LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is an adventure game set in the DC comics universe. Players will take on the role of both superheroes and supervillains, who actually put aside their long-standing differences to save the world. Players punch, kick, shoot, and use their powers to try to break everything in sight. There's no blood when characters are injured in battle; instead, they explode in a shower of Lego bricks. Parents should know that this game is tied into the larger group of Lego and DC universe properties, and aside from raising interest in these other items, players can purchase downloadable content and season passes for additional adventures.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
In LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM, Earth is under attack by archvillain Brainiac, who wants to use the power of the Green Lantern rings to shrink the planet and add it to his crazy collection. Batman, Robin, and a slew of their friends from the Hall of Justice must join forces with the nefarious villains from the Hall of Doom -- or risk letting Brainiac "belittle" them all.
Is it any good?
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is part of the long-running wacky Lego action-adventures. It has all the color, energy, and vast gameplay of the previous Lego games, as well as the humor, tongue-in-cheek wit, and generous quantity of unlockable characters. Unfortunately, where it differs from other Lego games is presentation. Beyond Gotham assumes players have previous experience with Lego games, and that's a mistake. You're supposed to know you'll need to swap characters to clear out certain obstacles, or swap special suits for characters like Batman and Robin to gain new abilities, but the game does a poor job of explaining this, and new players could be confused. Hints are available in the form of occasional signs that pop up when you hit them, but these often appear after you need them. And if it's tough to figure out when to use whom, and how to make use of multiple suits, it's worse once you have a whole group of Super Friends.
Still, these problems can be ignored if you're a fan of exploration and can't get enough superhero references. Beyond Gotham looks good and sounds great -- it even features the voice of TV's original Batman, Adam West. Better still, it offers more than 150 unlockable characters, so your favorites are bound to be among them. The dialogue is funny, and in-jokes add to the hilarity -- for instance, when Wonder Woman flies, the theme to the old '70s Wonder Woman TV series plays. There are even special appearances by celebrities such as Conan O'Brien and Kevin Smith (although you have to wonder if most kids will know who they are). It's tough to beat a Lego game for sheer entertainment value. Plus, with the long levels and option to replay missions for additional rewards or to download additional content, the game will keep you busy. Overall, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is worth playing, but it's one of the franchise's least successful games, and only die-hard DC fans will play all the way through.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Lego Batman 3. Is the violence OK because everything simply breaks into Lego bricks when destroyed?
Talk about what makes people good or bad. What makes someone a hero instead of a villain?
Discuss the importance of individuality and teamwork. What makes you special, and when and how does your family work together?
Talk about why we love superheroes. If you could be a superhero, what would your powers be?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release date: November 11, 2014
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.