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Co-Optimized: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Although many may be working to save the city in Batman: Arkham Knight, an adventure that goes far beyond the city limits awaits in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. In this week's Co-Optimized, we bring heroes and villains together to save the world from falling to colored pieces. 


Although Batman: Arkham Knight is getting most of the attention right now, we shouldn't overlook the previous open world Batman game that had fans clamoring for more. Yes, I'm referring to Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. The third chapter in the Lego Batman trilogy is actually more of a Lego Justice League game, but we won't fault the developers for using the Lego-ized Dark Knight as the primary focus.

Every game in the Lego Batman trilogy features a two-player splitscreen cooperative campaign, but with a roster of over 150 characters from across the DC Comics Universe, the third game is as epic as they come. Furthermore, players can pick from among different heroes and villains in Free Play mode, which is unlocked for every stage completed in the main campaign. They're free to mix and match characters, so a variety of hero/villain team-ups are possible, including one between Batman and Joker. However, the campaign will assign roles to players for the sake of the story.

The gameplay is relatively straightforward. Players go around beating up enemies and wrecking objects to pick up little Lego studs. Collecting studs allows them to construct objects, like a giant canon, to help solve puzzles. In addition to that, Batman and his allies all have different abilities to help them get by. For example, players can use Superman to fly around, while Atom can shrink down, and Marian Manhunter can transform among other super abilities. Both Batman and Robin can change out of different suits. Batman can don a pair of goggles that allow him to see through green brick walls, while Robin has a hazard suit that allows him to walk through toxic waste and vacuum up colored bricks.

Heroes and villains must combine their skills to take on Brainiac, who threatens to use his shrink ray on Earth. Characters from all across the DC Universe come together to take on this cosmic threat, including the Justice League's core group: Superman, Batman (of course), Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Flash.

Although the gameplay might be considered simple by many, it's really part of the game's charm. At its core, Lego Batman 3 is a family oriented game, but it has content that appeals to grown-up Batman and DC comics fans, such as visiting six lantern worlds. Players can toy around with abilities that range from mind control to using seven of the Lantern rings. Fans can also exercise their creative side by constructing custom characters using the parts from unlocked heroes and villains, along with custom weapons.

In essence, if you're in the mood for something with a lighter attitude than Arkham Knight, or if you're just tired of driving the Batmobile around, Lego Batman 3 is an excellent alternative. Not only can you play through its story and explore distant worlds alongside a friend (who may or may not be your personal sidekick), you get a big look at all that the Lego-ized DC Universe has to offer.

There's nothing like the thrill of competitive multiplayer, but sometimes it's better to kick back and play alongside your friends and family instead of against them. With Co-Optimized, we highlight and discuss games that are best played together.

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