While the film it’s based on continues to dominate the box office, as far as The LEGO Movie Videogame is concerned, everything is… average.
This action-adventure romp uses the familiar LEGO game formula that has put developer TT Games’ releases on the map for years: accessible gameplay, lots of lovable characters, and plenty of collecting to keep players hooked. Adding visual depth to the game’s environment this time around is its very construction, which is comprised solely of LEGO bricks. These features provide an excellent foundation for a movie tie-in title that is a bit more involved than other promotional games made with considerably less heart.
The LEGO Movie Videogame directly follows the storyline of the film, in which the LEGO construction worker minifigure Emmet is on a mission to find meaning in his monotonous life. After stumbling upon the Piece of Resistance, a fabled artifact with the power to stop a superweapon known as the “Kragle,” Emmet and a ragtag team of minifigs fight to keep President Business from changing the world as they know it. It is highly recommended you watch The LEGO Movie first unless you want plot points and the best jokes ruined, as cutscenes in the game are merely compressed film clips. You’ve been warned.
Like LEGO Star Wars, Harry Potter, and other entries in the franchise, puzzles are solved using the different types of skills various characters possess. The different versions of protagonist Emmet are generally capable of repairing broken machinery, destroying specially marked cracked bricks, and using instruction manuals found around levels to construct LEGO items that are used to progress the plot. Master Builders like Wildstyle, on the other hand, use the very world around them to build LEGO models, and players need only stand in specially marked areas and select highlighted pieces to make something new. Fans can also play as Batman, Vitruvius, Benny, and scores of other characters including the manic Unikitty– by far the most fun of the bunch.
Whereas children will undoubtedly be endeared by the novelty of playing as their favorite characters from the film, older audiences might not feel as compelled to complete The LEGO Movie Videogame to 100%. Certainly the multiple incarnations of the same minfigures don’t add to the title’s replay value, unlike the LEGO Marvel Superheroes videogame, which at least has a visually robust roster to fill up. Combat is also extremely simplistic (as would be expected for this target demographic), and the free-falling portions of the game felt far too drawn out for my taste. The addition of construction mini-games adds a nice wrinkle to the franchise’s pattern, but otherwise it’s just another supporting piece of the hype machine for the movie.
The LEGO Movie Videogame is certain to be a hit with young fans of the film despite being less in-depth than recent releases in the series. There’s far more to do than most other movie tie-in games, and Traveller’s Tales does not sacrifice quality for the sake of quickly delivering a title that families can ultimately enjoy playing together. The LEGO Movie Videogame is by far the most fun a fan of the classic building toys can have aside from an afternoon of putting together a new set themselves.
The LEGO Movie Videogame is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, and Steam.
LEGO Movie Videogame Trailer