If you've ever played a LEGO game you probably know what to expect. Great gameplay, awesome same-console co-op, plenty of simple puzzles, and bricks galore! So with the release of LEGO Batman 3 right around the corner, we've come up with a list of five new things you can look forward to when the game drops on 14th November.
1. BATS IN SPAAAAAAACE!
Tired of exploring the same old boring Gotham city? Yeah us too. Finally LEGO Batman 3 will let you leave the dark dirty streets of Gotham to explore a much bigger universe. But of course, a bigger universe means a much bigger threat.
Continuing the story from where LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes left off, we find that big bad guy Braniac is on the attack, and by using the power of the various Lanterns he's captured, he plans to shrink the Earth for his personal collection!
So its up to you, Batman and all his Justice League buddies to protect the planet, in an adventure that'll take you through real world locations like London, Paris, and Piza, only in micro form. It's like running around miniature models of the real thing.
But what do you do when the Earth is being shrunk by a mad android? You do whatever any sane man who dresses like a bat would do. You take the fight to space. Allowing you to visit the JLA Watchtower, join forces with the Justice League and explore the literal vastness of the DC universe, including Lantern worlds Zamaron and Odym, you'll be able to run around on the surface of the planets, and even dogfight with space baddies in the Bat-er, space-ship.
While we've seen space combat before in the LEGO games (like LEGO Star Wars 3), we're pleased to report things are a lot simpler in LEGO Batman 3. Ditching the awkward perspective and warped controls, you instead take on a cylindrical side scrolling 2D space combat game that appears to have borrowed heavily from PS4 shooter Resogun, but with 100% more Bat-rocket. Said bat-themed ship can even split into 2 smaller ships for co-op play so no one gets left out - unless you're joined by characters like Superman, who don't even need a vehicle. Well they don't call him super for nothing.
2. A WHOLE UNIVERSE OF CHARACTERS!
If LEGO Marvel Super Heroes got one thing spot on, it was the huge roster of characters made available for play, from the Marvel characters everyone knows, to, er, Howard the Duck. LEGO Batman 3 continues this tradition, featuring well over 150 characters - a number that's three times as large as the past LEGO Batman games. It's basically an A-Z of DC comics.
Lets test this out shall we? Think of a DC character. Anyone you like. Got one? Good. Chances are that they're in the game. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are givens, but things quickly get much more obscure. Mister Mxyzptlk anyone? Krypto the Superdog? Not impressed? Okay then how about Bat-Cow? Yep, that's a character (I even checked Wikipedia to make sure).
Better still, big-fig characters also make a return, allowing you to play as larger villains like Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy - and take advantage of their larger power. Or, for the first time, you can take to the sky, and fly around as one of the larger Lanterns.
TT Games have gone out of their way to include as much character variation as possible, even including the likes of real world celebs, such as American talk-show host Conan O'Brian and (self confessed Batman fanboy) director Kevin Smith. While there's no idea what kind of powers they'll have, we think Kevin Smith should order goons around with a megaphone and inexplicably make everything black and white (if you get that reference give yourself a pat on the back).
With so many characters to choose from there is the worry that certain characters may have cookie cutter abilities, but TT Games assures us this isn't the case. They plan to stay true to each characters powers, while still giving each a unique feel, meaning characters like Professor Zoom (otherwise known as the Reverse Flash) should play differently when compared to the regular Flash. Here's hoping for more than a different set of combos.
3. NANANANANANANANA BATMAN!
Get hype! As if there wasn't enough Batman fan-service in here already, TT Games have even included a special Batman '66' bonus level in the game. Letting you play as 1960's TV Batman, complete with a 60s Batmobile, 60s Batcave, and a voicover provided by everyone's favourite caped crusader, the one and only Adam West, you'll be facing off against TV show versions of the Bat's greatest foes. With West lending his iconic voice to narrate the level as you play.
All the classic tropes from the show are here. That awesome TV theme tune. Spinning Batman logo transitions. You'll even hear a brass horn whenever you hit an enemy, accompanied by the classic visualised comic book text (expect to see lots of Kpow's! and zLonk's!).
Words can not even describe how awesome this looks. TT Games has described it as something they have wanted to do for years - but we're just hoping there'll be some kind of reference to shark repellent.
4. SUITED AND BOOTED!
The gameplay in LEGO Batman 3 works slightly different this time around. Veterans of the series will no doubt remember that prior games featured suit swapper pads, where your character could change their suit to give Batman and Robin special abilities.
This time things are very different. There are a ton more suits for one, making Batman much more than a Batarang and a grappling hook. Batman alone has Arctic, Sensor, Sonar, Power, Space, Scuba and Electricity Suits, all of which can be changed into on the fly, no pads needed.
Batman's not the only one with snazzy costume changes, of course. In fact, several of the cast will have a full wardrobe, with a range of different suits that they can swap at will - from Robin's glow-in-the-dark power suit, to Lex Luthor's snazzy Decoy Suit, that lets him summon a pair of robots to attack his enemies. This might also make the game a little easier if you plan to play it solo.
Other characters can even transform. So if you want to fly high as a Plastic Man aeroplane, or sneak around as washing machine Cyborg you can (never thought we'd write that). It's all very silly, but fun nonetheless.
5. EXCLUSIVE HANDHELD FEATURES!
If you're familiar with the handheld ports of past LEGO games, you might already know that they're usually a major downgrade when compared to their bigger console brothers. Apparently this time around this is set to change. Game director Arthur Parsons has stated that the PlayStation Vita version is reportedly much closer to the console games.
Of course, as its a handheld game, there have been some changes made for the sake of portability. You'll be getting faster, more bite-sized gameplay over a whoping 45 mission original storyline, with each level broken down into 3 separate chapters. Its obvious TT Games are trying to push a pick up and play mentality, which suits the LEGO games perfectly. Good news then for fans who like to game on the go.
The handheld versions will also be getting some exclusive features; Zero-G (zero gravity) gameplay sections and something called LEGO Hazard Builds, that apparently shake up the game's combat in some way. Unfortunately, while the cast of characters may not be as big on the small screen, it still stands at somewhere around 105 which is still plenty of DC love.
TT Games have been trying to push LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham as a re-imagining of the LEGO Batman games and it really shows. Its shaping up to be bigger, badder, and better than previous outings of the series. So if you're a fan of DC or LEGO then this game is a must buy this Christmas.