The Infinite Crisis Of Lego With Lego Dimensions
Lego games have been around for quite a while with Lego Island, the first Lego video game, being released on the PC in 1997. I remember playing this game and while it was more of an adventure game with a Lego aesthetic than replicating the feel of the beloved toys, it did set the ball rolling for the series. Since then I have had the face of Island’s Brickster etched into my nightmares, but we’ve also gotten some genuinely fun games along the way.
From strategy games to even MMO’s, we’ve quite a few iterations of the Lego franchise being made into games with the licensed games becoming more and more popular. Starting with Lego Creator: Harry Potter in 2001, we’ve been receiving Lego iterations of popular franchises but it wasn’t until Lego Star Wars: The Video Game that Traveller’s Tales had found their winning formula. Since then, we’ve been seeing Lego versions of everything from superheroes to dinosaurs and for the most part they’ve been rather enjoyable. There does however come a point where things need a little shake up, and this is what you can come to expect from Lego Dimensions.
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Owing to the popularity of the toys-to-life format that has seen incredible success in the form of Skylanders and Nintendo’s own amiibo, Traveller’s Tales has decided to mix bricks with bytes to give us Lego Dimensions. Making use of the popular figures and the multiple universes at their disposal, Traveller’s Tales want to give us a revitalised Lego video game experience, but is that enough to warrant any interest after the plethora of games we’ve already seen?
Name: Lego Dimensions
Genre: Physical Minecraft
Multiplayer: local co-op
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developers: Traveller’s Tales
Publishers: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 29 September 2015
Price: $100 Starter Pack, $30 Level Packs, $25 Team Packs and $15 Fun Packs
The story centers around the evil Lord Vortech (who probably stood on one too many Lego bricks) opening up vortices in multiple different Lego worlds in order to recruit villains to help him acquire the Foundational Elements, giving him the power to control the universe. Now I won’t argue with this plan, I mean it seems pretty solid. Getting a couple of infamous villains together sounds rather full proof, what could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, when you start pulling people from places like the Batman and Lord of The Rings universes, you’re probably going to upset some people you really don’t want to. When Frodo, Robin and Metalbeard are pulled into the vortices, Batman, Gandalf and the edgy Wyldstyle jump in after them and all land up in the same vortex. After being transported to the Land of Oz, the unlikely trio team up to travel across worlds to put a stop to Vortech’s plan.
Since this is a toys-to-life game, this is only the start of what is to be included in Lego Dimensions. Included in the Starter Pack of the game is the base game itself and the Lego Toy Pad. You will also receive Batman, Gandalf, Wyldstyle and Batmobile figures for use in the game. Instructions are obviously also included, but who has ever read those when playing with Lego? This starter pack is all you need to get started with the game, but that is obviously not all there is in the line of figures for the game.
Along with the release of the Starter Pack, various Level, Team and Fun Packs will be released. These packs will contain characters and vehicles from numerous other franchises such as Doctor Who and even Portal 2. Each pack, while including these figures, will also add various things to the game. Level Packs will give players new levels for players, themed according to the pack. Team and Fun Packs, while not adding more levels to the game, will add more characters and vehicles for the player to use.
In previous games of this style, we’ve come to expect that buying additional figures won’t really add much else besides new playable characters to tiny gameplay additions. The implementation of Level Packs seems to change this idea, adding new levels with unique gameplay mechanics to those levels.
As shown above, this makes makes these packs feel far more worth their while than what we have seen in the past. I feel like they could have just tried to sell the packs based on the licensed properties alone, but it’s rather commendable that they have gone just a little bit further to make the new figures add things from the franchises they represent to the game.
While the approach to the game is different to what we’ve seen in previous Lego games, the gameplay looks to be largely unchanged. This means that all the block finding and stud collecting will still be there, which is largely part of the identity of the games. There will also be the inclusion of time trial races and various vehicles. What sets the game apart from previous games is just the sheer scope of the project and what that adds to the game. With 14 franchises already included in the game through various packs, this has given the developers a lot to work with. If they are able to make use of all of them in interesting ways, by implementing gameplay that represents the franchises, it should make the game quite worthwhile. We’ve already seen it int the trailer for the Portal 2 pack, so hopefully they are able to offer something unique to the implementation of franchises.
Since this is a new direction for the Lego franchise, but it is keeping true to its tried and tested formula, what exactly do we have to look forward to in this outing? It’s obviously not a bad thing that it is sticking to what it knows, but with all the games already on the market, is the inclusion of physical figures what is needed to draw greater attention to the game? Taking all this into consideration, let’s look at what the game has going for it, and what it doesn’t.
Suspected Selling Points
- Licensed Lego figures are sure to be a hit
- Abundance of franchises to tap into
- It’s going to be a hit with the kids
- Lego gameplay is enjoyable, and hasn’t stopped being so over the years
- Might be expensive locally
- It could finally reach that point where it becomes stale
- Will parents be willing to buy more toys for games after so many Skylanders games?
I have to admit that, based on the fact that this will include Portal themed Lego, I find it difficult not to be slightly interested in this game. I’ve always like the Lego games and this bringing together of all the Lego universes definitely tickles my fantasy. The only problem I have is that the game doesn’t look varied enough to warrant the steep investment. The issues I have with this game are the same one’s that I have for all toys-to-life games. While they are certainly nice things to have, they never make themselves must play titles. This makes it incredibly difficult to choose to play these over most other titles that come out during the year.
While it may not look like a title that needs to be on everyone’s radar, it does at least have enough going for it to warrant at least a little bit of your attention.