With all the games out on the market at the moment, which offer players customizable worlds and seemingly endless opportunities for exploration, it’s not surprising that LEGO would take this moment to develop a game based around exploring various LEGO worlds. If anything, I’m surprised they hadn’t made a game like this sooner as there are just so many different possibilities presented by the combinations of LEGO bricks; it makes a great basis for a game like LEGO Worlds.
On the surface, LEGO Worlds is an open world experience where you complete quests and discover items in order to then create your own worlds and share them with you fellow travellers. Through exploring, you’ll uncover various types of worlds with different themes. You could be in a candy themed area one minute, then deep within a jungle the next. When you think that you’ve discovered every area in the game, another theme pops into the fray as if just to say "I’m here too!"
As a sandbox title, LEGO Worlds' story is what you make it. You could go around completing quests, being an upstanding citizen or you could evoke mass destruction; deleting buildings, attacking NPCs and more. Granted, it might take you a lot longer to get anywhere as NPC quests offer gold bricks, which you can use to level up and unlock additional upgrades to both yourself and the worlds as well. But to summarise, the world(s) are your oysters as they say, but this does come with some noticeable faults.
Although you have the freedom to do a lot of different things, many of the quests you are asked to do are quite monotonous. In a way it's fantastic that LEGO have chosen to go with the "simplistic" route as far as quests go, but it also serves as its downfall later in the game when you're forced to do similar types of fetch quests. Then on top of that, there are quests which force you to leave the world you are already in in order to find a particular item. This can be a bit cumbersome with long loading times within the game and the limits on world creation. You come to find that it's not really worth your time to revisit worlds in order to complete certain quests. Instead your time is better spent just creating a new world and hoping that a similar NPC will appear allowing you to collect your precious bounty.
Once you've unlocked the ability to create worlds, there is an endless supply of opportunity that's available to you. The "Create A World" feature allows you to use previous "Biomes", or land types, and either create a world with a huge mash up of various types of Biome, or you can instead create a world featuring just one Biome. You can also decide which NPCs will inhabit your world. So say you want a sandy desert full of dragons and pirates, or a jungle full of gingerbread men. Even on these worlds, there will still be items that you might not have discovered before. The endless opportunity makes LEGO Worlds all the more exciting as there always seems to be more things to discover even in your own world. It's all pretty awesome, in principle, but the game often feels quite cumbersome, especially when it comes to the controls.
When building houses, the game can either be forgiving or deceiving. You could be building a straight wall, but one little nudge the wrong way could make your house lopsided. LEGO does handle irregularities in building works well though, as the building tool is able to produce smaller LEGOs automatically to fill in any small gaps. This is especially handy when building a house. The only issue is, when you go to remove those LEGO blocks, you may find it a bit tedious to delete all of those small bits. Painting is also something that suffers in the console version. You have 3 options; build using the colored brick you want in the first place, paint your house using the very clumsy spray paint tool, or paint each brick individually to ensure you don’t get any paint where you don’t want it. This could mean more extensive housing could take a vast amount of time in order to complete as it’s very difficult to handle the tools using the controller.
Creation aside, there is also a bit of dungeon hopping that you can enjoy within LEGO Worlds. Certain worlds will contain a dungeon. On the outside, these dungeons all look completely different, but once inside, they end up becoming quite similar to each other. Your objective in conquering a dungeon is to find two treasure chests; one with a key and one with your bounty. There are various booby traps within the dungeons including lava pits, fire traps, spikes in the flooring and so on. You will also find enemies in these areas which are normally skeletons (which are the most common enemy in the game) as well as special enemies, like trolls. Going through, you just need to defeat as many as you can but they only offer a very small inconvenience to your journey in most cases. Navigating through the dungeons may prove to be a hassle, but nothing that your landscaping tool can't fix.
As a sandbox title, the game is not without its glitches, some of which are nearly game breaking. There are moments where you'll find yourself deep within the depths of the earth looking for treasure then suddenly you're teleported back to the surface for no reason. There are other times where your character will get stuck in certain modes without a way to reset and times where your quest maker is unable to see the structure you just made for them inches away from their faces. It can be very frustrating especially when you have to wait so long to even begin your experience with LEGO Worlds thanks to the lengthy load times. On top of that, the game is not very fluid on the console version. Framerates drop a bit especially when you’re discovering new places within your world.
There are also elements that could've been added to make the user experience easier. For example, whenever you want to leave a world, not only forced to head back to your ship, you're also forced to watch a sequence of your character handing in all of their gold bricks which if you’ve found a lot of gold bricks in your adventure. It can take a bit of time to get through. It would've been nice if you could just throw all the bricks at once or skip the scene all together. You cannot even start at the same location you saved at when you return to the game which can be irritating if you’ve only reached a dungeon. It’s these little bits that make the game more frustrating as time goes on and its things that you thought would be easily handled.
The music of the game can also be quite repetitive at times. There are the occasional changes to the score, but not much changes between biomes. It would’ve been nice to hear some guitar type background music for the midwestern style biomes and perhaps a percussion focused song for the deep jungle portions.
There is quite a bit of replay value though, at least when it comes to discoveries. There are just so many different things to find, ranging from different animals, to characters and of course, the various objects that can be made. Many of them come from existing LEGO properties, and it's nice to see the branding pop-up when you discover them to let you know the set they belong to.
LEGO Worlds is a game that has a ton of potential, but it feels limited when playing on a console. As a concept, it's awesome and there is a ton of fun to be had here, if you play in short bursts. Prolonged exposure can just lead to a bit of monotony, as there are lots of unnecessary things put in place to make the experience a bit tedious. Whether it's the long loading times, or dragged out animations, they all add up. The sheer scale and imagination of the game can't be understated though and if you can get past the game's annoyances, there is plenty of fun to be had, exploring the various worlds.LEGO Worlds was reviewed using a PS4 digital code provided by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|So much to discover.|
|Worlds can be immense and all feel very different.|
|Silly, endearing NPCs.|
|Very long loading times.|
|Quests can become quite monotonous.|
|Controls aren't the best.|