In the world of comic books, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. The sheer amount of films on the cards over the next five years is almost enough to make you want to claw out your eyes with a batarang in disbelief, and, over the last few years in particular, the Lego games have been going a similar way.
This problem crops up again as you start to take control of other characters. Taking control of Superman in the second game was immediately paid off with a spurring flourish of John William’s iconic score. Thankfully this remains, but as well as Superman, Wonder Woman’s theme from the famed 1975 TV series, which, despite its novel sound raising a smile, becomes irritating about the third time Wonder Woman starts flying.
More modern TV series and DC properties which have made their mark pop into the game, but mostly in the story’s closing credits (and some inevitable DLC), without any explanation of context - not to mention that there’s not enough of them to fill each section, meaning you must sit through each exchange between the likes of The Arrow and original Batman Adam West several times over.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this game isn’t fun though. Gameplay is as tight as it has been for any game in the series, and the narrative is just the right balance of humour and intrigue to keep you playing, while some of the new environments discovered when you visit the various Lanterns’ coloured homeworld in particular really raise the bar for the variety shown in the series.
Unfortunately this isn’t enough to stop you feeling that the puzzles seem a little undercooked, even for newcomers to the series, and the extending of suits - previously restricted to Batman and Robin - to other characters quickly makes them seem pointless, and you’re left constantly flicking through trying to remember which one is which as they all look different on different characters. To Travellers Tales’ credit though, some of the little touches they have brought in really help to bring the characters personalities across by fancy threads alone (The Joker’s explosive jack-in-the-box and Cyborg’s washing machine being particular highlights).
...multiple hub locations not only makes it difficult to remember where things are, but also no area really feels like a home...
The hub menu for this game feels like something of a step back from Lego Batman 2 as it loses its open world in favour of a series of hubs connected by portals, including the Watchtower, the Hall of Justice and the Bat Cave. Sadly these multiple hub locations not only makes it difficult to remember where things are, but also no area really feels like home, making it less compelling to just amble about and discover side quests and secrets hidden here, there and everywhere.
Completing the game doesn’t give as much satisfaction as it should, since completing the actual story is only a small percentage of the game overall, thanks to the ever-increasing slew of collectables.
Batman might have a gadget ready for any occasion, but this game is the utility belt-equivalent of a Swiss army knife with 17 different types of spoon - useful, but there’s plenty of it you feel like you’ll never need.