Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Hands-On NYCC Preview: We Fight Through A 1960s TV Show Level Narrated By Adam West And Try To Get Rid Of A Bomb
DC Comics and Warner Brothers Entertainment were on hand at the New York Comic Con this weekend to provide a fully-playable demo of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham to attendees.
The level chosen to demo the game was a bit of a surprise. Lego Batman 3 is taking the series into outer space on a multiple-world spanning quest that sees Batman joining forces with other super heroes all over the galaxy in order to fight Braniac. As with Lego Batman 2 the caped crusader is but one hero featured in the game and the scope of this one is so large that it uses characters not widely known at all (the Polka-Dot Man?) in an epic otherworldly adventure.
Which is why it was so funny to see that the demo was as down to Earth and old-school as you can get.
In fact, the demo was all about the original 1960 TV Show version of Batman, as we soon found out when Adam West started narrating the story during the cutscene. The fun, colorful show turns out to be the perfect material for a LEGO game, the day glow palate faithfully replicated. West’s wonderful narrative is full of alliteration and puts you right in the mood of things, which just ties together with the familiar “WHAM!” sound effects and speech bubbles that pop up when fighting.
Besides the style the game is instantly familiar to anyone who’s played any of the ten thousand previous LEGO games, as you’ll smash objects and use Lego pieces to build structures and proceed through the level. You start off as Batman and Robin inside the Bat Cave, trying to find three pieces of the classic Batmobile. You’ll have to work together using each character’s unique abilities to gain access to all the areas of the level.
Best of all? 1960s Batman’s special move allows him to pull out a bomb, which he holds over his head and does his infamous run while trying to place it somewhere. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.
After getting the Batmobile up to speed we took off to another stage that saw saw us fighting all of the original villains in their famous costumes; the Catwoman, who swung from the lights and had to targeted with batarangs, the Penguin, who had to be snuck up on using Batman’s cloak, and the Riddler, who you could pretty much just pound down into the ground. Each minifig was done in 1960s style, complete with a stylized intro.
After defeating all the minor villains you take off after the Joker in the Batmobile, and get an assist from Batwoman in a helicopter. It’s everything you want in a Lego game and is perhaps more cinematic than any yet.
After the demo we talked for a minute with Lego Batman 3 game director Arthur Parsons, who remarked that the scope of the game was larger than they even planned. They dove really deep into DC Comics’ history for this one.
“There were versions of Batman that the team never knew existed,” said Parsons. “We have Zebra Batman, Rainbow Batman, New 52 Batman, even Bat Cow in there.”
There's a staggering 150 characters in the game, plus 40 more coming in six packs of themed DLC. This demo was a side-story to the main game, one of many that offer up unique stories and the opportunity to get even more DC characters in on the mix.
With all of this, is there even anywhere to go? “I don’t know where we’d go from here,” Parsons admitted. “It’s even bigger than Lego Marvel Super Heroes.”
It’s remarkable that a series with as many installments as the LEGO has they keep managing to improve the formula, year after year. We can’t wait to play the full thing.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will hit on November 11 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC. Three DLC packs (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel and Batman 75th Packs) will be available day one, with three more coming later on, and all six available in a Season Pass.