The LEGO series has undoubtedly been in a dry spot for a while. Almost every mainstream franchise has been turned into a LEGO game by now and even some, including the Star Wars series, have been ported multiple times. So LEGO needed a fresh new idea and for the first time ever, we have an original game concept which hasn’t copied an already-standing franchise. Enter LEGO 2K Drive – an open-world. racer where you can drive on the road, off-road and even boat across water.
LEGO 2K Drive is exactly what it seems. A LEGO game set in a LEGO world where LEGO people drive LEGO vehicles. As such, it comes with all the quips you’d expect from the toy brand. There’s incredibly cheesy comedy, lots of stuff to smash and the level of customization you would expect from the series.
Following in the footsteps of other open-world racers like Horizon and Burnout, LEGO 2K Drive takes on the sandbox approach whereas the world is filled with loads to see and do. As I progressed through the game’s main races, more side activities were unlocked and there were more opportunities to explore and get around.
LEGO 2K Drive also covers three main modes of transport. You have the boat water racing, off-road and track racing. Throughout the game and across everything I did, my vehicles would automatically adapt to these terrains and equip the loadout vehicle I had selected. This meant that leaping off a cliff onto a lake would automatically transform my car into a speed boat or whatever water-based vehicle I had at the time.
Vehicles also come in all different forms but they don’t really change the general approach to racing. Some have better stats in handling and acceleration while others boost further, drift better and have more control. This system isn’t as well portrayed as I was hoping, to be honest. When selecting a new vehicle, I constantly had to reference the game guide to determine what the symbols were on the loadout screen.
But LEGO 2K Drive is incredibly fun to play around in. The swappable vehicles mean you never stop moving about. I could also leap into the air and pick up power-ups that granted me even more ways to get around for a limited time. It also helps that I could smash through almost everything and watch as the creations would automatically build themselves back up again.
While not exploring the worlds, I would be taking on the main races in the game. These play out similarly to like a Mario Kart race. I picked up power-ups such as rockets that blew up opponents in front of me or a spider that blinded opponents with a giant web.
Tracks also swap between the road, the gravel and the water throughout almost every race. So the track variation is definitely not lacking here. These races also locked me into a specific track which I had to follow and of course, stay ahead of the other racers. These races also challenge a specific rival that is themed after the biome I was in.
I didn’t really care much for the story on offer in LEGO 2K Drive at all because is just as cookie-cutter as previous titles. Forced comedy, overacting and scenes set up just for punch lines. I absolutely hate this sort of entertainment. With that being said, each biome did offer some great variation from the other. But when driving around so fast and doing mindless things, I never really cared where I was exactly.
There are even some mini-games in LEGO 2K Drive that took a different approach. One saw me destroying aliens before they got to network towers to blow them up. Another was a ghost town battle where I had to save civilians and avoid zombie sheriffs from eating my car (although that’s what I thought they were doing anyway).
Outside of the main campaign, sandbox activities, collectables and mini-games, LEGO 2K Drive also offers a rather robust creation system. You can virtually build any car or boat you can ever think of. It is important? Not really. You see, every race and activity rewards you with new vehicles and they are pretty stylish and fast already. If you wanted to go build a car from scratch you can but I tried it and realised I would rather just use the themed vehicles.
When I say “create any car” I mean it. In the garage, I was given an empty stale and I could choose from hundreds of different bricks and parts and satisfyingly piece them together to build my ideal car. The menu and systems take a while to get used to. There’s a lot to unpack in this creation mode and parts that need to go in certain places and perks to assign how well the car performs. However, after a while I kinda mastered it. If you’re creative, you’ll love this mode. You can get lost for hours while trying to craft your LEGO car which is exactly what we all need.
The only bummer here is that I could not change my Minifig. I was stuck using the ones that are provided by the game. It would have been cool to have a sort of three-part customization feature here where I could at least swap the head, torso and legs around. But anyway.
My only grip with LEGO 2K Drive is its horrible pricing structure and obvious “2K-Flair” meaning expect to pay way too much for this game and more after launch. The game’s Awesome Edition already costs over R2000. Then it comes with a Drive Pass which promises more racers and vehicles. Then there’s an in-game currency which is used to purchase vehicles in the game. This is earned in-game or can be purchased separately. However, even after I finished the game, I still didn’t have enough money to buy a decent vehicle.
The currency trickles in so damn slowly and it is clear what 2K Games wants there. You need to spend money on this crap. It is a bit pushy considering how expensive LEGO 2K Drive already is. There’s a Drive Pass, car packs and currency to purchase. It is the worst of the worst here.
But horrid microtransactions and battle pass aside, LEGO 2K Drive is a fun game. It is mindless at times and that is the kinda energy you’ll likely enjoy. To drive around for a few hours smashing things, collecting blocks and winning races is a great time waster. I just wish it didn’t want so much from my wallet.
LEGO 2K Drive is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch. The game starts at R1250.
LEGO 2K Drive Review
LEGO 2K Drive is a mindless pile of fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. You just need to be prepared for every in-game purchase under the sun.