Thursday, May 5, 2016
A Good Way To Kill A Couple Hours: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass Expands The Video Game Adequately!
The Good: Fun, Neat additional characters, Easily playable
The Bad: Very simplistic, Nothing essential, Camera issues
The Basics: The Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass is hardly essential, but some of the new bonus levels are enjoyable enough to make it worth buying if one finds it on sale.
Not long ago, I was very eagerly playing (and finally beating!) the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham video game (reviewed here!) my wife got me and I was very focused on that. It is one of the few video games I have 100% completed and that game me a level of pride I did not entirely expect. On the day I finished the final quest to an obscure ringworld on the main game, my wife bought me the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass and, despite being exhausted from staying up all night to win the last of the damned races, I felt compelled to stay up a few hours extra to show appreciation to her for shelling out the dollars on the Season Pass. We were lucky enough to get the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass on sale and the discounted price of it certainly made it more worthwhile than buying the expansion pack at full price. The LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass is fun, but the expansions are hardly essential or overly substantive, leaving gamers with a "take it or leave" it feeling.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass is a compilation of six additional levels for the primary Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass video game that includes new levels for other, significant, DC Comics properties in Lego form. The Season Pass also includes several free characters, like the Heroines And Villainesses's bonus pack and that is a nice addition. We downloaded the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass for our Playstation 4 gaming console (reviewed here!) and it was virtually impossible to screw up the download and installation. Despite my love of DC Comics female characters, even with the expansion pack that is part of the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass, there is no possible way to beat the entire game using only women characters (Solomon Grundy is still needed to access some places that no other character can be used for!). That said, the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass expands the universe beyond Gotham to include Krypton, The Christopher Nolan universe, Bizarro World, Belle Rev penitentiary, the island from Arrow and a retro-Batman world for the 75th Anniversary of Batman. The characters from the various DC Comics cinematic properties are recreated in LEGO form, including new versions of General Zod, Margot Robie's version of Harley Quinn, and Stephen Amell's version of Green Arrow!
Focused exclusively on the characters of DC Universe (plus the fourth-wall breaking Adam West!), players run around shooting, jumping, grappling, using sonar devices, freezing things, and using laser eyes to get through the very simplistic levels of the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass. Gameplay remains consistent with the primary game: with the destruction of each minion or adversary, Lego pieces explode and change to coins. The Season Pass gives players the new characters immediately, though the game has a main story mode (which limits the playable characters) and free play options, which allow any unlocked characters to be played in the setting. By using the green triangle key, one may toggle between the characters they have available and as one becomes more adept in the game, it helps to assemble a team that allows the player to toggle between super heroes, characters with devices, super-strong characters, and diggers. The first time through each level, players are forced to use between one and three specific characters, without the ability to create a team of one's choice.
After the successful completion of a level, the player may replay levels to find minikit pieces and rescue Adam West (who is on each level needing rescue, but is often behind an obstacle for which a different character is required). In the free play mode, the player may wander more and find things at their own pace, as well as enjoy levels outside of the imminent threats which usually keep the focus of the player the first time through.
The Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass is divided into very simple levels which do not have a cohesive narrative. The Man Of Steel level, for example, is set on Krypton and involves getting into the launch facility and getting the baby Kal-El off-planet before General Zod and his forces overrun it. It is not exactly a complicated story; get inside the building, survive a hallway, get to the controls and launch the baby! Similarly, The Dark Knight level is a simple "capture the Joker" plot, as opposed to a developed storyline. The Squad is about breaking out of the prison, while assembling one's Suicide Squad.
What surprised me was how fun the Arrow island level of the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass was. I don't watch Arrow, but Stephen Amell's snarky narrations on the Lego version of it are enough to make me want to tune in! He is funny and the training on the island upon which Oliver Queen found himself is both fun and playable. Bizarro World was, more predictably, a close second to the fun of the Arrow level.
Like the main game, the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass consists of "bottle episodes" - individual game levels that are disconnected from one another. There is no orderly progress or overall narrative between them. They are separate vignettes set in the Lego DC Universe. The levels are pretty straightforward with a view that is usually slightly back from the character the player is playing. The net effect is that the view is like being followed around by a camera, as opposed to a first-person shooter style game.
The Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass continues the same level of visual effects from the primary game, with no breakthroughs in graphics. The consistency is understandable and welcome for those who fell in love with the mechanic of the game. The sound effects are accurate to the sound effects from the DC Television Universe's, including using Adam West and Stephen Amell. When things are destroyed, though they sound like Lego blocks rattling around.
The levels of the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass have limited replayability, but I have since discovered they are a fun way to get back into the Lego superhero games, without risking getting caught up in the main game again or feeling overwhelmed by the main game's harder levels. The result is actually that I got a decent amount of play out of the Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass, especially as I get psyched up for new DC Comics-based movies!
The Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass is not going to make a lot of converts to the basic game, but for those who liked the original game, it is a fun way to play around in similar tangent universes and with some pretty cool characters who did not appear in the primary game.
The Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Season Pass includes source material from:
Man Of Steel
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Arrow and Suidice Squad, as well as the 1960s version of Batman.
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© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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