It feels more and more each day that LEGO is becoming a dominating force within the galaxy. On the gaming side of things, we are privy to a new experience featuring the famous interlocking blocks almost every six months. Now LEGO has taken to the big screen, and of course there is a game to coincide with its release. Developer TT Games is once again at the helm, and anyone who has ever played (are there any left that haven’t?!) will be familiar with its formula. However, this time around the production values are a bit higher than ever before.
Mechanically, this is a LEGO game. For better or worse the formula is likely not going to change for the foreseeable future. Players are tasked with collecting items, studs and building different structures in order to progress. Objectives are often obtuse, but rarely overly difficult. These games are designed with younger players in mind, which means anyone looking for a solid challenge is in for a bad time.
I respect TT Games for sticking with the formula. It works, and the audience loves it, but it also limits them in their design. Considering the frequency these games are released, it starts to become a bit overwhelming. For that reason, like with all previous LEGO entries, I only recommend picking it up for those that are huge into the content; this case of course being the movie, which I also hear is fantastic. Sadly I have not had a chance to see it yet, but the game features the same basic premise and voice cast, and it is done extremely well.
Humor has always been at the forefront of any LEGO game, and the Movie Game is no different. Famed actors such as Will Ferrell lend their voices to the cut scenes, and musical numbers such as ‘Everything is Awesome’ really capture the feel of the motion picture. Kids who adored the movie will love how close this experience comes to bringing it home. TT Games has done an excellent job.
The story itself follows the movie almost religiously, only deviating from its course towards the end. Players follow the adventure of Emmet and his free-spirited friend Wyldstyle. Sure the plot is paper-thin, relying mostly on references to certain pop-culture, but it works. It is entertaining and humorous, which is a lot harder than some might think. It is non-offensive and predictable, but also charming and interesting. Players of all ages will likely have a smile on their face the entire time.
I just wish there was more to these games considering how swamped the market is. There is a new LEGO game almost every six months, and the formula continues to only slightly deviate. That also spills into the game’s most troublesome issues. Lack of clear direction is often a problem, while the engine also has issues with clipping and characters getting stuck in the geometry. These seem like things that should be ironed out by now, but still plague every release in the franchise.
Thankfully the variety is also present, offering up vehicle levels, a rhythm section and much more to keep things interesting. Still the puzzle design falls flat. Destroy an item, then build a new one, or simply look for the glowing spot. It is stale and simplistic, and in desperate need of an overhaul.
Fans of The LEGO Movie are in for a treat, and kids wanting to experience Emmet’s adventures as opposed to just watching them are definitely in for a thrill ride. However, anyone growing tired of the LEGO game formula will likely find nothing here to reignite that love. I really enjoy reviewing and playing each of these games as they come out, but it is definitely starting to feel like some new ideas are becoming necessary.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox One.