Has there been a more prolific franchise in the last decade than the Travellers Tales Lego games? Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Harry Potter, Pirate of the Caribbean. The Lord of the Rings, Marvel, The Hobbit, Jurassic World and Rock band for crying out loud – although I would probably drop on Lego Star Wars being released in Next Gen goodness – and with the addition of Dimensions, there hasn’t been many franchises that has escaped appearing in brick form.
Let’s be honest though, apart from featuring a different franchise, not many of those games really give anything new in the grand scheme of things. Collect bricks and studs whilst completing a level by swapping between two characters, find sections that are impossible to get to without a character you haven’t unlocked yet, carry on playing game, return to a previous level with a now unlocked characters, rinse, repeat, complete game.
Lego Worlds however, whilst not breaking any moulds, ignores the franchises and formula for one simple thing – facilitating pure joy and creative freedom. You are a mini figure astronaut exploring a bricky styled galaxy in your spaceship, visiting endless procedurally generated worlds upon which you can build whatever you like until you reach the centre of the galax……no wait that last bit is a different game.
There is a small story hidden in here about becoming a master builder. I am only sure of this as occasionally I received random missions from equally random mini figures on different planets. Cavemen, Policemen, Cowboys, Gingerbread Men. They are all here to give said missions and bestow the Golden Bricks that unlock new worlds and features upon you.
There are no shortcuts taken in Lego worlds like there are in other Lego franchises. Literally everything is made from Lego and if you think some of the parts are just made up to facilitate the build of something in the game then clearly you need to go and buy one of the larger Lego Friends buildings. Hell I can even lend you a seven year old who wants you to help ‘drop stuff’, (ie every other lego piece not required), so you spend 2 hours searching for a single stud piece of plastic that makes the other 893 lego bricks actually move.
Most of the other Lego games take around 15-20 hours to finish a good portion of the game, then add on another 10-15 for completionist OCD. Lego Worlds on the other hand feels like it could take triple that at the very least because the impression I get is 100 Golden Bricks will allow me to create my very own planet from scratch. Who doesn’t want to do that, right? This is after you have been sidetracked by building something far grander than the current mission actually required.
There are some rough edges here though, the radial menus take some getting used to and it features a bloody mouse cursor. On a console game. In 2017. I honestly hate this more than I do first person shooters. It just doesn’t feel right or natural in a console game.
This isn’t a game for instant jump in either, with each element of designing taught to you gradually, very gradually via the medium of the previously mentioned missions. This element is drawn out, making sure you have picked up everything – and there is a lot to learn – which is good to ensure you are not lost or overwhelmed but for those who hate starting games or forget control systems after playing a different game it’s going to be a long slog.
The game also struggles a little bit when you play with a friend, or family member, as noticeable lag is experienced on more than a few occasions and just try building a castle with your son in split screen mode. It’s much easier and fulfilling to share the controller, take turns and use a single screen.
You soon forget all of this the moment you realise you can do whatever the hell you like. Lego Worlds is most certainly the one for Lego purists. The ones that are happier with a suitcase of random bricks than 2000 bricks and a manual on how to build the Death Star. These people will not be put off by the gradual learning curve employed by the game and I fully expect to see YouTube videos in six months of the amazing worlds that people have built.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 8.5/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / Xbox One / PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a review copy of Lego Worlds for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of seven days . For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.