The Lego brand of video games has been going strong for nearly a decade now, and they continue to evolve both in design and game play.
The latest game, "Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham," out now, takes a huge leap forward with game play, streamlining the character interface -- especially when flying or using vehicles -- while maintaining the fun, often silly gaming experience people have come to expect from the franchise.
The third "Batman" installment takes the Caped Crusader and about 150 DC Comics characters, as the title says, well beyond Gotham into outer space, for an adventure pitting our heroes -- with an emphasis on the Green Lantern family of characters -- against the Superman villain Brainiac. Storywise, it's not the most coherent plotline, but it makes enough sense within the insanity of the game.
The game still relies on breaking a ton of Lego bricks and figuring out little puzzles as you make your way through different boards and an expansive open world. So yeah, the Lego games do start to become repetitive the more you play them, but the different franchises offer people a chance to explore their favorite fantasy worlds and characters. As a comic fan, when you unlock an obscure favorite character -- Kalibak?!? -- it's exciting.
Building on the "Lego Marvel" game where you had to save Lego Stan Lees, "Batman 3" has you keeping Lego Adam Wests from peril. But it takes it further, letting you play as the Adam West Batman on a level built as an episode of the 1960s "Batman" TV series. And with each punch, a "Pow" or a "Bam." It's silly and fun, which is exactly what you want from any Lego game. I can't wait for the next one to be announced.
‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’ is out now for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows PC