LEGO Movie Review
Since its release in February 2014, The LEGO Movie has been greeted with rave reviews and the film’s theme song has even stormed the Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart. But can the videogame achieve similar success?
The plot follows Emmet Brickowski, an ordinary construction worker with no special qualities. One day, he comes across Wyldstyle searching for the Piece of Resistance – a relic capable of stopping the evil Lord Business from spraying Kragle – a tube of Krazy Glue with letters rubbed off. It’s up to Emmet, the “Special”, to return the relic to the Kragle, in order to overcome Lord Business.
The LEGO Movie Videogame sticks very close to the story, using lengthy clips from the film itself to tell the narrative. While they’re a nice addition, the clips show some of the film’s best gags, taking away the element of surprise, so it’s worth watching the movie in its entirety before delving into the game.
In terms of gameplay, The LEGO Movie Videogame retains the “smash everything in sight” mentality gamers have come to know and love, as they collect studs (the game’s currency) and the other collectibles on offer. Such collectibles come in the form of red bricks, gold manual pages and pants, which all offer rewards upon discovering them.
The game has players travelling across multiple LEGO worlds, including a land in the clouds, the Wild West and a LEGO city. The developers have done an excellent job on the design front as every building, vehicle, flower and more has been brilliantly designed to give off the idea as if it was actually built with real LEGO.
Similarly to the landscapes, characters have also been well designed and they are in no short supply in the game with over ninety mini-figures implemented overall, including construction workers, superheroes, robots and historical figures. Each character contains its own unique features, which players must utilise in order to access new areas.
However, in order to appeal to a younger market, the LEGO series has undergone a number of big changes. One of the most noticeable alterations is the length of the game’s levels, which are now considerably shorter. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, as players will still have to repeat levels in order to achieve 100% completion.
In addition, the difficulty of the puzzles has also been toned down. Such puzzles include assembling LEGO sets by selecting the right piece and a Pac-Man-esque mini-game, both of which appear frequently throughout. While they can feel repetitive and tedious at times, they provide a welcome change to the gameplay.
Multiplayer is another strong element of The LEGO Movie Videogame, with the title retaining the excellent drop-in/drop-out co-operative play gamers have come to know and love. There’s a real sense of teamwork as both players work together in order to progress.
Moreover, on the graphical side of things, the game looks brilliant on the new generation. The title’s bright colours and the attention to detail are remarkable. At this early stage in the console’s lifespan, there is no doubt that there is still room for improvement.
It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the audio, with the game placing a lot of emphasis on the theme song, “Everything Is Awesome!!!”. Despite the track being incredibly catchy, it is also frustratingly annoying to listen to after countless plays and it won’t be long before players are pressing the mute button.
Nevertheless, the biggest issue with The LEGO Movie Videogame is the amount of bugs and glitches the title is plagued with, a lot of which could easily have been avoided. There are numerous occasions when players are unable to complete levels due to a bug, forcing them to restart and, as a result, lose their current progress.
Overall, while The LEGO Movie stresses that “everything is awesome”, the videogame counterpart is more a case of everything is just above average. The clips taken directly from the film ruins the comical effect previous LEGO titles have brilliantly managed and the amount of bugs / glitches takes the shine off a title that contains a lot of promise. Needless to say, this is still an enjoyable title and one that returning LEGO players will love.