Developer: TT Games, TT Fusion
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 7th, 2014
Available on: Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on the Playstation 4. There may be differences between versions.
The Lego Movie is brilliant. It’s an extremely optimistic off the wall comedy that actually genuinely got me to laugh several times. Naturally there had to be a video game about it. The good news is that the video game, while never quite up to the movie’s standards, is still pretty fun.
The Lego Movie Videogame mostly follows the plot of The Lego Movie. You play as Emmet, a completely generic construction worker who accidentally stumbles upon “The Piece of Resistance”, which is the secret weapon that can stop Lord Business from unleashing /his/ secret weapon upon the Lego people. Teaming up with Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, and Batman, Emmet sets off on an adventure to stop Lord Business. For the most part it’s a decent enough retelling of the movie. One major plot point gets completely swept under the rug and forgotten about, only referenced in the name of an achievement. It hurts a little considering how major that plot element is, but overall it’s still funny. The game uses clips from the movie though oddly enough they change out the audio often. I kind of found this really jarring as there are scenes that just aren’t nearly as funny or don’t have nearly the impact they did in the movie without the music. How on Earth they managed to leave out the earworm “Everything is Awesome” is beyond me. Also worth noting that, while the movie clips use the actors in the movie, none of them reprise their role in the game. Some of the sound-alike are okay, though the one for Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) sounds nothing like he does in the movie.
The Lego Movie Videogame is similar to any other Lego game. It’s mostly a 3D platformer with beat ’em up and puzzle elements thrown in. Like other Lego games the penalty for death is almost non-existent so there’s not too much challenge in the game. Combat in the game is extremely simple: all attacks are controlled simply by hitting the square button. Some characters have ranged attacks which can be used by holding down the square button and highlighting some targets. The fancy finishing attacks from Lego Marvel Superheroes got cut, but that’s not a major loss and actually makes combat flow a little better. Every now and again you’ll enter a on-rails shooting segment which is a pretty good way to break the mold. There’s also sliding and falling segments, both of which were visually interesting, but I felt like I had little to no control over the actions going on. One level takes place almost entirely underwater and it’s pretty awful actually. The swimming and aiming controls just aren’t up to snuff for it. Thankfully it’s only one level.
Like other Lego games each character has a set of special abilities that they can use to solve puzzles and get around environmental hazards. Benny can hack computers which lets you play a Pac-Man styled minigame. Unikitty can build and destroy objects made out of rainbow bricks. Wyldstyle can run along and jump off of special walls, Emmet can fix things with his wrench or break them with his drill, and Batman can use his grappling hook on objects. There’s more, of course, each with its own use or lack there of. There are a few abilities, Green Lantern’s ability to construct green bricks comes to mind, that feel almost entirely useless outside of getting a one or two collectables. Speaking of, The Lego Movie Videogame is a little more on the skimpy side with collectables when compared to Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Golden bricks are gained just for completing levels, while each level has hidden instructions for a special build and a pair of pants to find. The Lego Movie Videogame also lacks an open world, instead featuring four hub worlds that are big enough to have some mysteries while not being too large to spend much time in.
One new feature is the instruction builds. At time you’ll have to collect pages to follow instructions on how to build things. You’ll then need to select the correct block from a choice using only an outline. While there’s no real way to fail this, succeeding without messing up does net you some extra money. There’s also a new rhythm based dancing minigame that requires you to hit buttons in time with music. Sadly it only pops up twice in the game and is so easy that it’s barely note worthy.
Overall The Lego Movie Videogame is a pretty surprisingly decent adaption of The Lego Movie. It’s not as funny or as heart warming as the movie, but it’s a very enjoyable romp through another Lego world that fans of the Lego games should enjoy greatly.