Review: The LEGO Movie Videogame Is Fun, But Short On New Ideas
Another LEGO game title to walk the Earth, but this time of the notorious The LEGO Movie. Is it as fun as you would expect after the fantastic movie? Read on to find out.
- Worth The Time?If you like the LEGO games and need an additional LEGO Movie related fix, this will certainly aid, but it is still riddled with the same problems as its predecessors.
- Things LovedThe humour; The world built entirely from LEGO (the first time this has been done in the games); Great and cute animations; Some extra and yet minor gameplay additions thrown into the mix; lots of unlockables and side activities to do; Interesting scenarios; Different worlds to explore; Batman!
- Things HatedStock-standard combat; Clips taken directly from the movie makes it feel lazy even though it fits; Platforming issues; Doing everything will end up feeling like a grind; No combat multiplier from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes to make the combat a little more interesting.
- RecommendationFor LEGO videogame fans. Those seeking a deep combat system and challenging title will not find those traits here.
- Name: The LEGO Movie Videogame
- Genre: Brick Punching
- Players: Local: 1-2 players
- Multiplayer: Co-op Local: 1-2 players
- Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Vita, 3DS
- Developer: TT Fusion
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
- Price: PC: R399; Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS: R499; PS4: R699; Wii U: R599
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
The gaming industry is not without its franchises that spew forth an annual title year after year as seen with Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, but it looks like the guys and gals over at TT Games are looking to top that by releasing two LEGO games this year. The LEGO Movie Videogame has just released and LEGO The Hobbit is soon to poke its head out from underneath the development crust.
However, today we are examining The LEGO Movie Videogame and how it compares to the previously released games with LEGO in the name and if it holds up to the excellent movie it is based upon.
It has been said that the developers of the LEGO games are merely copying successful works and while that is without a doubt true, they do add some comedic flavour of their own. It is an addition that is mostly successful, but didn’t fit quite well within The Lord Of The Rings universe. With The LEGO Movie Videogame, it is already based on something hilarious and TT Fusion added some humour of their own within the gameplay segments.
The story follows the events of The LEGO Movie with segments of gameplay intertwined between certain happenings and act as ways for going from point A to point B where perhaps the movie didn’t show us and extended way of how they got there. The battle scenes are playable and for the most part it fits within the given scenarios quite well. There are some parts additional where they didn’t need to put a combat segment but hey, they can’t just put a movie on the disc and expect us to watch the uninterrupted movie without gamesplay while the word “Videogame” sits on the box.
The story is told in fragments by showing clips from the movie and while I initially thought that was extremely lazy, it did serve a potential purpose of making me want to watch the movie even more than I wanted to. (I’ve been looking forward to the movie for months now and this certainly ramped up my own personal enthusiasm.) Previously, the cut scenes were rendered, because the source material didn’t already comprise people moulded plastic characters – it fits very well, but I have no doubt that I am the only one seeing this as lazy. It’s like some sort of Catch-22 for me.
I don’t want to elaborate too much on the story as there are a lot of potential spoilers that moviegoers and gamers alike might not want to have knowledge of before experiencing either of The LEGO Movie embodiments. My very strict advice would be to watch the movie first and then play the game for two reasons. You’ll feel a bit lost, because it feels as if it just starts out of nowhere and secondly, you don’t want to spoil the reference material to any degree for yourself. (Trust me, this is crucial because the story does have quite a few moments where you don’t want to have any prior knowledge.)
Let’s just say that your are Emmet, a construction worker in Bricksburg where order and planning is the cup of overpriced coffee of each and every day. He stumbles across the Piece of Resistance that is then fused to his back. The Master Builders are searching for the Special that will use the Piece of Resistance to put a stop to Lord Bussiness’ schemes and restore the privilege of everyone building to their heart’s content with all rules and predeclared building plans pushed aside. (You won’t hear any more from me regarding the plot. Yes, it’s that good.)
The gameplay is similar to previous LEGO games. You punch enemies with stock standard combat mechanics and missing the one thing that made the combat exciting in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, which was the combat multiplier aiding you in collecting more studs after a combo. This is a genuine bummer due to it being the one extra addition that made the combat more fun. You punch random objects in the quest for more studs and if you collect enough studs in the story missions, you are awarded by having beaten the level with “The Special” rating. There still is a type of OCD-esque possessive nature imbued within you to collect as many studs as possible. The free-roam areas are filled with extra plans to find, additional side missions and characters to find and buy with your hard earned studs. This is something that will really take a while, because the characters are expensive in the LEGO stud currency and there is also a major amount of additional unlockables and collectibles. Also, expect a mini rhythm game or two featuring an awesome song.
In addition to the combat is the general platforming segments, which can both be a hit and miss simultaneously. It is functional and does the job most of the time, but in certain situations the camera is placed at an angle that ends up making it difficult to know the precise direction in which to jump.
Only certain characters can access certain areas with roadblocks we’ve seen in previous LEGO games, but in different forms. Only explosives can destroy silver LEGO objects and heat-based abilities destroy golden LEGO objects. We’ve seen this before in the previous titles, but just in a different scenario or form. Female characters can reach higher placed platforms and only Master Builders can shape a random pile of bobbing objects into a functional object/way forward. A new addition is regularly presented by having a Master Builder in an exact spot to grab parts from three pre-selected objects to build an object that will aid in progression and it is quite intriguing to see it being put together.
Players will find building plans/schematics scattered within the various free-roaming areas as well as mission areas that will also aid in providing a way to progress. You have a limited time when all the corresponding plans are collected and initiated, you have to pick the required part as it continues to build the specific structure. It’s something new and fits well within the game, given that Emmet is a construction worker, but if they allowed a little more input from the player and perhaps enabling more selections instead of just pointing out the needed component, it might’ve been even better to play and watch the LEGO pieces fall into place.
For the first time, we are treated to an entire world made from LEGO instead of the previously pre-rendered areas with LEGO objects scattered throughout. It captures the true LEGO feel that the movie has. Perhaps not as much, but definitely to a certain degree. Almost all of the characters from the movie can be played with and the complete roster consists out of over ninety playable characters.
The added humour within gameplay is a welcome addition and shows some extra writing effort instead of only relying on the film’s jokes and jabs. It is effective for the most part and I quite enjoyed Vitruvius’ extra sayings when performing certain tasks, but that is better left for the player to enjoy.
It will come as no surprise when saying that the game has local cooperative multiplayer with two people parading and punching in either free-roam or story missions. The split-screen is less of a headache this time around and that is always welcome.