A total of 65 LEGO games have made their way to players before LEGO Worlds ventured onto PC and consoles on March 7. Similar to Minecraft, players explore an open world sandbox, and craft whatever they please using the items they have found.
The premise was enticing, especially for those who spent their youth mixing up their LEGO sets to build creations that were entirely their own. LEGO Worlds promised a digital playground that would offer up the chance to really get creative with the use of LEGO blocks without having to spend hundreds on physical sets to do so.
Like Minecraft, LEGO Worlds is split into biomes, but it differs in that not all biomes are available right away. Instead, new areas are unlocked with Gold-Bricks, which are collected by completing tasks in the game’s simplistic storyline.
Restricting certain areas to players is a move which here comes at a detriment. A big reason the game was so highly anticipated was that it promised a freedom with LEGO building that most people weren’t accustomed to. Offering all biomes to players right off the bat would have made the game feel like a true sandbox wherein the limit is only the creativity of the player. There could still be a storyline and missions specific to certain areas, but players wouldn’t have to go through them in a forced linear fashion that is unusual for the genre.
By locking off certain areas, the game loses a bit of its potential to allow the act of crafting to feel like the most satisfying aspect of gameplay, and it feels a bit too much like your parents telling you that you have enough LEGOs already and to just build with what you have.
Another aspect that takes away freedom from the player is the need to get plans for your builds rather than just constructing them at will. This is where the missions come up, as they encourage you to go find objects in the world to scan so you can add them to your catalogue. This goes against what the whole point that The LEGO Movie was trying to convey to its audience. Instead of creativity being the only limit, you first have to know the plans for a build to execute it properly. This feels off, especially since the story in LEGO Worlds works upon the thought that you arrive to the world to hone your craft and become a Master Builder. Since when do Master Builders need plans?
In all, LEGO Worlds does offer some fun gameplay and when areas and builds are unlocked, the tools at your disposal allow for an enjoyable time while building what you want. Vehicles in LEGO Worlds are fun as well, and despite the huge amount of designs you can scan in the world, the menu screens to shift through them all are decent and get the job done. However, LEGO Worlds comes at a disappointment, as it doesn’t quite reach its the potential that the idea behind the game housed. Updates are said to keep coming after release, so hopefully LEGO Worlds can start to offer a little more freedom to the player. Then it could feel more like what has made LEGO such a cultural phenomenon all these years, the art of creating something complex and unique using only simple building-blocks.