Welcome back! It’s time once again for a Lego Videogame review, and this time we have The Lego Movie Videogame to look at. There’s more brick breaking action for those of you (like me) who simply cannot get enough of the stuff. Are we ready to build break something? Let’s dive in!
The Lego Movie Videogame follows the adventures of Emmet, a Lego construction minifig who discovers an odd object known as the Piece of Resistance. This object marks him as The Special, the most talented, most interesting, most extraordinary person in the universe. Lord Business, however, wants to destroy the universe using an artefact called “The Kragle”, and only the Piece of Resistance can stop the power of The Kragle. Emmet, alongside a bunch of allies including Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, Batman, and Princess Unikitty, must do everything they can to stop Lord Business’s foul plan from succeeding.
The Lego Videogame follows the actual movie very closely, even using footage from the film as cut scenes between story chapters. It makes sense to, after all. No need for TT Games to render new cut scenes in Lego! In fact, there’s very little from the film that isn’t in the game (I checked—by watching the film), but the important thing to note is that there is so much in the game that isn’t in the film. For once, the game actually expands on the world(s) and characters created in the movie. For example, in the film, Vitruvius’ blindness isn’t really a big issue, and is used for cheap laughs now and again. However, in the game, Vitruvius is the only character who has the ability called “Blind Faith”, which allows him to cross seemingly narrow and impossible ledges over dangerous environments. What makes it brilliantly funny later on is that because of the way he phrases things (“Oh, I’ll go. It’s not like it’s an extremely narrow ledge with a fiery inferno beneath it” – hint: it is), the other characters make remarks about doubting just how blind he actually is. I love a good running gag.
As far as Lego videogames go, The Lego Movie Videogame is pretty standard fare for anyone who’s played another Lego videogame (and let’s be honest: by this point, who HASN’T played one of the excellent Lego Videogames by now?). You play as any one of the available characters and make your way through both story levels and hub worlds to the game’s story conclusion (usually accounting for around 30% of the game’s total completion). You then play through the story in Free Play Mode, which allows you to collect all the collectible things you missed the first time around. This will usually get you approximately 98% through the game.
A new character mechanic in this game is the concept of “Master Builder”. Meaning that not every character can convert piles of Lego bricks into useful objects. Most can, of course, but there are a good few who can’t. Those who can’t require instruction pages to build things. This is all in line with the film, by the way. If you’ve played Lego Batman 2 (reviewed by us here), you’ll find that Batman and Superman are controlled in an almost identical fashion, so you’ll be fairly familiar with zipping around as normal. Vehicles, too, are controlled as before (with one incredibly annoying exception), and even the puzzles to reveal Red Bricks are about as similar as what you’d otherwise find. I might be wrong here (and someone please correct me if I am), but one difference I did note is that the gold bricks don’t seem to have any use in this game, whereas in other games they’d be used to do unlock characters or Red Bricks.
Sadly, there are good few glitches and bits of broken code in this game (at least on the PS3 and 360 versions, but possibly others for all I know). For example, there’s a bench in Bricksberg that can sometimes refuse to be broken (and is necessary for obtaining a Red Brick). Or there’s a music box in Cloud Cuckoo Land that is inexplicably floating in mid-air and can’t be interacted with (also needed for a Red Brick). The button used to hot-switch between characters is no longer as responsive as before. I found myself ineffectually mashing the button with nary a character switch in sight, and then eventually just sighing, giving up, and going to the character selection wheel instead.
What I did find fairly impressive was the voice work. In some cases, the original voice cast from the film reprised their roles in the game, but a few didn’t (Morgan Freeman, for example), and were beautifully captured by a few talented voice artists. It’s good when a voice artist imitates a voice so well that you don’t get that weird jarring feeling of two different voices for the same character.
The people who will enjoy The Lego Movie Videogame the most, of course, are fans of the film (which is apparently getting a sequel in 2016) and younger players. It’s the best kind of game for parents to bond with the kids over, and of course, being something as kid-friendly as The Lego Movie, there’s nothing at all offensive about the game. Those of you who hated the movie (all two of you) or who hate Lego videogames (the other five) will probably pass this up. But I have to admit: Lego games are some of the best local co-op around.
Final Score: 7 “Prawn Brickowski” prawns out of 10
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: WB Games
Distributor: Ster Kinekor
Platforms: Everything except an actual Lego brick
Age Rating: PEGI 3