LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the third LEGO game based on DC Comics characters. While it prominently features Batman and his supporting cast, as indicated by the subtitle it moves beyond Gotham City into all corners of the DC universe, featuring the Justice League, the Legion of Doom and several Lantern Corps, with all sorts of heroes and villains making an appearance, and the story moving from Earth to outer space and several other planets.
The story picks up from the teaser at the end of the previous game, with Brainiac approaching Earth. He captures several Lanterns to gain possession of their power rings, which he plans to use to shrink the Earth and add it to his collection. Meanwhile, the Legion of Doom, led by Lex Luthor and the Joker, plan to capture the Justice League’s Watchtower space station. However, faced with this new threat against the entire planet, both heroes and villains must team up to defeat Brainiac.
The game follows the template established by earlier LEGO games: players control several characters, and must use their special abilities to fight enemies, overcome obstacles and solve environment-based puzzles. Abilities include the use of projectile weapons, explosives or grappling hooks, x-ray vision, various beams (laser, sonic, ice), mind control, smashing walls, illuminating dark areas, and many more. Non-superpowered characters like Batman, Robin, or Lex Luthor can gain new abilities by acquiring various suits, which unlike in the previous game, can be switched between on the fly. Some variation from the standard gameplay comes in the form of Resogun-style shoot’em’up sequences and computer hacking scenes which take place in a Tron-style world. There are also several side quests as well as races involving unlockable vehicles.
Playing through the game’s story mode unlocks more than a dozen different characters. All-in-all, the game includes more than 130 characters, the unlocking of which requires finding their tokens in the levels or completing quests that are given out from the game’s several hub areas. Besides all sorts of DC characters (both famous and obscure), there are also several celebrity characters, voiced by their real-life counterparts, including 60’s TV Batman Adam West, filmmaker Kevin Smith and TV late night host Conan O’Brian.
As usual, the game includes all sorts of collectibles which usually can only be found by playing through the story levels in Free Mode, using unlocked characters with abilities not available earlier.