Bats once Again

If you've become somewhat cynical regarding the Lego games, it's probably best that you turn away now and completely ignore everything I'm about to write. If you can throw aside that cynicism and embrace Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for the epic bright, breezy, fun and beautifully zany romp that it is: welcome aboard to the latest in Traveller's Tales excellent Lego series of video games!

TT have not let the apple fall far from the tree in this instalment of their Lego games series, it'll be instantly familiar to you, as it was to me barring a few changes here and there and space-shooting sequences that are Resogun inspired, a lot of fun and packed with lots to shoot at. There's also the Flash and his ability to rapidly combine bricks and things, because, he's the Flash and he's uber-fast so it wouldn't have made a lick of sense to give him the same slow-build that the rest of the Lego cast have.

And what a cast, the likes of Batman join forces with all sorts of characters from the DC Universe in a zany plot involving Brainiac and his desire to destroy Earth, by shrinking its cities for his collection. Batman and 150 or so DC characters (that's the biggest roster yet in the Lego game) must unite to stop him across a variety of fun Lego-drenched worlds drawn from DC's Universe.

You'll visit all sorts of interesting places, Lantern Space is packed with hub-like Lantern Worlds and then there's the Moon Base and even more. It's not a small game at all.

Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Condiment King, Toyman, Green Arrow and many more will join you on your quest to save Earth. All fantastic in their own right, with their own unique personality and animation traits - not to mention the voice cast, which are doing their level best to inject an already fun game with a boatload of humorous performances and mirth-inducing lines.

It really is a fun game, and doesn't take itself too seriously.

You also don't need to have a massive knowledge of the DC Universe to get the best out of the game.

It remains at heart a Lego game, and that means blasting blocks, laser-vision zaping gold bricks (as Superman) and all the things we've come to know/love from the last ten or so years that Traveller's Tales has been crafting these games for us. Ten years of collecting studs to buy secret bricks and characters, and this is the best Lego game yet!

The execution is solid, the puzzles are fun and the roster is brilliantly put together including Solomon Grundy - what more could we ask for, Stephen Amell as Green Arrow perhaps? OK, got you covered there too.

Troy Baker as Batman, sure thing.

You'd really think that by now I'd have been bored of the same kind of formula that makes up the DNA of the Lego games, but no, this one manages to add in enough fresh things to keep it humming along nicely and the whole package just gels together really well. Then there's Free Play where you can come back to find the mini-kits, help Adam West (yes, the real Adam West is in there too) in Peril and find all the secrets that you weren't able to get hold of on the first play.

The controls are still the same, the heart and soul is still the same and Traveller's Tales have really excelled this time around with size and content. You're going to get a heck of a lot out of this one and then there's the Bonus Level of course, that may be the best Bonus Level in a Lego game yet too.

Oh, and Conan O'Brien as your guide, how can I forget Conan...

To the Bat-Jacuzzi Batman!

Lego Batman 3 is a huge game, packed to the brim with content, humour and enough gameplay to satisfy exploration fanatics ten-times over. It has a great voice cast, a superb look and familiar controls. It has key music from DC's history, the 60's Batman theme, Superman (always brings a tear to my eye) and more when you take flight as one of the key characters. It's these little touches that keep me coming back for more and elevate the game from just a simple build and bash puzzle game into a lovingly crafted splendid title that earns my 'best Lego game yet' award.

Play it!