I’ve long been advocating for TT Games to change its LEGO game engine, and in The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame they have finally done so. They’ve replaced it for the one powering LEGO Worlds, their sandbox game. And, in fact, they’ve basically laid the movie on top of LEGO Worlds, and shipped it - with some features removed. That’s not to say that it’s a bad game, as with every LEGO game it’s fun to play, but don’t come in expecting something like LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 or LEGO City Undercover.
Following along with the events of the movie - basically - Emmet and Lucy have to rescue their friends from The Queen, after their home is destroyed and they are kidnapped by alien beings from the Systar System. You have to travel to other worlds to find and save them, before some “event” takes place. Having not seen the movie, I don’t know exactly how many spoilers are in it, but the game is SUPER light on plot until right at the end.
Before I get too far into this, I managed to finish this in roughly eight hours, so it’s no wonder that it’s only £25 on PC - and shocking that it’s £10 more expensive on consoles. There are 13 worlds, six of which are bonus ones that unlock once you’ve gathered enough of the 475 Master Piece bricks spread amongst the other worlds. So that means the seven main worlds took eight hours to get through - though admittedly I finished the game at only 28.8% completion. Also, one of the worlds is basically just a place for you to build things in. There are also three more worlds that are apparently going to be unlocked via free DLC in the future.
There aren’t levels in this game, as in past titles, instead each of the seven worlds has a bunch of quests given to you by NPCs. These range from beating up enemies to fetch quests and races, but there are some that involve puzzle solving. Once you’ve collected enough Master Pieces, you can unlock the next level. On three levels, however, there is a boss.
I would like to congratulate The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame on having great bosses. Each one is massive, and it’s like taking on a Colossus from Shadow of the Colossus. I’m not being sarcastic, you literally have to climb up these huge beings in an effort to kill them. It’s really fun, and a big change from the usual “work out their sequence and hit them until they stop” method.
Another big change is that every character does the same things, with no special abilities - Superman can’t even fly. Just double jumps, and capable of using every tool and item that you unlock. You receive 11 tools over the course of the story - which include a scanner, grappling hook and Danger Fists amongst them. These are used to solve puzzles, though given the fact that there are 11 of them, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting one or two of them… There are also other items that you can unlock by collecting Relics - there are literally hundreds of unlockables from characters to vehicles, buildings and items. Don’t worry, though, on your quest to gather all 475 Master Pieces you’ll gather hundreds of Relics, and opening them is basically the LEGO version of loot boxes with random items.
I mentioned tools, well in another change is that building things is one of the tools, and I kept forgetting that I could build things. You don’t see random piles of jumping bricks and put them together perfectly, no you have to choose what you want to build out of 12 categories - though most of the ones you need to solve puzzles are easily selectable. What’s more, you need to have enough bricks to build them. Not enough pink bricks? Then no spring for you - go bash that pink and white rock open and try again. There are a ton of colours to pick up, so you pretty much have to bash every destructible object you come across. Crafting in a post apocalyptic setting? Hmm, that sounds familiar - did you read my Far Cry New Dawn review? You unlock things to build both by finishing quests and by scanning them - ala LEGO Worlds.
Which brings me to the first of The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame’s issues: movement speed. Each world is moderately sized, so it’s not a huge problem, but your walking and “running” speeds are slow. Worse - all vehicles move only slightly faster than your running (even ones equipped with jet engines), so there’s basically no reason to use any of them. Horses move quickly, but that’s because they’re required for most of the races in the game. You can even unlock a jetpack at one point, and that is good for short vertical boosts only, before it overheats… It’s insulting, to be frank.
Next, we have the fact that the game doesn’t have any of the voices from the movie. Sorry, Elizabeth Banks appears right at the end during a song, and during the credits some others also sing. However, while Lucy is narrating throughout the game, it isn’t her - quite obviously so. Emmet never speaks, and most of the characters who do talk have limited dialogue from poor impersonators. Since The LEGO Movie Videogame had everyone reprise their roles, this was a huge disappointment. It’s no wonder they barely have any story in this game.
On the positive side, I encountered few glitches. In past LEGO games I’ve complained about having to abandon quests, or restart levels because of some random non-reproducible glitch or another - there were none of those in The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame. It crashed once when entering a world, but that was it.
One nice touch, though my wife will disagree, is that the LEGO Friends line is represented. Sure, the minifigs do look lanky and ungainly as they hobble around the world, but at least they have a place. Even if that place should be away from the rest and never spoken of.
If you’re a fan of TT Games’ LEGO titles then you, of course, cannot go wrong with this one. If you have grown bored of them with recent instalments, then do consider giving The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame a go, as it actually brings something new to the table, without being quite as freeform as LEGO Worlds.
The Lego Movie 2 Videogame (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Finally bringing something new to the LEGO “Franchise” titles, this might scratch that itch that previous games have been missing, with a lot fewer bugs to boot. It doesn’t spell out what happens in the movie, but the ending is certainly a spoiler - just so you’re forewarned.