LEGO Worlds

LEGO Worlds
 
 

It’s nearly impossible not to compare LEGO Worlds with Minecraft - Mojang’s cult classic block building game which came out in 2011. Which makes sense, considering how influenced Minecraft was by the plastic brick toy in the first place. Now it appears they have set out to try and capture some of the creative sandbox market. But despite the obvious head start the toy brick company has, Worlds still doesn’t quite hit the mark.

The reason stems, ironically, from LEGO’s own success. They have grown to be a multi-headed beast, with thousands of diverse sets and dozens of million dollar franchises. You would assume that this allows for an infinite amount of variation, just like what the brick-based toys have on offer. But Minecraft on the other hand has a minimalistic approach, where the appeal lies in the simplicity of very limited building blocks and tools. LEGO Worlds’ undoing is in the overwhelming diversity.

 
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It’s not all bad news though, because thanks to this, the game offers a decent story with a great cast of characters - which is something Minecraft has never been able to deliver well. LEGO Worlds revolves around the 'mythology' set up in the LEGO movie, with the end goal of becoming a coveted Master Builder. The game's opening moments involve a spacecraft soaring through the galaxy which crash lands in an open sandbox world, giving the player their first objective of repairing their ship.

Unlike Minecraft’s wilderness, LEGO Worlds is based around biomes - or environments - that are procedurally-generated and include different challenges and available resources for use. Each one is themed around LEGO sets (for example a pirate, city, castle, or a jurassic biome), and delightfully brought to life in a digital space. It really does feel like you’re dropped into a world entirely crafted out of little LEGO bricks.

However LEGO Worlds isn’t purely a sandbox game. In order to unlock different biomes, players must follow mini-quests to collect Golden Bricks, which then start to open up different parts of the world. There is quite a bit of exploration required before players will be able to build even simple structures as well. It’s the awkward balance of trying to give players the freedom and creative play that has made LEGO so successful, but not throwing players into the deep end and expecting them to find their own way.

For anyone who’s played one of the many earlier LEGO titles by TT Games, the gameplay will be instantly familiar – with players needing to explore, smash, and then build objects as friendly mini-puzzles. LEGO Worlds adds in a few new tools though, such as a scanner to allow you to discover new pre-built sets to add to your library, and of course a builder tool which allows you to re-create them whenever you want.

You’ll also get a tool which allows you to reshape the LEGO environment by adding or removing bricks with ease. Say for example if you can’t access a castle up in the clouds, you could simply create a massive mountain to clamber up using your terrain tool; or maybe build a series of staircases with the build tool.

The game is accessible and the basic mechanics are easy to grasp, but the camera angles are surprisingly clumsy. Despite giving players a lot of control over the camera (including a very cool first person vantage point so you can explore your own LEGO creations first hand) the game suffers from an irritatingly tight viewing angle most of the time.

Also the aforementioned massive catalogue of LEGO bricks leads to a clunky build interface. As you explore the multiple worlds and scan LEGO objects, they will be added to your library and able to be constructed at any time. But you’ll need to scroll through dozens of pages and sub-menus it order to find a particular vehicle or structure first.

With enough patience players will be able to create whatever their heart desires, but just like sifting through your LEGO brick collection as a kid, trying to find the exact thing you're looking for can be a frustrating experience. Kudos to the developers that they managed to create a digital LEGO catalogue which works, but after unlocking a vast library, the prospect of building objects gets slowly more and more intimidating.

Vehicles, which obviously help with getting around the different biomes, include nearly every imaginable mode of transport. You’ll be able to create cars, boats, planes, submarines, massive drills and spaceships (SPACESHIP!). You can even just hop on a living beastie like a horse, dragon, or a dinosaur; and if that sounds too mundane, you could simply reshape the “brick-scape” around you to get rid of mountains or lakes that might be in your way.

Ultimately LEGO Worlds suffers from its own lofty ambitions. The open-world sandbox approach means it lacks the polish (or storytelling) of say a LEGO Star Wars title. While it gives players the creative freedom of Minecraft, it doesn’t attempt to simplify the building limitations which made its competitor so successful. Often having restrictions or limited resources can force you to find other practical, creative ways to bring your world to life. Instead LEGO Worlds has every brick and building tool at your disposal, which means it’s an experience that rewards creativity, but also demands patience due to an awkward interface.


Angus received a physical copy of LEGO Worlds from Warner Bros. for review.


LEGO Worlds
"Clicks together beautifully like LEGO, but you might be searching for that final elusive brick."
- LEGO Worlds
7.5
Good
 
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min


 

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Comments Comments (11)

 
Posted by Overdrive5000
On Friday 17 Mar 2017 2:12 PM
3
I have enjoyed all other Lego games but since this one is a bit different I'm getting it from nzgameshop for $30 so If I don't really like it I wont be losing much
 
 
 
Posted by RKO_NZ
On Friday 17 Mar 2017 2:23 PM
4
A fun co-op game to play with the younger ones in the family, very simple, and although when you create buildings they're presets ie you dont actually place any blocks, but your discovery tool morphs it from the surroundings, its more user friendly for the younger ones, so instant gratification in ways compared to minecraft where even some basic creations require time and even at its end don't look too great, storylines a bit like No Mans Sky (lmao dont hate on me NMS fans) you create your character and you crash land on a planet, and have to find gold lego bricks to upgrade your shift to use your shift to discover other planets. Highly recommended to the parents on the forums who are looking for a fun and friendly co op game for the kids.
 
 
 
Posted by kazzza
On Friday 17 Mar 2017 3:53 PM
2
Lego games are awesome :D
 
 
 
Posted by Timzone
On Friday 17 Mar 2017 5:32 PM
2
Picked it up on Thursday. Kids enjoying it. Good for those wet winter Saturday mornings.
 
 
 
Posted by Ryzlin
On Saturday 18 Mar 2017 9:28 AM
2
Could be an interesting game to play co op with someone else, but I doing I'd play it on my own.
 
 
 
Posted by captain X nz
On Saturday 18 Mar 2017 2:51 PM
2
Is the co op split screen?
 
 
 
Posted by Jenesyde
On Saturday 18 Mar 2017 3:00 PM
4
18 March 2017, 02:51 PM Reply to captain X nz
Is the co op split screen?
Yep, drop in drop out like most other Lego games.
 
 
 
Posted by captain X nz
On Saturday 18 Mar 2017 3:58 PM
1
18 March 2017, 03:00 PM Reply to Jenesyde
Yep, drop in drop out like most other Lego games.
thanks, just not seen it in any of the screenies.
 
 
 
Posted by Jenesyde
On Sunday 19 Mar 2017 12:32 PM
2
18 March 2017, 03:58 PM Reply to captain X nz
thanks, just not seen it in any of the screenies.
Apparently it runs like crap in split-screen, so that may be why. Haven't tested it out myself though.
 
 
 
Posted by ChimeraNZ
On Monday 20 Mar 2017 8:32 AM
1
Picked this one up with a mate on PC as the premise sounded awesome (I mean who doesn't like the idea of messing round with Lego without the fear of loosing all the pieces!).

Sadly for me, the coop feels a bit like an afterthought where whichever players who aren't hosting the coop do not get any progression for their own save game - which is a little annoying (still get achievements though which is always a plus). Also as stated in the article, managing all your discoveries is a mission, as most items are lumped together in a ever increasing list with no search/filter/grouping functionality!

All in all great premise, just lacking a little on the execution. Doesn't seem to live up to the same standard as the other Lego games, but then the scale of the game is much larger so you might expect some issues. Hopefully they address some of these concerns in the near future.
 
 
 
Posted by ChimeraNZ
On Monday 20 Mar 2017 8:34 AM
1
20 March 2017, 08:32 AM Reply to ChimeraNZ
Picked this one up with a mate on PC as the premise sounded awesome (I mean who doesn't like the idea of messing round with Lego without the fear of loosing all the pieces!).

Sadly for me, the coop feels a bit like an afterthought where whichever players who aren't hosting the coop do not get any progression for their own save game - which is a little annoying (still get achievements though which is always a plus). Also as stated in the article, managing all your discoveries is a mission, as most items are lumped together in a ever increasing list with no search/filter/grouping functionality!

All in all great premise, just lacking a little on the execution. Doesn't seem to live up to the same standard as the other Lego games, but then the scale of the game is much larger so you might expect some issues. Hopefully they address some of these concerns in the near future.
Sorry might be worth mentioning the coop we tried is over the net, not the split screen.