The long-awaited Lego Movie is now out. And I can’t possibly imagine who wouldn’t want to see it. The humour in the Lego videogames has entertained me for long enough and to see it make it to a fully fledged movie is great. And then bizarrely we’ve now got the video game of that movie.
For fans of the Lego games there isn’t too much that’s going to shock and surprise you in The Lego Movie’s gameplay. The familiar combat makes a return although the characters don’t have quite as many abilities as we’ve become accustomed to. Especially when compared with the recent Marvel Superheroes the combat can at times become a bit tired.
But it’s reasonably well paced and you usually don’t do too much fighting without coming across a puzzle to solve or a cutscene to watch. And again the puzzles are nothing out of the ordinary but rather what we have all come to expect from Lego games. Usually it’s a case of destroying a pile of bricks to make a new object or finding certain parts before you proceed. It’s the simple gameplay we’ve all grown to love backed up with a reliance on the completionist that lurks inside all of us.
There’s the usual gold bricks to collect and red bricks that unlock crazy stud multipliers. Free play will allow you to replay a level with whichever characters you choose to pick up anything you might have missed. Although constant character switching that occasionally caused tedium on Marvel Superheroes is greatly reduced. Admittedly this means less variation between characters’ abilities but when all that actually means is having to complete a level repeatedly just because you can’t bring along enough characters I’m glad for the change.
And the amount of characters you can take to a level is larger too and without a ridiculously long load time if you decide to switch one out. So things are generally smoother and just less dull for the player, especially when going for completion. And because of the reduction in abilities there is less chance you will need to be constantly swapping anyway.
That’s not to say there isn’t any variation between characters and with the entire Lego universe at its command there are all sorts of totally different characters available. This obviously not only opens up options for comedy but for gameplay too. As funny as interactions between characters are it’s great to be a wizard or a pirate one second and a spaceman in the next.
In fact Benny has to be the best character in the film/game purely because I owned one (and still do somewhere) so long ago that had the exact same broken helmet. Or possibly Unikitty I can’t decide. Or Batman. It’s impossible to decide but watching the gruff caped crusader argue with the cutest character in anything ever is absolute genius. And when batman refuses to walk a plank claiming “I didn’t bring my shark repellent spray” I nearly died with laughter. This game is basically a family friendly Family Guy. Sure there’s loads of stuff for the kids but they likely don’t own a Robby with his crappy broken helmet. Or know the original Batman movies – how tragic for them.
Graphically things keep looking better for Lego games even if it is only by almost unnoticeably small amounts. The overly shiny plastic and all-Lego scenery looks better than ever and the muddle of pieces from all the completely different Lego universes creates a wonderfully vibrant world. And it’s been a long time since I’ve played a movie tie in that uses clips of the movie as cutscenes but I found myself looking forward to them every time.
The movie itself really does look stunning. Visually speaking it’s impossible to tell that the movie is CG and not painfully crafted from a million Lego pieces. It does stand as a rather stark contrast to the gameplay visuals and I wonder if eventually the Lego games might look more like the movie. I reckon that’d be pretty cool.
The Lego Movie Videogame is everything we’ve come to expect from a Lego game. Unfortunately it does very little above and beyond and I have to wonder where the future of the franchise will go – as far as videogames are concerned. I can’t help but enjoy the games thoroughly and look forward to each new edition but there has to come a point where things need to move forwards. It’s difficult to expect much from a game that is essentially a tie-in to a toy franchise but the Lego videogames are a lot more than that now and next time it’d be nice to see something new to keep the titles fresh.
It strikes me a bit like “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There’s very little to fault with The Lego Movie Videogame but at the same time it doesn’t do much to wow us. The humour derived from having so many different characters involved rather than just limited to a single universe is brilliant and it carries from the movie to the video game with aplomb, with jokes not even seen in the movie. So it’s good fun, looks nice and this instalment is particularly funny.
Even given this I feel the Lego videogames need to change something up. I’m not sure what it might be but if they continue to follow the same formula over and over eventually they will become stale and this was the first time I felt they’re rapidly approaching that point. It’s a little formulaic but it’s also probably the best videogame movie tie-in I’ve been on in a long time. Everything is average, and that’s just fine for now.