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Review: The LEGO Movie 2

8.5

Great

Traveller’s Tales has brought us several LEGO games every year for many years now. Every so often they switch up their formula a bit, a welcome change for gamers like me who play almost every single LEGO game. With the LEGO Movie 2 Videogame, they’ve brought us a fresh take on the movie-to-game formula.

First up, I think it (almost) goes without saying that you’ll want to watch the LEGO Movie 2 before playing this game. Most LEGO games follow the storyline of the movie(s) they’re based on fairly closely (with some LEGO twists, of course). For this game, although you’re following the general path the characters take in the film, the film’s story kind of takes place in the background, with voiceovers from Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle/Lucy) summarising the key points. There are no LEGO recreations of scenes from the film, because, of course, they were already in LEGO in the film. This is a huge break from the usual formula, but it really works in this game’s favour. The recreations of key moments in a film works well for non-LEGO movies, but for the LEGO/Batman/Ninjago game adaptations, these were often the weakest parts of the games.

Out with the old formula

Doing away with this traditional format opened up new options for the LEGO Movie 2 Videogame. Instead of a series of story levels linked together by a large hub world (complete with looong load screens), the entire game is open world, broken into the different planets of the Systar System where the majority of the film takes place.

LEGO Movie 2 Videogame Ultrakatty and Unikitty

Like in the film, each world is unique, with its own design and inhabitants. Each has a sizable area to explore, filled with collectibles, enemies, races, and sidequests. Each world has a main story quest that you’ll need to complete to progress, but you are otherwise free to roam as you please.

You’ll receive a pair of binoculars early in the game, which you can use to scan objects in the world to add them to your collection for later use. Sound familiar? This was a feature of the tedious LEGO Worlds game released a couple of years ago. This game takes a lot of the features of that game, like worlds made entirely out of LEGO bricks, scanning objects, painting and building, and repackages them into non-randomised, properly themed worlds with a story to tie everything together.

In addition to the worlds in the main story, there are several other worlds available to explore, like Bricksburg, the Old West, Middle Zealand and more. These smaller worlds have their own mini-story to work through, as well as the usual collectibles and side quests to complete. You also have access to a mostly-empty planet that you can decorate with buildings – which attracts new residents – and items you collect on your travels.

Throughout the game, you’ll be collecting LEGO bricks in various colours – a feature used in a few of the more recent games – to use to construct various objects, whether to help you get around the map, or to decorate your home planet. You’ll also collect relics, which are randomised capsules that contain various characters, items, vehicles or buildings. Finally, to access new worlds, you’ll collect sparkly purple bricks, which are the equivalent of the gold bricks of other LEGO games. The menu system does a good job of organising your huge collection of stuff so it’s easy to find important quest items when you need them.

Everyone is special

Like other LEGO games, the number of characters you can collect is vast. From story characters like Emmet, Lucy and Batman, to random minifigures spotted briefly in the film, like watermelon dude, there’s a massive roster of characters and items to collect. What’s interesting is that every character has the same basic abilities, enhanced by the object they are holding, or items you build to help them along. So instead of being forced to use certain characters for certain puzzles, you can spend all your time as Batman or watermelon guy or fox girl, or one of the sparkly vampire minidolls – whatever works for you. Some of the story characters have special ‘master builder’ power moves, while everyone else gets a generic power move, but other than that, the differences between characters comes from their animations and walk styles, from the awkward minidoll hop to Benny’s spacewalk to whatever it is that Unikitty does.

LEGO Movie 2 Videogame Old West Emmet

This freeform, open world game is not without its quirks. Apart from Lucy’s voiceovers giving you the outline of the story, there’s not much talking. Some quest givers are voiced, while some aren’t, some by their film voice actors, and some not. One of the weirdest voices was that of the white-suited classic space minifig, identified as Jenny in a real-world LEGO set, having a male voice in the game. There are also some very awkward camera angles, especially in tight spaces or near walls, making life difficult when attempting a race or dealing with enemies.

Instead of being forced to use certain characters for certain puzzles, you can spend all your time as Batman or watermelon guy or fox girl, or one of the sparkly vampire minidolls – whatever works for you.

Another interesting change for this game is the move away from platforming. Since there are no normal story levels, getting around the open world is relatively easy. Any tricky jumps are made easy by prompting you to press a button to automatically move to the next handle or platform. You can climb most environmental obstacles because they’re made of LEGO bricks. I honestly found this quite refreshing, because even after many years of LEGO games, I’m still terrible at platforming.

LEGO Movie 2 Videogame octopus boss

Combat has also taken a backseat in this game, with only a handful of fights on any given world. What is really fun are the boss fights. The bosses in this game are massive LEGO creations, from a giant chameleon to a huge Duplo octopus. Boss battles are varied and not overly long, making for a fun challenge that won’t bring you to tears of frustration.

What is really fun are the boss fights. The bosses in this game are massive LEGO creations, from a giant chameleon to a huge Duplo octopus.

Overall, the LEGO Movie 2 video game is a fresh take on a sometimes stale formula, breaking just about every rule put in place by its predecessors.
If you go in expecting to closely follow the story from the film, you’ll probably be disappointed. If you’re looking for something new, casual and freeform, you’ll have a lot of fun with this game. Just make sure you watch the movie first!


Good

  • Open worlds to explore
  • Lots to collect and build
  • Play as your favourite characters
  • Fresh take on the LEGO game formula
  • Catchy music from the film

Bad

  • Dodgy camera in some places
  • Inconsistent voicing of characters

Summary

A fresh take on the LEGO game formula that brings in the good parts of LEGO Worlds and turns it into a really fun experience that should please even seasoned LEGO gamers.
8.5

Great

Gamer, geek, LEGO fanatic. I also love Pathfinder RPG, The Sims, cross stitching, crochet, and sci-fi and fantasy movies, games & books. And animals.

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