GAME NAME: The LEGO Movie Videogame
DEVELOPER(S): TT Fusion
PUBLISHER(S): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
PLATFORM(S): PS3, PS4, Xbox 360m Xbox One, PS Vita, 3DS, PC, Wii U
GENRE(S): Adventure, Platform, Puzzel
RELEASE DATE(S): March 14th, 2014
Everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Everything is awesome, when you’re living our dream! Those three sentences are part of the most catchy song, since the Ketchup song. It’s the main theme for the new The LEGO Movie and its video game counterpart, The LEGO Movie Videogame. But does it ring true to the game? Is everything about this game awesome?
Let me start off with this, please watch the movie before attempting to play the game. You’ll have a greater appreciation for both of them if you do. I, unfortunately, finished the game before watching the movie, but still enjoyed it as much as anyone else. But enough about the movie, let’s get onto the game.
You play Emmet, an overly happy construction worker who is trying his best to fit in and be part of the ever expanding world. The problem is, the world he lives in is completely micromanaged by President Business, AKA Lord Business, the main villain in the game. The world is so controlled that it’s actually very reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. Everything is by the books, rigid, systematic, extremely organised and totally devoid of creativity.
What everyone doesn’t know is that Lord Business has stolen a very powerful weapon called the Kragle. In order to stop Lord Business from using the Kragle, a missing piece of the weapon must be found and placed on top of the Kragle. However, the only person who can find the missing piece, the piece of resistance, is the prophesied Chosen One.
During an unexpected sequence of events, Emmet finds the piece of resistance and is then assumed to be the Chosen One, despite his Average Joe status. He joins a group of resistance fighters called master builders, a set of people who can create anything they desire using everyday LEGO blocks. Unfortunately, Emmet isn’t a master builder and requires instructions to build objects and this doesn’t sit well with the free thinking master builders. Unable to change the fact that Emmet isn’t a master builder, they gang together and try to find a way to stop the Kragle and defeat the mother of all Big Brothers.
This new entry into the LEGO series of games follow the exact same recipe of all the existing games. If you’ve played a LEGO game before, you’ll know what I mean. You play an assortment of characters, each with their own unique skills. Each skill is needed to solve a different puzzle or enemy, etc. Emmet is a standard construction worker, so his skill (and all other construction worker characters) is to drill holes, fix machines and construct objects using instruction manuals. Other characters like Wildstyle, and female characters, can jump higher and climb walls. Robots and Benny the Spaceman can hack computers, Batman can use his batarangs and claw, Unikitty (easily my favourite character in the game and movie) can build using rainbow blocks and Vitruvius (a blind wizard) can absentmindedly walk over thin bridges without fear of falling.
Not every character is available from the start though, but you’ll unlock them as the story progresses. You can also unlock non-story related characters, which you can use in free roam and when you want to replay old missions. Like all of the other games, it is divided into segments, a hub-section where you can free-roam and story missions which you can select while roaming around in the hub. Each hub is unlocked by progressing through the game rather than collecting golden LEGO blocks. There’s quite a few main hubs and each location is vastly different from the next. There’s a city-like hub, an outback hub, cloud cukoo cukoo land and more. Each level, and hub, is almost identical to the scenes in the movie. It’s almost as if you’re playing inside the movie. Almost all of the characters that are found in each location are also included in the game, minus the odd character here and there.
Each level is designed beautifully, both in stage design and aesthetically. The puzzles aren’t particularly difficult, but they are fun, and switching between characters to solve the next puzzle never gets old. The controls are also very simple. You only use the face buttons, so there’s no need to memorise complex button sequences. You still collect LEGO studs (to unlock characters) as well as gold and red bricks. You can also collect new pants, which is a little joke aimed at the in-game/movie sitcom ‘Where’s my pants?’.
There are some parts of the levels that I didn’t think were that great. While playing Emmet, you can construct objects using instructions. During this part of the building, you are taken to a “construction mini-game”. This mini-game shows you a list of pieces on the left and an object that is missing a piece on the right. You need to select the missing piece before time runs out. It’s far too simple and would’ve been better if you could construct it similar to an actual puzzle. The master builder, construction sections are also too easy, but I can see why it’s made that way. Most of the time, the Master Builders are in a rush to create an object, so it makes sense to do it in a simple fashion. The same cannot be said with Emmet. Having said that, the game does deliver on laughs, even during the heat of battle.
It’s pretty funny running around with a team that consists of a blind man, a spaceman, a unikitty and Batman. The banter between each of the characters is very amusing, especially Batman in Cloud Cukoo Cukoo land. A lot of the cut scenes are taken directly from the movie, which is why you should watch it before playing the game. Obviously, you get to see more story in the movie, but the game adds an extra element to it. You’ll really get to see what it means to be a master builder, get a nice feel for each of the locations and get to play the game as some great characters, like Gandalf the Grey, Shakespeare, Cleopatra and Lady Liberty. There’s over 90 unlockable characters including the few I’ve mentioned plus a few more “famous heroes”. Many of them are standard average game characters, like a sheriff, a runner, the crazy cat lady and more, but I really wish there were more popular characters, like Darth Vader, C3-PO, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, but it’s not a great loss.
What’s even more incredible is the voice cast. It includes A-list actors like Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Christ Pratt, Will Arnett and Will Ferrell. The voice cast really brings the game and the movie together and oddly makes the LEGO character feel very lifelike.
The LEGO Movie Videogame is tons of fun to play and has a lot of replay value. The game is about 8 – 9 hours long with tons left to do after you’ve finished the game. Finding the gold and red bricks, replaying each level with new characters and solving small side-missions within the hub portions of the game is where it’s at. The ease of the controls and simple design makes it a great game for everyone to enjoy. It is a bit rinse and repeat, but you know… EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! (That song really is incredibly catchy.)