LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Hands-On Preview [NYCC 2014]

lego batman 3 brainiac art

It’s been over two years since the last iteration of the series, so it makes sense that Traveller’s Tales brought LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham to New York Comic-Con this weekend. After all, it is the biggest comic book convention on the east coast, and we are only a month away from the title’s November release date. With the game on full display, we were able to get a hands-on demo of the block-based Caped Crusader’s latest adventure.

Rather than jump into one of the missions from the title’s main campaign, though, I sought out the special level based around the classic 1960’s Batman television show. Things pick up where most episodes of the show would begin: in the Batcave. After The Joker pulls off one of his classic heists, Batman and Robin are called into action in order to stop him. Before they can start, though, the two need to assemble the Batmobile. This is, of course, handled through the basic gameplay of the LEGO series. The duo must look around for three different block piles and build the vehicle from them.

As always, there are also plenty of things to destroy in order to collect even more points. The section also makes use of the different powers that both characters can wield, as Batman can use bombs to blow certain objects up and Robin can climb to certain areas his counterpart cannot reach.

After rebuilding the Batmobile, the gameplay switches to a 2D sidescrolling perspective and we catch up with the Joker’s getaway vehicle. As I blasted away at the back of the villain’s car, Batgirl also showed up in order to lend a hand. With her shooting down missiles in the sky, Batman and Robin can focus directly on derailing the Clown Prince of Crime’s bulky vehicle. Eventually, the engine of his car overheats and the villain is forced off the road and into a nearby building.

With the Joker temporarily incapacitated, things don’t get any easier for the masked trio. As it turns out, Catwoman was hiding out in the building, and she soon commands her goons to attack. After knocking down the jumpsuit clad villain from her perch with some well-timed Batarangs, The Penguin emerges from a hidden lair. Eventually The Riddler crashes the party and the Joker comes back for one last showdown. The demo then wraps up exactly how it should: with a celebratory dance of the Batusi.

At this point, we already know what we’re going to get with the franchise, and LEGO Batman 3 is no different. You are going to smash villains into pieces, smash the environment to pieces, and solve rudimentary puzzles. Other sections of the game will make use of the different costumes Batman can wear, but that’s not necessarily a huge game-changer. I don’t think this is a bad thing, as I still enjoy the formula, but if you haven’t dug past entries in the series before, this one isn’t likely to change your mind.

While I still like the basic gameplay of the series, and am looking forward to the main campaign, this mission was more about enjoying the aesthetics of the classic TV show than anything else. I love the classic series and Adam West’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader, so getting a chance to play through a mission as him was everything I had hoped for. I imagine it will be even better in Free Play mode, too, as you’ll have the ability to step into the shoes of Cesar Romero’s Joker, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman and the other classic villains.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch on November 11 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Windows and Mac OS X. Will you be picking it up? Let us know in the comments section below!