LEGO games are being released pretty thick and fast these days… it seems that there is a new LEGO game every few weeks. With LEGO: The Hobbit coming up soon, the gap between that title and LEGO: Marvel Superheroes has been filled by another LEGO title based on a movie… and this time the fit is as perfect as two of the multi-colored blocks the franchise derives its inspiration from.
LEGO: The Movie Videogame is based on a film that arguably draws a lot of inspiration from the LEGO games that came before. In this title, which is obviously based on LEGO: The Movie, players control a number of characters not only from the LEGO universe but also from properties that share common ties (in the form of Warner Bros). So expect to see the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and a host of other famous LEGO faces in the title. There is even a nod to the Lord of the Rings, which got its own LEGO game treatment not too long ago, although the character that quite obviously is based on Gandalf bears another name.
He also speaks with the voice of Morgan Freeman. Other well-known voices include the likes of Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Ferrell, adding a true Hollywood feel to a franchise that has always gone out of its way to lampoon and celebrate some rather big Hollywood properties.
Central to the tale told in this long and often amusingly jarring game is the character of Emmett, a construction worker who happily plies his trade – which basically comes down to squashing creativity and sticking to the rules in his hometown of Bricksburg. But soon he comes to realize that creativity is key, and conformity is a bad way to live.
That’s sort of the message in this game, although the plot does jump around a little, making leaps that are covered by the film. Emmett’s quest is to become a master-builder (although in game terms that is less impressive than it sounds). It would have been awesome if there was some kind of way for players to influence the building of master objects, but (ironically) they are shoe-horned into conforming to what this game all about creativity wants them to do.
Not that this is a bad thing. Fans of the previous LEGO games will find a large free-roaming world to explore, and tons to collect, destroy and build. There is also a massive cast of characters to unlock, some of which have special abilities that add replayability to already completed levels.
The biggest change to this game is that, for the first time ever, the entire world is made of LEGO bricks. Every little thing. And that’s pretty cool because, for the first time, it feels less like an homage to a movie, and more like an actual LEGO-based adventure.
Aside from that, and for the idea of master-building (which, once again, is underwhelming in that it really just replicated the other kind of building that we see in LEGO games on a slightly larger scale) there isn’t too much new here. But that’s OK… at the very least players will know what they are in for, and the popularity of previous titles means that the old formulas still work well.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable game that will delight old and young alike, crammed with humor and action. But, above all, it’s a LEGO game, and the way you reacted to previous titles in the franchise will most likely determine how you feel about this one.
Despite some new ideas, it really is another LEGO video game – and that may or may not be a good thing, depending on your view of the franchise.
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PSV