By now we have visited LEGO versions of some of our favourite universes, from Marvel to DC and even Middle-earth, what new universe would receive the LEGO treatment next?
Two words: LEGO dinosaurs. That’s right, the newest universe to receive the LEGO treatment is Jurassic Park. Has Traveller’s Tales once again proven the fact that (at least I believe it to be a fact) adding dinosaurs to anything makes it inherently better?
LEGO Jurassic World lets you relive the most memorable an action-packed set pieces and scenes from not just the newest movie, but the first three as well. These scenes take place over twenty levels and are packed with the same type of light-heartedness and silliness that the previous LEGO games are known for.
Mostly the game stays true to the tried and tested formula of its predecessors. Collecting a near endless amount of studs, destroying and rebuilding LEGO objects and finding all manner of hidden collectables, is still at the core of the experience, this time around though the gameplay focuses more on puzzle solving, and less on bashing orcs and super villains on their heads. I found this to be quite refreshing not only because combat hasn’t always been the strongest part of the LEGO games, but I found this approach to fit better with the overarching theme in the Jurassic Park universe, which always seems to focus on running away from dinosaurs.
Most of these puzzles are solved by using each of the available characters special abilities. These abilities tie in really well with the personality of the different characters, for instance; Hunter characters can follow hidden tracks to uncover objects and zoologists aren’t afraid of diving into dino-dung in order to retrieve an object.
I did find the character roster to be on the weak side, mainly due to the fact that some of the included characters tend to be a bit obscure. You have access to characters ranging from Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to the kid who thinks raptors look like giant turkeys. On the plus side, you can now control dinosaurs! The various dinosaurs are unlocked by either helping dinosaurs (healing them or helping them escape traps) or by picking up amber that is hidden throughout the different areas. Playing as these dinosaurs were some of the most fun I’ve had in a LEGO game in quite a while. Each dinosaur has their own unique abilities, for example, Triceratops can bash through objects and Dilophosaurus can melt certain objects with their venom. Even though dinosaurs are a lot more adequate at attacking than humans, I was really happy to see that they could also be used to solve some of the puzzles found in the game.
LEGO Jurassic Park finds a great balance between recreating the tense atmosphere associated with some of the most memorable scenes of the movies, (the raptors in the kitchen scene) and keeping it just light hearted enough so that younger audiences won’t run out of the room screaming.
Once a level is completed, players are able to return in free play mode. This allows you to venture into these areas using the unlocked characters and dinosaurs, to solve some more of the puzzles available. For those with gaming OCD this game -like its predecessors- has a huge amount of collectables and will keep you running around for hours.
Graphically the game looks great. The amount of detail and effort that was put into creating these iconic areas really shows. That coupled with John Williams’s iconic Jurassic Park theme had me nostalgic within a few minutes. I believe that herein lies one of the game’s greatest strengths, its nostalgic value. For those of use who remembered watching the first three films (no matter how bad some of them were) playing the game really brings back some of the emotions we first felt when watching these iconic scenes. Seeing how Traveller’s Tales takes these scenes and adds their own brand of humour to it, was really enjoyable.
Even though I enjoyed hearing John Williams Jurassic park theme playing throughout my experience, I did find some of the audio quality to be a bit patchy, especially the voice over’s from the older films. This doesn’t distract too much, but it was noticeable every now and then.
Split screen co-op is back and just as much fun as it was in the previous LEGO titles. Playing with a co-op partner makes solving some of the puzzles just a bit easier as there is no need to constantly swap between the characters as much.
LEGO Jurassic World is a great nostalgic experience, which still tends to follow its tried and tested formula but adds just enough to mix it up a bit. Although the characters can be a bit obscure, the inclusion of the dinosaurs more than makes up for this. Once again this just proves the fact that, adding dinosaurs to anything makes the experience a whole lot better. With its focus more on puzzles and less on combat I found myself really enjoying LEGO Jurassic World. Traveller’s Tales has once again succeeded in creating a great gaming experience for all ages.