be a much to talk about future downloadable content for a game that isn’t coming out for a month, but in the months after release there will be a few character packs featuring new characters and missions that didn’t quite fit into the main game.

One such notable addition will be a Batman and Tumbler from the Nolan-verse. These should be comparative to other packs they’ve released for previous LEGO games, and mega-fans will more than likely eat these up. And for just a few bucks — DLC packs should be around 4 or 3 dollars — it’s a pretty good deal.

Minifigs, Massive Fun
The one thing that remains true for the LEGO themed games is that they’re just fun. Kids of all ages will find the simple controls easy enough to pick up and jump right into the fight. And who are we kidding, adults will love seeing the toys comes to life as well. The new mechanics seem to steer the long-toothed gameplay into new directions and with the promise of a massive content dump of all things DC we’re sure you’ll have dozens of hours of game. We can’t wait for the full release, and look for our full review next month!

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham” will be available November 11th for PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

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