Some worlds just fit together so perfectly… they click. Especially when you’re talking about the ever popular LEGO franchise.
Announced this weekend at their star-studded New York Comic-Con panel, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will have an Arrow DLC, featuring a full level of gameplay set in the world of the popular show, a generous selection of playable characters from the show, and the voiceover work of none other than Stephen Amell himself.
Look, there’s no two ways about it, this is really cool news. It’s also a first for a LEGO Batman game. Naturally, we were curious to learn more about this exciting new DLC, so we spoke with Wil Evans, a Game Designer at TT Games about what we can expect when the worlds of Arrow and LEGO Batman collide.
You’re handling DLC a lot differently on LEGO Batman 3 than on prior LEGO Batman games. Why is that?
At TT Games, we are always looking for something new and exciting to offer to our players. We strive to create the best gameplay experiences we can for them, so when we had the opportunity to develop add-on content for LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, we jumped at it! There are plenty of cool DC franchises that we really wanted to feature in the main game, but some didn't quite fit to include as part of the main story. Arrow, for example, is a brilliant show and one that is really popular and we’re all big fans of it in the office, so when the choice came for which franchise to do as DLC, Arrow was one of the first on our list.
What can fans expect from the Arrow DLC? What’s the general premise?
You’ll get an entire level in the Arrow add-on pack. Without spoiling too much, the action takes place on the island of Lian Yu. The level is narrated from beginning to end by none other than Arrow himself, Stephen Amell! He was amazing to work with and the lines he delivers will have any Arrow fan chuckling. We play our way from the crashed plane hideout to a mercenary camp, avoiding minefields and putting your archery skills to the test. There are cool enemies to fight in the way of the mercenaries and the island looks brilliantly authentic. We’re massive fans of the show ourselves and that means we’re filling it with references to the show, with lovingly recreated locations and characters, and with lots of in-jokes to satisfy even the most hardcore Arrow fan.
Green Arrow from the main LEGO Batman 3 game (also voiced by Stephen Amell)
Will we be seeing Diggle, Felicity, Laurel and some of the other characters from Arrow in the DLC?
In the level you get with the pack, you are playing as Oliver and Slade. But yes, there are other Arrow characters included in the pack; Diggle, Felicity, Canary, Huntress, Malcolm Merlin, Roy Harper. Once you have the DLC you can use those characters in any level as you would any other freeplay character. That includes the main game and other DLC levels. The characters are all brilliantly realized by our amazing character artists, brought to life by our superbly talented animators and we’ve given them all the abilities we have in the game that would most suit their character.
How exactly do you go about adapting the gritty world of Arrow to the colorful tone of a LEGO Batman game?
We stay true to the art styles in the source material, tonally speaking. Yet as soon as any IP is turned into LEGO form, it instantly becomes funny and that immediately takes the edge off anything that might be considered adult or gritty, so it’s never been that hard for us. We always do our best to stay as true to any IP we work with, and that’s the same with Arrow; we keep elements of that grittiness, but we’re also trying our best to make it fun and light hearted, as after all, we’re making kids games! And what we end up with is something true to the source material, but that lovingly pokes fun at itself. So for example, Slade Wilson is obviously a very dark character, but in our game he has the ability to disguise himself as a bush to get past guards. It’s true to his character with his stealth training, although we’ve played it for laughs. It’s brilliantly funny. That way, fans are laughing as hard as the people who may never have seen an episode of Arrow.
Finally, any surprises fans should look for? Maybe a salmon ladder mini-game?
Well, I want to leave some surprises for you! But let’s just say that Oliver's back muscles will get quite a workout!
Stephen Amell discusses voicing Oliver Queen in LEGO Batman 3 in this exclusive clip:
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on November 11, 2014 in North America and November 14, 2014 globally.