Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team, everything is awesome, when we’re living our dream. Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team, everything is awesome, when we’re living our dream……AAAAGGGHHHH!!
Prepare yourself folks, because if you’ve seen the Lego Movie or maybe you haven’t, there’s no doubt that the biggest song from the film is one of the most annoyingly catchy songs in recent memory and that’s all you’re going to be hearing when you play Lego Movie The Videogame. Now I will say that the film is, for want of a better term…awesome, so having the opportunity to play the game has been an absolute pleasure.
The story centres around Emmet Brickowski, a regular construction worker who happily goes about blindly following instructions in every facet of his day to day life, who one day accidentally stumbles across something called The Piece of Resistance. Through a series of comical mishaps he is thought to be the greatest Master Builder, called the Special, who was prophesied to save the world from the evil Lord Business. With a team of Master Builders who can construct anything they want using random objects instead of blindly following instructions, they set out to take down Lord Business, whose evil scheme is to use a mysterious super weapon called the Kragle.
Lego games as a whole are extremely enjoyable in their own right, making great use of some of the biggest movie franchises ever, from Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Star Wars to their own spin on both Marvel and DC franchises. Lego Movie: The Videogame is no different in the scale of it’s own hectic, comical adventure, doing a brilliant job of immersing you in their crazy, unique world. This is helped in part by the use of scenes ripped straight out of the movie itself, with missions seamlessly connecting the story together. This is reinforced with the all star voice cast that Lego Movie has to offer, or should I say soundalikes. Unfortunately the main cast of the movie didn’t come back to record dialogue for the game, but it’s safe to say that the ones they got to voice the game do a fantastic job, with the standout being that of the voice a like for Morgan Freeman’s character Vitruvius, which for the longest time I was absolutely convinced was actually Morgan Freeman.
Numerous franchises are represented here from DC characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern to one of the main characters from the movie, the Dark Knight himself; Batman. Others included are some of the Lego Ninjago series, to more historical and famous figures such as Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and even The Statue Of Liberty. Lego Movie also offer its own crazy cast of unique characters from WildStyle, one of the main people who belong to the resistance and Emmett’s love interest, to Bad Cop, who is Lord Businesses right hand man. Unfortunately there are some characters that are depicted in the film in quite a central role from other popular and well known characters from highly successful franchises - such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - who don’t even make cameo appearances in the game, seemingly down to copyright reasons, even going so far as to blur them out during some of the cutscenes from the film. Although this is quite disappointing; if you put all of this aside however being a Lego game means you have an extremely large cast of characters at your disposal, unlocking 96 Lego characters in total, even if some are different versions of the same character, that’s still a lot of characters with which to smash stuff up.
During the course of the game you’ll visit five different hub areas ranging from the town of Brickberg to The Old West, with their own diverse looks and feels. In between missions you can explore these hub worlds collecting studs and unlocking secret red bricks by doing side missions for people or even discovering secret objectives to do. These red bricks act as cheats to enhance the gameplay, whether this is giving you extra hearts, invulnerability, or making coins in the game worth more money which can, in turn, be used to buy all of the unlocked characters in the game. The game itself spans over fifteen missions and in that familiar Lego style sees you completing objectives, puzzles and breaking stuff…lots and lots of stuff. Each character has their own special skill, from Emmett being able to do construction work, destroying specific objects with a large drill to Wyldstyle and Batman being master builders who are able to construct elaborate Lego objects. Collecting and completing levels in story mode unlocks Free Play mode which allows you to go back through the levels bringing in characters that wen’t previously available in the story mode of the game. These can be used to unlock sections of a level that were previously locked allowing you to collect the golden Lego kits. Throughout each of the levels are five golden Lego kits that can be collected by doing secret objectives or even unlocking areas by using certain characters special skills.
Gameplay itself feels fluid but at times can get overwhelming. Unfortunately the camera can sometimes prove to be extremely awkward, getting hung up on walls and feels like it just doesn’t want to cooperate at times. Equally as annoying are the AI characters that prove to be a pretty useless entity other than just following you around the levels. This can be extremely discouraging when having to battle a large amount of enemies and your AI partner doesn’t do anything. You can switch between these characters at any time, but frustratingly enough you can find that they are stuck further back in the level, hindering you from advancing. This seems like the perfect excuse to take advantage of and encourage you to play cooperatively with a friend. Unfortunately I have no friends; and with it being local co-op only I was forced to play by myself. Despite this, these instances didn’t hinder the game too much and still proved to be a fun experience. Running around breaking stuff and collecting coins is very satisfying, making you want to completely clear out an area, breaking every single object before moving onto the next section. Different character yield different weapons such as guns, throwable objects like boomerangs and batarangs and even some people being able to fly around the environment. This can mix up the gameplay enough to keep you interested in what’s going on. Following on from Lego Marvel game there are now larger Lego characters to control which are the juggernauts of the game. Powering through a score of enemy Lego characters as Metalbeard the Pirate is pretty enjoyable, with his ability to stamp on and take out multiple people in one go, picking up other Lego characters and throwing them around the environment puts a big smile on your face.
If smashing up and destroying environments isn’t enough for you then you may also enjoy the handful of mini games that appear once every so often. These range from a dancing mini game to the beat of Everything is Awesome while you press a sequence of buttons a la PaRappa the Rapper in time with the beat. One of the newer mini games in which you help build an actual Lego kit, choosing the correct piece that is shown on screen out of a choice of 9 pieces, the incentive being the quicker you build it the bigger the coin bonus. One of the better mini games has you hacking into computers to control doors or even remotely controlling Lego robots. This plays out similar to, in fact this plays out EXACTLY like, Pac-Man where you have a set grid with blue studs (see: power pellets) making you move faster around the grid. The objective is to get to certain square on the map and hack it while an antivirus program chases you down much like the ghosts in Pac-Man. These mini games prove to be a welcome break amongst the hectic pace of the missions themselves and are a welcome addition into the game.
Overall, Lego Movie: The Videogame is an extremely enjoyable title and even though it’s targeted to kids, the charm of the game and humour is enough to put a smile on your face for hours and makes it a heartwarming experience.Its special brand of quirky humour, ala pixar, in that it’s still enjoyable for those older kids such as myself. Gameplay is enjoyable, warranting multiple playthroughs and getting to that fabled 100% completion rating, especially for those who are OCD in nature when it comes to collecting coins. Levels are varied enough to keep you engaged throughout, couple that with mini games that are generously sprinkled in there for added enjoyment. Lego Movie: The Videogame is an awesome single player experience, but with the added ability to play co-op would make it the perfect game to play with your kids or even with someone who is just a big child at heart.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One Release Date: 14th February 2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Lego the Movie The Videogame for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of three weeks on a Xbox One. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.