Thursday 9 July 2015

Lego Jurassic World

Jurassic Park was my Star Wars, and I'm sure this was the case for many of you too. Though I wasn't around to be originally swept up in the sprawling and visual excellence of Star Wars during its 1977 release, back in 1993 Jurassic Park did that for me. Like many kids, after watching Jurassic Park I wanted everything to do with dinosaurs. Whether they were books, films, games, toys, comics or whatever, I needed more dinosaur stuff! Though I did enjoy the second film in the series, The Lost World, my love for both Jurassic Park and dinosaurs in general came to an abrupt halt when I saw Jurassic Park 3. I won't get into it here, but yeah, it was shit. But with Jurassic World now in the cinema and the series back on track in terms of quality, the first videogame tie-in is here. It's a Lego game.

Developed by Traveller's Tales and out now for pretty much every console you currently own comes Lego Jurassic World, a Lego game that pretty much plays like every other Lego game ever, but hey, it's got dinosaurs in it, dude! Since the release of the first Jurassic Park film there's been loads of games released that have expanded the franchise. From games that were arcade shooters, side-scrollers, theme-park simulators, pinball games, first-person shooters and even beat-em ups that let you take control of the dinosaurs, the franchise has seemingly done it all in videogames. However, one thing we haven't seen is a Jurassic Park Lego game... until now that is. Just like Traveller's Tales did with Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indian Jones, instead of Lego Jurassic World basing itself on one particular film, it instead offers the player a chance to play through multiple adventures. In the case of Lego Jurassic World, every film in the franchise can be played through here- Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3 and Jurassic World. Though each adventure is very much a truncated and shortened version of their film counterparts, they still hit all the major moments.

Gameplay within Lego Jurassic World is nothing new, as throughout the four films on offer to play through here you'll spend the vast majority of your time breaking Lego blocks, collecting studs and countless other items, solving Lego related puzzles, building various structures and vehicles using pieces of fallen and hidden Legos, button bashing to on-screen cues, taking control of various dinosaurs and, naturally, also fighting dinosaurs from across all four films. You'll take control of well over 100 characters in the game too, many of which have their own unique abilities, which you'll need to utilize at key moments throughout the game in order to advance. However, beyond the characters already within the game by default, you also have the ability to create new characters  from scratch by essentially assembling your own Lego figure. This level of customization also extends to the dinosaurs too, as thanks to it being a plot point in Jurassic World, you also have the ability to make your own dinosaur, one that is cobbled together from various other ones you've interacted with over the course of the game.

Every single Lego game plays the exact same. This is a fact of life. When I played Lego The Hobbit I thought it played just like Lego The Lord of the Rings. When I played Lego The Lord of the Rings I thought it played just like Lego Star Wars. Rinse and repeat. But while every game essentially dishes out the same kind of gameplay, a great Lego game is made through its setting, characters and its ability to let you take part in an already beloved franchise. Lego Jurassic World successes at this, as whether I was dicking around as Ian Malcolm, pulling Lex and Tim out of the crushed Jeep as the T-Rex is trying to eat them, racing around on my motorbike as Chris Pratt or simply being inside the films and exploring locations I've seen time and time again, I had a lot of fun while playing it. Lego Jurassic World is just  clean simple fun, and hey, every game doesn't need to be some edgy, mature “Citizen Kane of gaming”. It's not amazing, but I liked it.

Beyond the fact that in gameplay terms it's very much the same as every other Lego game, there is one other major criticism for Lego Jurassic World. Though I appreciate the fact that, much like with Lego The Lord of the Rings, the developers used the films' dialogue within the game, some of it sounds distorted and warbled as they've clearly tried to tune out other background noises present in scene. The result just sounds terrible, and though it's always great to have authentic audio for a game like this, it just sounds very disappointing. Lego Jurassic World is fun, but just don't expect anything new from the Lego gaming franchise here.

Lego Jurassic World
, despite being fun, is a clone of every other Lego game, 3/5.


Denis Murphy

Lego Jurassic World at CeX

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