LEGO 2K Drive PS5 Review. Lego’s newest home for video games starts with an open-world racer. Is everything awesome in the land of Lego? Find out in PlayStation Universe’s review of LEGO 2K Drive for PS5.
Lego 2K Drive Review (PS5) – Shut Up And (Let Me) Drive
Bricklandia is the setting for a series of races where vehicles can change on the fly to accommodate the terrain. One second you’re cruising by in a sports car, the next it has hit the water and turned into a speedboat. The aim appears to be a mixture of Mario Kart racing with Burnout Paradise’s approach to open-world racing. The end result is probably closest to Forza Horizon, which is an understandable template if you’re taking a racer open-world.
Open-world should make sense for a Lego game, right? Certainly, that’s been toyed with over the years as the Traveller’s Tales titles got bigger and bigger. But I think there have been good examples of why scope and scale don’t have to be gargantuan to get the most out of what Lego does so well. The recent Builder’s Journey and Bricktales took the diorama approach and focused on the stories that could be told in a fairly minimal setting. We’ve had lots of open worlds in Lego games now, so maybe that shouldn’t be the focus. Maybe the focus should be on creativity, and freedom of expression alongside rulesets that guide you there.
Lego 2K Drive doesn’t often feel like that.
As a racer, it’s actually quite fun. The shape-shifting nature of your vehicle and the vibrant, playful track design ensure the action is never dull. Plus the weapon pickups add a whole layer of brick-breaking carnage to the mix. It’s when the race ends and you’re pushed into the open-world quest system that the color and joy are drained from Lego 2K Drive.
Driving Through a Lego Brick Wall
The component parts aren’t really to blame. It’s just the trudging structure of them. So the various characters you meet have some really fun personalities in there, and there’s the odd quest that leans heavy into a tongue-in-cheek goofiness that suits the world. But the structure surrounding these pieces is brittle and poorly constructed. I get the idea is supposed to be ‘freedom,’ but there need to be reins close by to prevent the game from wandering off into the dull dry weeds.
The biggest impact that has is that Lego 2K Drive feels like it should be a pick-up and play experience that can cater to different skill sets on a whim. Practically everything about it screams that it should be. But the waters are muddied by the fairly vague quest system and constant stop-start journeying between actual races. It all feels needlessly complex for what should be a simple racer.
That would be fine if the various worlds you drive through were consistently interesting to visit, but anything not made of Lego bricks is mostly boilerplate ‘realistic’ scenery that only enhances the sheer barren feeling of anything not trackside. The fact you then participate in so many tasks that feel uninspired and stock standard open-world filler doesn’t help matters either.
It must be said that there is at least an alternative in the form of the Cup Series that are basically a set of straight races. However, they will leave you wanting as there’s barely a handful of races to compete in.
Enough negativity though, because when you move away from all that chaff, Lego 2K Drive puts the pedal to the plastic really well.
Lego 2K Drive is a surprisingly adept racer that features some inventive tracks to power around. It’s a pure agent of chaos on the track, with a rainbow blur of explosive battling taking place throughout a typical race. Cars visibly fall apart when taking damage (thankfully you can restore them) and when disaster strikes a racer’s vehicle, it’s a pretty impressive sight for what amounts to a bunch of Lego debris flying into the air.
You can find pre-built vehicles, often with novelty value, that come with particular skills for certain races, and eventually, you get to build your own special machines that can range from lightweight speedsters to hulking juggernauts.
That shift between vehicle types during a race I mentioned is handled impeccably, with no real technical drop occurring as your vehicle near-instantly changes shape to accommodate the change in terrain. Land, water, and air are all in play by the time you sift through Lego 2K Drive’s story.
There’s a lot of needless padding to Lego 2K Drive, but at least it’s not there to hide a stinker of a racing game. That naturally makes it a bit more frustrating. But, if you can accept Lego 2K Drive will make you do some largely pointless housework before you can go off to the races, then it may well even out the experience for you.
LEGO 2K Drive is out now for PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.