Be warned, skinflints – LEGO Dimensions isn’t a game for the pennywise or tight-fisted…
A charming fusion of digital swashbuckling and real-world brick-building, Dimensions requires players to invest in a Starter Pack – which includes the game and a basic LEGO set that interacts with the on-screen action – that won’t leave you much change from £100. And if you want to throw yourself into the experience and unlock all the colourful content Dimensions has to offer, you’ll be ensnared in a spiral of spending that’ll set you back around £350 this year alone.
Yet while Dimensions is expensive compared to other Triple-A titles that will be competing for your cash as the holiday season looms, it’s nonetheless an engaging, adorable and genuinely hilarious romp that will seduce all but the most hard-hearted gamer.
Essentially a monstrous mash-up of pop culture franchises such as The Lord Of The Rings, Back To The Future, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, Ghostbusters and DC Comics, LEGO Dimensions sees players hopping between familiar worlds to battle bad guys, open hidden pathways, and use each hero’s unique skills to solve puzzles.
Like other LEGO titles, the action is squarely aimed at younger players, but is punctuated by rapid fire in-jokes and clever references that will enchant parents who play the game alongside their kids. The Starter Pack – which includes the characters Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie – includes plenty of content to keep pre-teen players busy for at least 12 hours, along with themed open-world sections that are separate from the main quest and allow children to try their hand at simple challenges and races.
While LEGO Dimensions is the finest example so far of real-world toys colliding with video games – and offers more interaction between the two than Disney Infinity or Skylanders – the adventure can be aggravating when you spot new areas that are off-limits unless you buy bonus packs and characters, while inconsistent AI for friendly characters and some bland open-world sections also conflict with the premium pricing.
But although the monstrous price of admission will be too much for some, LEGO Dimensions is a delight to play as the acton’s brought to life by exquisite production values, perfectly-pitched puzzles and a dizzying blend of gaming styles, while its ability to lovingly poke fun at the world’s most popular entertainment licences without mocking its sources will delight film fans both young and old.