Every year more and more LEGO games drop. Does The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame add anything of note to this blocky body of work?
The first noticeable thing is that, like it’s movie tie-in predecessor and unlike most major LEGO game releases, TLM2V gives us worlds to play in that are basically entirely made of LEGO. In fact it looks very much like the LEGO Worlds engine was used.
This is good, and bad. While immersion in the world is increased, detail is quite lacking in comparison to the ‘A’ game releases such as those involving Marvel and DC characters. Many environments are sparse – and we’re not just talking the desert plains of new locale Apocalypseburg.
This game is only very loosely based on the movie, taking the characters (of course) and several locations, but mixing it up to allow for certain play mechanics, like being able to use any unlocked character as your protagonist and freedom to explore wherever, rather than being on rails. The only real movie story exposition comes sporadically via voiceover, and in a rather large data dump upon completion. So if you finish this and haven’t yet seen the movie, cover your ears and wail, “La! La! La!”, we guess.
Usually LEGO games see different characters having specific characteristics and abilities. Here they’re shared via a menu by whichever character you’ve opted to play as. Upon progressing further through the game more of them unlock, from grapple guns to welding equipment to jet wings and beyond. Basically most of the abilities from standard LEGO games feature in some way, but you don’t have to slavishly remember who does what now.
Collectible studs remain, and are useful for buying required mission items from shops on each planet that you visit. Red and gold bricks are gone, in favour of purple ones that allow for game progression, while all manner of different coloured LEGO bricks appear for the grabbing when you destroy things. LEGO was made for building, so these blocks that you collect are great for constructing aids that you unlock through your travels, such as a tramampoline for bouncing to higher places, right through to electrical generators and more. You can also open up instructions and build an array of things from the absolutely tiny to the rather majestic (hel-lo Batcave!) and just dump them pretty much anywhere. There’s even an entire planet just for this purpose.
More than most LEGO games, this one’s squarely aimed at kids. Most every quest holds your hand via guides to your mission targets, and the only real challenge comes in the form of some pretty cool giant boss fights. As for smaller foe fights, they’re as annoying and pointless as ever. Some purple bricks will prove impossible to obtain without backtracking once certain equipment is unlocked, but there’s an easily reached menu that allows for interplanetary travel (although load times leave much to be desired – erm, like speedier load times). Worlds from both movies feature, and more are promised soon (as a free download, too).
More than most LEGO games, this one’s squarely aimed at kids.
Those dreaded loot boxes rear their questionable heads, but at least require no real world currency. When you sit through their lengthy unlocking prcoedure they randomly yield character unlocks and instructions for buildings and vehicles. Speaking of the latter, LEGO games have never handled such things with much grace, but here it’s actually for the most part quicker to walk with your character than drive or fly. We completed all ground-based race missions on foot, with time to spare.
In a major disappointment, voice acting is quite poor at the best of times, and it’s beyond us why an official game-of-the-movie couldn’t feature the vocal talents of the actual actors. Some characters – such as the wonderful Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, voiced by Tiffany Haddish in the movie – just kind of burp and mumble. We reckon that there will be many a kid asking why the characters sound so different to those in the movie. Get your answers ready…
LEGO games are known for their bugs as much as the fun that they can deliver, and we experienced several in our travels. Then there are the often appalling camera angles that are delivered. Thankfully no bugs were completely game-breaking like in some previous outings, and just required a restart. They still make you wonder how much actual play-testing is done on these things though.
While nowhere near the calibre of the regular series of LEGO games, and able to be completed in a saunter at under 20 hours, The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame does at least serve as a relatively decent introduction to the mechanics of these games for children. Don’t let that make you think that the actual movie is just for kids though as, like the first one, it most certainly has a lot to offer adults. Check out our review of it here.
The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is available now for PS4, Xbox One and Switch.