Playing Lego Jurassic World is like a visit from an old friend. You reminisce on old, great memories but you don’t want them to overstay their welcome because soon their old quirks begin to annoy you once again. Lego Jurassic World is overflowing with early 90’s nostalgia allowing you to revisit the greatest moments from the films all in Lego form as Ellie, Doctor Grant and Malcolm revel in amazement as they first gaze their eyes upon a humongous herbivore or take part in the infamous T-Rex chase scene from the first film. It’s all here and it’s all delivered in a nice well constructed package…for the most part.
What Lego Jurassic World does well, it does very well. It creates a sense of place more so than any other Lego game before it,and that is certainly an accomplishment all on its own. I found myself remembering things from the movies that I had forgotten about and, many times throughout playing, I got those warm fuzzy feelings that something magical was bound to happen.
The visuals are always difficult for me to review in a Lego title simply because the game is emulating a world that we’ve all seen before but with Lego’s own spin on it. For what the game is trying to accomplish here, it succeeds. The lush backdrops of Isla Nublar, Isla Sorna and the Dinosaurs themselves, all look great but it’s nothing groundbreaking and very typical of other popular Lego game franchises. In comparisons with the PS3 version, the PS4 version is nearly identical visually with only minor graphical improvements and slightly sharper visuals. This is definitely not knocking the game, but it is absolutely what you would expect this title would look like.
The sound was on par most of the time for me. The infamous roars and shrieks from the velociraptors are present right from the get go to help set the tone. The ground trembling roar of the T-Rex is also present in all its glory which still gives me that menacing vibe even after all these years. The music is as epic as you would remember from the movies and does a great job at pulling on those nostalgic strings.
Many lines the characters deliver are pulled straight from the films, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good for the fact that the lines are delivered exactly how you remember them, and bad because the quality of the audio can be hit or miss. Sometimes when a line is delivered, you can actually hear the background noise from the film which gives it an unclean type of sound. Also at times, due to filtering and compression issues, these lines can sound like they are being delivered from the inside of a tin can which is not a huge issue by any means but definitely noticeable. For example, refer to the scene where the characters are in the helicopter on their way to Jurassic Park for the first time. Malcolm’s lines all fall victim to this jarring sound. Nonetheless, it is still funny to hear these classic lines delivered from the mouths of Lego characters.
The gameplay is first and foremost, fun. There are clever little puzzles to solve, all done in that enjoyable Lego game fashion we’ve all become accustomed to. What I did find at times was that it may be unclear as to what you need to do to at certain points to proceed in the game. This is a common issue that I feel is threaded throughout all the Lego games. You eventually find your way but not after a little bit of frustration. This is not a huge problem but considering many younger gamers will be playing this title, the developers could have made things a tad more streamlined.
What I did notice the more I played were various gameplay glitches ranging from characters getting stuck in the environment to items that I’ve picked up suddenly disappearing, thus making me retrieve said item once more. These issues weren’t game breaking but definitely noticeable as they would happen randomly throughout each play through. It’s odd how these glitches managed to slip by game testers and quality assurance but it’s just a minor annoyance in the grander scheme of things.
The maps and scope of the islands are huge and the ability to free roam is a welcome addition. The map seems a little clunky to navigate through and fast travel is a bit of a chore as you access certain sub-menus to navigate, but exploring the massive world was all in all enjoyable.
Lego Jurassic World offers over 20 hours of gameplay which is pretty substantial. Like other Lego titles, you can play two player co-op with a friend or choose to take on the adventure alone. The sheer amount of unlockables within the game is quite staggering as passing each level grants you with a plethora of unlockable content. This Lego title also offers the ability to create your own dinosaurs too, which makes for some funny and awkward creations. Who wouldn’t want to see a triceratops/velociraptor hybrid covered in leopard print? This is definitely a neat addition and a nice distraction from the regular gameplay. During certain areas of the game, you are given the control over certain dinosaurs which makes for some enjoyable and destructive fun. I particularly enjoyed my time playing as the velociraptors, as they worked together to solve some creative and interesting puzzles.
It is safe to say that Lego Jurassic Park is one of the most enjoyable games in the Lego game universe. It’s use of the source material combined with its tongue-in-cheek humour makes for a great family game that you can pick up and play on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I never thought I would enjoy playing a Lego game as much as I did this title. There are a few minor hiccups but they don’t hinder the overall great gaming experience.
Having a game released on the same day as the movie is usually unheard of. Games based on popular movie franchises usually have rushed production cycles to coincide a game with the movie’s release window. This leaves gamers and fans of a particular series with a half baked, unpolished product; and although this game is not perfect by any means, It is certainly a joy to play and a welcomed addition to the Lego universe. Lego Jurassic World is a pleasant surprise for fans of the films as well as the Lego games, and one of the best additions to your Lego game collection.