From Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, numerous blockbuster films have received LEGO makeovers over the years. So it came as no surprise when Traveller’s Tales announced LEGO Jurassic World, a compilation of all four films in the Jurassic Park franchise, to coincide with the major summer box office hit.
Each of the films is broken down into five stages, which recapture the tense, action-packed scenes from the Jurassic Park series shot for shot, whilst retaining the silly and light-hearted humour the LEGO series is renowned for. From dinosaurs riding motorcycles to Gennaro cleaning the T Rex’s teeth with a toilet brush, there are comical moments aplenty.
Another returning element is the puzzle-based gameplay, which requires players to select the specific character for the task in order to progress through the story. This has been made simpler in comparison to previous LEGO outings thanks to the dumbed-down character traits: palaeontologists can dig, zoologists can throw themselves into piles of dinosaur excrement, and hunters can use their long-range weapons to shoot targets.
The gameplay also preserves the “smash everything in sight” mentality, as players break open LEGO scenery to collect studs (the game’s currency) and other collectibles such as Minikits, Amber Bricks and Red Bricks. Through a combination of the campaign, Free Play and the sheer array of collectibles on offer across the two large islands, there is plenty to see and do, as gamers will have to devote a considerable amount of hours in order to obtain one hundred percent completion.
LEGO Jurassic World includes a reduced emphasis on combat and an increased focus on quick time events / button prompts and chase scenes, as players spend the majority of the game running away from the dinosaurs, as opposed to confronting them. Whilst said chase scenes provide further variety within the gameplay, they become tedious fairly quickly and the extremely closely-positioned camera makes obtaining the collectibles a frustrating process.
As ever, there is certainly no shortage of playable characters, with LEGO Jurassic World boasting over a hundred mini-figures, including Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm. Each one is instantly recognisable and they have all been brilliantly recreated in LEGO form to match their film counterparts.
The playable roster also extends to dinosaurs, as gamers can bite and charge their way through levels as a Triceratops, Velociraptor or a Tyrannosaurus Rex, among others. While the campaign limits the dinosaurs to short, sporadic moments, they can be utilised to their full potential within “Free Play”, where they prove to be one of the stand out features of the title.
Another strong element of LEGO Jurassic World is the multiplayer, with the title maintaining the excellent drop-in, drop-out co-operative play gamers have come to know and love. The lack of Xbox Live support is still disappointing, as there’s a real sense of teamwork as players work together in order to progress.
For all its strong points, LEGO Jurassic World suffers from a large number of flaws. Firstly, the game is plagued with noticeable glitches and bugs, such as characters not interacting with puzzles and items not spawning. They may only be small, seemingly insignificant niggles, but their frequency is mildly annoying.
Also adding to the frustration of the title is the almost constant repetition of John Williams’ iconic score, which appears at multiple instances during each level, whether players successfully complete a stage, finish a puzzle or defeat a handful of enemies. It just goes to show that you can have too much of a good thing.
The sense of nostalgia is also resurrected as a result of the dialogue, which has been directly lifted from the films. Regrettably, the voice work sounds out of place and is hugely inconsistent due to the environmental and background noises. This is only a minor criticism, although its weak implementation is particularly noticeable.
Nevertheless, LEGO Jurassic World’s major issue is its lack of innovation. From the mindless bashing of bricks for LEGO studs to solving basic puzzles, you can’t help but feel that you’ve played the same game countless times before. Is this a concept that is going the way of the dinosaurs? Not necessarily.
In spite of the same old gameplay mechanics and recurring issues, LEGO Jurassic World is still an entertaining package that will keep you occupied for a considerable amount of time. If you’re a fan of either the LEGO videogames or the Jurassic Park series, this hybrid is worth your hard-earned cash. Otherwise, it may be one to pick up when it goes down in price.