It was inevitable that we would get a new LEGO video game to go along with The LEGO Movie 2’s release and The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is not half bad. It tries hard to implement new features and mechanics into its dated formula and they work pretty well to give the game its much-needed break. While its gameplay is much better this time around, its story, on the other hand, is a trainwreck and clearly, WB Games wants you to head to your cinema to watch the movie instead of relying on the game to experience it.
Set across multiple open world-like hubs. The game follows the story of the latest LEGO Movie 2. You take on the role of various LEGO characters as you adventure through these planet-like hubs, collect purple LEGO bricks, try wrapping your head around what is actually going on, discover new characters, blueprints and solve puzzles. Yes, the one-dimensional combat is back but everything in between delivered a decent amount of gameplay variety to keep me going on.
Each world I visited along my quest to find 450 purple bricks took me to new and refreshing locations. Each one of them delivered a unique experience with a fair amount of side quests to complete, blueprints to find and characters to meet and perhaps unlock as playable ones too. Some of the worlds did feel a bit empty compared to others but for the most part, they held up their own.
Each stage takes around thirty minutes to complete as you need to collect ten purple bricks to unlock a portal to take you to the next world. The levels have around forty or so but the story of each one reward enough to advance without you ever having to stray off your path to find the others.
Gone are the boring building moments where you just had to hold down a button on your controller near a glowing point to build something. Instead, you now have free access to build any blueprint you have unlocked at any time and every level has a set of them that you discover as you progress through them. Bouncing pads, generators, various weapons and even vehicles. All this gives you freedom and variety to play the level and reach areas the way you want to. It also helps that the game is a semi-open world so exploring each hub and tracking down each purple block requires that you use all these various blueprints to the best of your ability. There is no shortage of freedom.
These blueprints are then incorporated into the puzzles which add a great amount of variety into the game. Don’t have an object to build? Come back when you do and it is worth it. Unfortunately, the variety does not ooze into the combat as the same old tried and tested experience is here and as dated as ever.
Boss battles are even worse as instead of anything new, the game reuses the blueprint feature over and over again. A boss sits in the middle of an arena-like level and you run around it triggering traps by building new objects. It is nothing remarkable it is just lazy. I don’t know what is worse, the lack of boss fights with there only being a handful or the fact that they are all copy and paste.
We then have the story. Most LEGO games manage to deliver a decent narrative experience by bringing to life the movie or series portrayed in the game. The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame not so much. It is bad and lacks the magic of past games. The story is hard to follow, the dialogue is all over the show and the jokes are missing. Where are the jokes? It is a one-dimensional experience in terms of the story and you could just power through the worlds without even giving a damn.
Throughout the game, you also collect relics that can be opened and contain LEGO model builds which you can take and place in a special world where you can build your own LEGO-topia. You can place these objects anywhere and really create something unique. Sure, this requires a lot of time as you need to hunt all these relics down and some of them contain worthless objects, but the idea of your own LEGO world with people bustling around makes for a great way to use your time.
The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is on the right track after years of being boring and dull, but WB Games fixed the bland gameplay and now delivered a shoddy story and took the magic we love from the games out. It seems like we may be a few years away from getting that all-around LEGO game experience but for now, the latest entry is not the worst ever made.
This review was based on a review copy sent to us by WB Games
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch | Reviewed On: PS4 Pro | Release Date: 26 February 2019 | Price: R629