Here we are with another Lego game based on the film of the same name. You can always rely on Lego for it’s tried and tested formula when it comes to their games but this time around things are a little different. They have scraped a lot of things together that made the Lego games great! First off there are no actual levels and instead, we get Planets where you are given quests to complete and run around collecting, fighting and getting around obstacles. This will be familiar to those who have played Lego Worlds as this is the formula they use! This might be fine in that particular game as it’s intended to be a free-roaming free for all game akin to Minecraft.
As a long time fan of the Lego games, I looked forward to what unique skills and tools certain characters would bring to the game and what would be locked out in levels and free play when that character set wasn’t available. Stepping into LM2 it was clear this was not how this game was going to play out. Right out of the gate there is no multi-character selection like before (you’d have your character and 1 or more following you around that would be needed to get past certain sections). In its place, it’s all about building items that are needed to continue eg a power generator to power up objects, a sprinkler to grow plants, thumper to crack the ground and many more. To build these you need to break items and pick up different colors of bricks (you still get studs) once you have enough you are able to build the required items and carry on. This can get fiddly as before to use a character’s ability you’d just select them and press and hold a certain button and presto you can continue. This method requires you to scroll the bumpers on the pad to build menu then scroll yet again to the required build then find a suitable place to build it. Along with the build tool, there are several more tools to unlock like the scanner which unlocks hidden items and also scans visible items to your build menu. The magic wand which is a paint tool used to recolor items on request. So with all these tools plus more I haven’t mentioned you can see it getting a bit tedious jumping between all the tools you have at your fingers. It would have been nice to have some kind of auto selection feature that knows what tool you need for the object in front of you.
Regarding character selection, you can select different characters after you unlock them but they barely make a difference to the gameplay like they once did. A few times certain character missions in the world require you to be a certain character but other than that you don’t really need to change your character. You don’t have a fast character that you can get around faster or a flying character that will help you get to new heights easier.
So what has happened to the “Cheating” parts of the game you may ask? Well, the red bricks are gone and have been replaced by Red artifacts which are picked up randomly (as far as I could tell) around the planets. These do have the traits of previous red bricks like attract studs and highlight hidden objects on planets but the biggest drawback of these artifacts is that only one can be equipped at a time. So you can’t have super jump enabled whilst you have your map on looking for bricks and they can’t be equipped whilst using any other gadget either so again it’s back to the finicky scrolling between everything you need to use and trying to multitask. They finally fixed something irksome with the enter cheat code menu, you can finally use the Chatpad or keyboard to enter your codes instead of scrolling each letter to the one required. The biggest exclusion to the Red Brick / Artifact section of the game is the absence of the stud multipliers but to be honest I didn’t even need them as the game doesn’t have the sense that you actually need to collect them anymore. You hardly need to buy anything as you did in previous games most of your characters and objects come from chests which are aplenty on each planet. There is an achievement for 1,000,000 studs which didn’t really take me long and about three quarters of the way into what they called a story I think I had 2,000,000 and it was at that point I think I actually started spending some of it on the shops on each planet for the quest items and characters needed to unlock all the purple bricks for that planet. Each item was about 50,000 and you didn’t need to purchase them all so you had studs aplenty.
I was looking forward to playing out another Lego Movie scene for scene with the added game charm that they always add to make it work for the platform but something went terribly wrong with this translation to a game. It felt like we had taken several steps back from where Lego Games had evolved to at the moment. For instance, as I mentioned above there are no actual story “levels” yes there might be the planets instead but they just felt like the free roam sections of levels you unlock after playing said level. There are the normal cutscenes but even these were lacking and featured little to no dialogue, which is strange as I believe all Licensed lego games featured dialogue ever since LEGO Batman 2 in 2012. The story itself was a very vague retelling of the actual LM2 story from the film the whole drive of the movie was Emmets quest to rescue his new love Lucy from the alien captors, the game ends up scrapping that and has Lucy tagging along with Emmet to rescue all the others instead (I say tag along but as soon as you unlock Lucy, Emmett is rarely needed and as I mentioned you don’t have that 2nd player tag system without actually having the 2nd controller in use)
So all you really get from this game is a trip to all the planets seen in the movie and some old sets from the first and no full story from the film to drive it along. Some of the important bits are there but they are juggled around a bit and the main plot points that unravel throughout the movie were just tagged on the end as a ‘oh by the way’ this happened and not really explain much of it.
Overall I think this has to be the most disappointing Lego game I’ve played especially one based on a film. That makes the last two Lego games I’ve played rather disappointing the last being DC Super-Villains. Both for different reasons DC SV being buggy as hell and prevented me from unlocking achievements that I should have done. There is one thing to take away from this being a slimmed down Lego game is that the price point is a lot lower than most other Lego games £34.99 / $39.99 for the digital versions instead of the usual £49.99 / $59.99 price point. Also, they have stated there will be free DLC so that’s another plus point but unfortunately that’s not enough to win me over after so much seems to be missing from what should have been a continuation of a winning formula. Lets just hope this isn’t where they are taking the future of Lego games and that they feel that Lego Worlds was the answer for this game due to the similarities in the worlds they share in terms of free building.
If you enjoyed the openness and quest based formula of Lego Worlds then this is the game for you. If you are looking for another Lego Game where you play levels collect minikits and try gather enough studs to unlock that character you need to get past a certain area then I’d give this one a pass.
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