Hands-on: Lego Dimensions, take my money!
I have been trying my best to avoid Lego Dimensions. For starters, we don’t have the game in this country (yes I have been begging for it) and I don’t think I could handle importing it on my own. Also it is a tad expensive, which has made keeping my distance a case of preserving my poor wallet. Now I have had some hands-on time and it might be a good time to invest in shares in Lego or something because I need that game in my life.
At first I thought having a physical portal as part of the gameplay experience would be silly. I mean, you can play Lego games without having any physical Lego lying around, right? But why would you not want minifigs all over your lounge while you play a game! If you have never played the game, the portal is a lot more than just a way to get your character into the game world: it becomes a part of the puzzles and transitions through levels. Having a character on the portal makes them part of the pool of characters in the game. In some areas you need to hop through a portal and to do so you need to move the minifig to the right area on the portal stand, which lights up with the corresponding colour. This whisks the character into a pocket dimension where you finish solving puzzles or opening doors. It might be a completely extraneous layer to the gameplay, but it works. You feel like you are in control, or capable of bending the rules of the game, even though you are playing it exactly as intended. It is an interesting sensation.
The game itself, the story mode at least, plays just like standard Lego games. You are solving puzzles and destroying pretty much everything in sight to progress through levels related to a specific franchise. In this case I was playing a level from the new Ghostbusters, so while I could make a fair amount of progress as Gandalf, several puzzles required abilities of the Ghostbusters to progress.
If you like Lego games, you will be really sad that we don’t have Dimensions in this country. Of course, maybe your wallet will thank you, all I want after playing it is to buy the game. There was this tiny cute Ecto-1 that you can add to the game world, you know in case having Gandalf teaming up with Batman and Doctor Who wasn’t cool enough. Those puzzles don’t stand a chance with a line-up like that! Toys to life, you are going to kill my bank account.