First of all, I should preface this by saying that I haven’t actually seen The Incredibles 2. I don’t get to the cinema at all, really, and this is no exception - but going by past licensed LEGO games I can pretty much guarantee that this will spoil that movie, so avoid if you wanted to go in spoiler-free. You can’t even play the first half of the game, because it picks up at the end of The Incredibles and takes you through to the end of The Incredibles 2. Once that’s done, you can go to the start of The Incredibles.
It’s not uncommon for TT Games to release a tie-in to a recently released movie - LEGO The Hobbit was released around when the home release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came out. It took you through the first two movies, and they planned on releasing DLC for the third one - but that didn’t pan out. But that’s enough about things that aren’t me playing LEGO The Incredibles - I certainly had plenty of time to think while the game loaded for entire minutes at a time…
As mentioned already, this game covers the events of both The Incredibles movies, but there are an absolute ton of Pixar easter eggs, and even unlockable characters. After all, can you name 20 Incredibles characters, let alone 113? Because that’s how many characters you can unlock, including Finding Nemo’s Dory, Toy Story’s Woody and (obviously) more, although most of them are Incredibles-related. Other collectables include 210 gold bricks, 12 red bricks, 120 minikits and 40 vehicles.
I have had a lot of fun with this game, so I’ll set it up like a boss at an annual appraisal. Because I’ve said a couple of nice things, but I certainly have some negative things to talk about. Okay, yes, I mentioned the ludicrously long load times already, but now I’ll explain what I mean - and no, I’m not talking about the long, unskippable, opening logos. Loading into the game from the main menu takes about two minutes, and loading into a level (or exiting and reloading a level because there’s no option to restart) takes about one minute.
Load times aren’t usually a big issue in a game, especially with LEGO The Incredibles’ 20 minute long levels. Sadly, the game crashed multiple times in my roughly 13 hours of playing to around 80% completion. Once was right at the end of the level cutscene, so not far enough for the autosave to kick in, but enough for the trophies to ping up. Others were at random points in the open world section, so annoying enough, but at least I didn’t have to listen to Helectrix’s “surfer dude” voice for 20 minutes on those occasions…
Speaking of voice acting, the cast did not reprise their roles, nor did the game apparently use audio from the movies. Well, Jason Lee returned to voice Buddy Pine and Syndrome, but most of the others were stand-ins. I will give props to Ally Johnson for copying Holly Hunter’s ‘cotton wool under the tongue’-style voice very well. Unfortunately, other characters were either badly voiced, or repeated the same phrases over and over again - JUST SHUT UP, MERIDA, IT’S NOT A LUCKY CHARM.
Okay, enough about the voices and the time spent unable to play the game. The gameplay itself is trademark LEGO, with building, punching and everyone having a different power. What isn’t as expected is the driving, which is incredibly clunky and really poses the question of why they bothered including so many vehicles as few missions actually use them, and I for one always just switched to Syndrome or Dash to get around the city of Municiberg.
Not only are Dash and Syndrome the fastest movers in the game, but they’re also the ones you’ll want to use for the 25 races scattered around. You know, as long as you can see the race start markers, and they don’t just straight up disappear for no reason, even after restarting the console, only to come back just as randomly. However, the computer puzzles were only in-game for two puzzles, then just stopped working completely - press circle, puzzles solved instantly, no muss no fuss.
One thing that wouldn’t go away, however, was what happened when I activated the ‘Find Collectables’ Red Brick. Turning that on whilst in Municiberg places an incredible amount of icons around both sides of the co-op screen. Turning the Red Brick off again, however, still left the icons for Family Build bricks, of which there are over 100. Oh, Family Builds require hitting circle a LOT.
Apart from the sometimes awful camera angles when playing co-op, the last negative thing I’ll mention should be managing to glitch levels badly enough that you have to exit them and reload. There’s no “Restart from checkpoint” option, which was incredibly annoying more than once.
Okay, with all of that out of the way, I did mention the city of Municiberg earlier. Between main missions, you can wander off and explore the open world. There are minor crimes to solve, challenges (such as putting out fires) to complete and crime waves to foil.
There are 10 districts, each of which gets a crime wave for you to go and foil. Do a couple of side quests for NPCs - which are generally unforgettable “go beat up these people”, and get kinda boring, unlike the challenges. Each villain has two crime waves before you take them on in a boss fight.
One thing I don’t understand, is that TT Games made the odd decision to put a filter around the edge of the screen during crime waves. It’s themed around the villain’s schtick, but in co-op it uses valuable screen real estate just like the Red Brick I mentioned earlier.
The story levels and Municiberg challenges are amazing fun, and to 100% the game in co-op will take you somewhere in the region of 15 hours. Obviously, it will take longer if you’re solo, but I’m married to a woman who loves LEGO games so I didn’t get that option. I remember enjoying LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, but I don’t recall laughing quite as much as I did during LEGO The Incredibles. It’s a very funny game, full of great moments and some really good puzzles. You might even say that if it didn’t have all of the issues I’ve listed, it would be pretty incredible.
LEGO The Incredibles (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
I can’t help but think TT Games rushed this one, as it had too many bugs to be truly incredible, but if they can patch those out it’s yet another fantastic LEGO game that you’re going to love.