For gamers young and old, the beauty of licensed Lego games is their magical knack for taking properties such as Star Wars, Batman or Harry Potter and putting a cheeky, irresistibly cute spin on a beloved franchise. But as this latest adventure doggedly follows the plot of Lego’s big screen debut – and offers fans little in the way of surprises – it lacks the appeal and freshness of its charming forebears.
In terms of basic gameplay the action is solid and perfectly pitched for younger players, thrusting them into a retina-sizzling world that blends platforming, puzzle-solving and fighting, and challenges you to figure out how to use different characters’ individual powers to progress through the story. The inclusion of a split-screen co-operative mode also adds longevity and allows players to work together and use their hero’s unique skills to advance the plot, which is more rewarding that flitting between characters in the solo adventure.
But while other Lego games based on cherished licences have beguiled players with unexpected dialogue, delicious plot twists and knowing in-jokes, this movie adaption doesn’t stray from the path blazed by its big screen cousin; and as anyone who’s seen the film will know exactly what’s coming next, it lacks the punch of other Lego hits. Worse, without an original story to wind players into the experience, the familiar Lego formula is beginning to look tired and formulaic, and often amounts to little more than hammering the same buttons no matter what outcome you’re hoping for.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, or kids who are gagging to relive the experience, The Lego Movie Videogame is a robust adventure that offers laughs, action and a comfortable, linear experience that embraces juvenile gamers. But if you want a Lego game that really delivers the goods, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy or the open-world adventure Lego City Undercover are better places to start.
Reviewed by David McComb