Nowadays, we have game franchises that somehow manage to churn out a title year after year, while still retaining their popularity. Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed continue to rake in the money, but there's also the LEGO franchise, which now has enough titles to put the other two in its rear-view. Turning our favourite films/fictional characters into hilarious blocky people has worked so far, but is it starting to get stale? The Jurassic Park franchise is next to receive the treatment, giving us the chance to relive those crazy, action-packed moments once again. Is LEGO Jurassic World proof that the LEGO games can still work their magic or is it time to move on from the bricks?
Needs more dinosaur
LEGO Jurassic World takes us through all of the original three Jurassic Park films as well as Jurassic World. Previous LEGO games have presented us with fifteen different levels to go through but this time, each of the four films are given five levels each. Similar to earlier titles in the series, there are more levels to go through and there are even a few bonus levels, although they are only thirty-sixty second sequences of the "escape" segments of the levels. However, after completing all the story levels, a few of the Jurassic World levels felt longer than the rest but the majority of the time, each film is given the same amount of love.
The main objective in LEGO games has been to make it through the level by solving various puzzles and defeating the odd enemy by using different character abilities. In the past, a fair few of these puzzles have been bothersome and frustrating to get through, but LEGO Jurassic World manages to thwart that problem with fun and non-infuriating gameplay. Characters come in different classes this time around that have set abilities. You may have an explorer who can take amusing photographs and stun dinosaurs, or a scientist who can hack into particular contraptions and open up a new pathway. There's never really any umm-ing and ahh-ing as to what ability you should be using next as it is usually obvious what you should be doing. There was the odd occasion where I was stuck for a minute or two before figuring out how stupid I was, but this only happened once in twenty levels. LEGO titles aren't there for a challenge due to their target audience, but instead they give us fun and silly gameplay, and LEGO Jurassic World shows how much the series has been refined since LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.
To improve that gameplay even more, LEGO Jurassic World has taken full advantage of its source material and given us something new and exciting; LEGO dinosaurs. Dinosaurs will be unlocked through collecting amber bricks in each level and can then be summoned through various paddocks scattered throughout the game. There are some that can be accessed via the character grid, but the big beasty ones will need a paddock to access. Different dinosaurs have different abilities and vary in size, so it is possible to play as a gigantic T-Rex and go on a rampage through the island (if it can fit, that is). This is one of the more exciting aspects of the game as it is unique to LEGO Jurassic World, and the various designs and sizes of the dinosaurs makes unlocking them worth the effort.
You can play as this!
While playing through the levels and unlocking more dinosaurs, you will be exploring the hubs of LEGO Jurassic World. Instead of one big open world, each respective film is given its own smaller hub world. Thankfully, these hubs aren't as minuscule as the multiple hubs in The LEGO Movie Videogame, so you'll have plenty to see and do in each. However, you are encouraged more in this title to complete the sets of levels first as you'll only be able to freely explore each island in freeplay once all five levels are done for that particular film. Because of this, you are taken on a linear path through each island as you circle round, following the path to the next level. While this sounds like a bad move, the levels are interesting enough and gaining full freedom of the islands feels like a reward after making it through the levels.
Once you are granted this privilege of freedom, you'll be hunting down bricks, workers in peril, photographs to take, races to complete and sick dinosaurs to heal. Vehicles and characters will unlock automatically as you progress through the game so you only need to worry about having enough studs to buy those. Roaming through Jurassic Park, Jurassic World and Isla Sorna is certainly fun and listening to those classic tunes from the films never gets old. Lately, we've got so accustomed to flying everywhere and shooting lasers at things thanks to the abundance of superhero LEGO games, but this time around it's back to good old running and driving. If you've played LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and any of the LEGO Batman games before this, then it'll feel weird at first. Soon enough, though, you'll get used to it and driving down dirt roads in those Jurassic Park Responders will feel great. There are a couple of flying dinosaurs you can summon but only in very specific areas which is slightly unfortunate, however this is not too much of a gripe. While exploring, any red bricks you had turned on in the menu also seem to stay switched on after quitting out of the game so that's an extremely handy addition which is long overdue.
There is one thing that makes exploring more of a nuisance, though. Each island has a number of information posts littered throughout and it's only through using these that collectibles appear on the map. It can be easy to miss one if you're not actively looking for them so some collectibles won't show up for you. This means that hunting down those gold bricks can potentially become awkward if you haven't found the particular information post for that area. These map points are beneficial for seeing how many collectibles have been found for certain parts of the islands, though, so they are useful for that.
Throughout all four films, the original dialogue has been used and incorporated both into cutscenes and level exploration. LEGO games originally had no dialogue apart from random noises and utterances the characters made, but now that it's being used in all recent titles in the series, LEGO Jurassic World has made full use of it, and it is certainly nostalgic to those who remember all those famous quotes. However, there are moments when the dialogue feels a bit off. Characters may sound muffled when speaking or have an echo effect that's a bit out of place, but of course, Traveler's Tales had no control over this due to the speech being taken right out of the films. Previous LEGO titles have never suffered from this problem like LEGO Jurassic World has, though, but this may because of the films' age. While it helps the game feel all the more authentic, you can't help but notice it when it does happen.
Yes, Alan, that is a Stegosaurus taking a Sunday stroll
The LEGO series has been known for hosting a hefty amount of glitches in most of its games, and for the most part, LEGO Jurassic World seems to be free of them. However, there was an occasion when summoning a dinosaur and then switching to it caused the game to not be able to switch back to other characters when prompted on the controller. After reloading the game and switching to a different dinosaur, the same problem arose and there was no workaround apart from quitting out and restarting the game. So far, the glitches have remained minimal and collectibles haven't been affected, so your journey throughout Jurassic Park and Jurassic World should be smooth sailing.
While only a minor niggle, it can be every so slightly underwhelming seeing the characters on this after the creative superhero designs in past titles. Apart from the dinosaurs, the human characters are mostly average in design and a lot of them share cosmetic similarities. However, Mr. DNA is an exception. He looks awesome. For the first time in a LEGO game, though, the character grid lists all the abilities a particular character can do when highlighted, and this makes searching for the needed character in levels much easier.
If you've played any of the LEGO games before, the achievement list will be extremely familiar to you. LEGO Jurassic World follows a similar trend in its achievements to previous titles, so each story level will give you an achievement, collecting bricks also will and completing various activities will get you a handful, too. A few are given to random tasks to spice things up a bit, and then of course there is the classic complete the game to 100% achievement. The list could have had a little more creativity, but nonetheless it is an easily achievable and entertaining 1000G.
Standing up in plain sight definitely won't get you seen...
SummaryLEGO Jurassic World manages to keep the LEGO franchise alive with refined gameplay, new types of LEGO characters and a brand new film franchise to embark upon while still staying true to its roots. All four films are given plenty of attention and the combination of four hub worlds means that there's plenty to do. Having twenty levels in total as well as six bonus levels fleshes the game out more so Jurassic Park fans will find plenty in here that they'll enjoy. There are a couple of glitches cropping up but there's nothing completely game-breaking. While the dialogue may sound a bit off in places, that nostalgic quality means that both LEGO fans and film fans will be able to enjoy the game. The LEGO series is now ten years old but it still remains successful with its quirky humour and accessible, fun gameplay, and LEGO Jurassic World is definitely one of the best in the series. Whether you're a fan of the games or the films, it's certainly worth your time.
- LEGO Dinosaurs
- All four films given equal amounts of content
- Very nostalgic for fans
- Potentially awkward exploration in hub worlds
- Dialogue can feel off in places
EthicsThe reviewer spent sixteen hours exploring Jurassic Park and running for his life from T-Rex's and Velociraptors. Along the way, 37 of the game's 49 achievements were earned. A copy of the game was provided by the developers for the purpose of this review.
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