The Lego videogames have come a long way in the last couple of years. What started as a fun, spoof of tie-in titles with some awkward gameplay has turned into a long running, profitable spoof of tie-in titles with better than expected gameplay and a mostly superb fun quotient. In the last two years, the games have introduced a series of quality of life improvements into the series, from the combat to the basic building and collecting formula.
Those gameplay changes, which helped make The Lego Ninjago Videogame more fun than I was expecting, and turned The Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 Game into one of the best superhero ensemble games I’ve ever played, are, unfortunately, almost entirely missing from this latest movie tie-in.
The Lego Movie 2 Videogame (phew that’s long, so Lego 2 from here on out), is a movie-tie in loosely based on the recently released The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. It follows the adventures of some much loved Lego characters as they contend with an alien invasion that prompts a planet hopping journey for Emmet to save his friends.
I say loosely based on the movie as there’s barely the bones of a plot in this tie-in. Outside of some cutscenes in the beginning, and a massive spoiler cutscene at the game's end that explains the entire plot (and the movies twists), as it were, there’s practically no connective tissue between the story and the events transpiring in-game, no other cutscenes from the movie or a Lego game take on it. In fact, outside of Wildstyle monologuing at the start and end of a level, story is notoriously absent. You vaguely know that you’re jumping from planet to planet to rescue your friends, but that’s about it. How they got there and why just doesn’t seem to matter.
At this point in time we all know what to expect from a Lego title. Go here, bash stuff to collect Lego studs, build stuff to solve puzzles and expect some light-hearted Lego-style comedy spoofing whatever property the game is based on. In 2017, TT Games tried to change up that formula with the creation of Lego Worlds, their very own digital Minecraft that was fun but also came with its own set of procedurally generated problems.
Now, TT have tried to change up their tie-in formula again by not using whatever custom engine it is that previous Lego games were built on, instead building Lego 2 in the Lego Worlds engine. Aesthetically it makes sense as just about everything is now built from digital Lego bricks, ala the movies, but unfortunately it retains all of Lego Worlds problems, especially it’s bare bones quest system. And it’s from here that Lego 2 starts to crumble.
The idea of building everything in Lego bricks is great, until you realise that, outside of structures from specific Lego playsets, just about everything else ends up looking bland and sort of generic.
Unlocking The Flash or Superman doesn’t matter as they have no powers whatsoever. Superman can’t fly or shoot heat vision from his eyes and The Flash moves as slowly as any other character.
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Traveller’s Tales (TT Games)
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
26 February 2019
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