LEGO Jurassic World on PlayStation 4
The LEGO franchise of video games has managed to take some of the most loved properties in entertainment history and create some of the most fun games out there. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Marvel, and DC are a handful of beloved properties that the devs over at Traveller’s Tales have managed to mold into magnificent experiences for children (and adults) to enjoy. LEGO Jurassic World looks to once again deliver that underlying charm that all of those LEGO minifigs seem to have at all times. The good thing is that it’s largely a success, though it’s not without its issues.
For the uninitiated, LEGO Jurassic World takes players through all four of the dinosaur-filled films. Using only the most memorable set-pieces from the classic films (yeah, I said they’re classics), LEGO Jurassic World weaves together a tapestry devoid of any dull moments. One second you’re landing on Isla Nublar about to witness a miracle, next you’re fleeing from a Tyrannosaurus Rex with an injured Ian Malcom yelling at the top of his lungs for you to drive faster.
At the beginning of Lego Jurassic World, after you complete the opening scenes from the first movie, you will have the option to either play the missions from that movie, or to jump right into Jurassic World. If you want to play The Lost World or Jurassic Park 3, then you’ll have to start at the beginning and follow through. At first it seemed a bit odd that you weren’t able to just pick whichever of the four from the get-go but after playing, it made tons of sense.
LEGO Jurassic World is, for all intents and purposes, telling the entire Jurassic Park story. That includes the introduction of characters, the horrors these adventurers face, and the success they find. Since the movies manage to actually keep a relatively coherent narrative throughout the original trilogy, it makes sense to bring players into the game that way. It’s also used as a method to introduce new mechanics over the course of the game, which is pretty neat.
In the beginning you’re able to use firearms, cut things with that raptor claw you found, and dive into huge mounds of poop (seriously). Later on, as you meet new characters from later films, you’ll learn things like how to use grappling hooks, or find individuals who can climb those weird-looking rock walls in LEGO Jurassic World. The steady stream of new characters and abilities also helps to increase the replay value. Just like in previous LEGO games, you won’t always have the tools necessary to do everything in a level from the moment you start. It’s a mechanic used by every series under the LEGO banner that still works really well. It adds that drive to do more, and unlock everything so you can explore every nook and cranny that the worlds have to offer, and LEGO Jurassic Park has a lot of those to give.
LEGO Jurassic World is a large game, even by LEGO game standards. Each movie has its own hub area from which you can access the movie’s missions, side activities, and more. You are also provided a means to travel to the other hub worlds, all of which are located on the islands nearby. You would think that each would look exactly the same because of the jungles, but they managed to give each area its own flair that represents the happenings, and threats of its respective movie. In a game that has so much going on, everything is in its place.
It all looks very pretty as well. For the review of LEGO Jurassic World I played on a PlayStation 4, and although it still has the LEGO plastic goodness permeating almost everything you see, the game looked pretty amazing. The jungles that were created as the backdrop made me feel like I was at the movies, the landmarks are instantly recognizable to fans, and the level design seems to be a bit of a step up from previous LEGO games. The camera is also slightly different this time around. In LEGO Jurassic World the camera keeps a lot closer to the player than usual. There is a much more cinematic feel to each set-piece, a feeling that lends itself quite well to the properties in use.
The gameplay itself is standard LEGO fare. You solve puzzles using the abilities available to you at the moment, you collect studs, and you break everything you lay your eyes on because you never know what you may find. One major difference in the standard gameplay, though, is that there isn’t as much combat in LEGO Jurassic World as you’d probably expect. Sure, you get to fight some smaller dinosaurs every now and then, as well as a few InGen security guards. But, most of your time will be spent running or solving puzzles.
The running around and solving puzzles is actually one of the game’s downsides. Yes the game looks great, and yes you get to experience the films in a new, lighthearted way (as with all LEGO games), but it feels a bit safe. LEGO Marvel Superheroes introduced a huge open NYC and hundreds of heroes and villains, as well as transforming characters. LEGO Batman 3 brought players to space and introduced tons of new abilities and mechanics. Compared to those, LEGO Jurassic World feels relatively basic, although it does have one very fun feature.
A highlight of LEGO Jurassic World is the fact that you have the opportunity to play as dinosaurs. In each level is one mosquito trapped in amber for you to extract its DNA in order to create your own Jurassic mayhem. Even better, the more dinosaurs you unlock, the more parts you have at your disposal within the Dinosaur Customizer. In this game, not only can you make a custom minifig, but you can make your very own dinosaur too by mixing up your favorite parts. Creating unique, colorful creatures to test out on one of the islands is way more fun than could’ve been anticipated, and it’s one of the best elements of LEGO Jurassic World.
Unfortunately, this game does have its fair share of issues, particularly in the control department. While moving around and jumping work fine, some of the QTEs and combat situations end up feeling kind of frustrating. Having to rotate the left stick to open up a gate only to have it stop working right before you finish is a bit of a pain. The same goes for combat situations where you find yourself unable to do anything but fail and you watch as your studs scatter across the ground. The only fortunate part of this is the fact that there isn’t too much combat to really get in the way, but to have it not work well on the rare event that you do come across it is not the best feeling.
Still, with the control issues aside, LEGO Jurassic World manages to be another solid addition to the LEGO family of games. Four amazing films transformed into some really fun gameplay that put you right into the center of the action. Playable velociraptors, lots of side content, no shortage of vehicles, and the best quotes from the series make this a must have for fans of Jurassic Park, LEGOs, or both. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any big way, but it is definitely a fun experience through and through.