Review: Lego Worlds (2017)

If you’ve longed for those days of rummaging through bricks and constructing whatever your mind could conjure up, then this is one game you’ll love.

It’s been around 16 years since I last played with Lego, my favourite toy ever. I’ve played several Lego games from TT Games in the past, but none have managed to capture the magic of discovery and creation that the physical bricks could provide, until now.

Lego Worlds takes its cue from the successful Minecraft, but expands upon the idea, utilising the broadness of the classic toy’s appeal. Broken into two distinct modes, adventure and sandbox, it can be quite overwhelming how much freedom you’re afforded from the start. Adventure mode acts as your tutorial, guiding you through the many tools you’ll be equipped with that will help you navigate the vast worlds you encounter. The landscape tool and build tool are pretty self explanatory allowing you to manipulate terrain or build brick by brick, but the tool that will be most used is the discovery tool. With the ability to scan every object, building, animal or character within the game, these will be added to your discovery collection allowing you to place these items into any world you see fit as many times as you see fit. For those who struggle with the building feature this tool will allow anyone to bypass that problem.

To progress through adventure mode, either solo or multiplayer (Split-screen or online), you are tasked with travelling to different procedurally generated worlds and helping those in need, by collecting items, building or placing items or staving off enemies. Completing these tasks will either earn you items that you may need to help others on new worlds or you will be rewarded with gold bricks that can power your spaceship allowing you to travel further afield. However, some building tasks that may prove time consuming can be skipped, which is a relief if you’re not willing to sit for hours on end building brick by brick. With such a gradual learning curve it won’t be long before you’re well-versed in all the tools and itching to go it alone in sandbox mode and that is where the fun really begins.

Sandbox mode places you in a world of your choice, letting you select the style (i.e. wild west, Egypt, medieval etc.) and size. The world is populated with characters, buildings and objects and every unlockable item is made available to you. It’s then time to break free and run wild. This is where the game takes you back to your childhood planting you in a world made entirely of Lego and lets your imagination explode as you scroll through a variety of Lego pieces excited to build some wacky creation. One of the more thrilling aspects is when you decide to venture down. Many worlds have a network of caves carved beneath the surface, some with secrets to uncover and it’s pretty impressive how deep they go. I placed a pre-built drilling machine in my world and starting tunnelling as deep as I could go. It was incredibly a good 3-4 minutes before I reached the bottom revealing how big these worlds can be if you use every inch of space.

Considering the scope of the game, Lego Worlds does suffer technically, particularly when playing split screen multiplayer, the frame-rate drops to almost unplayable levels. I also encountered a few glitches with the clicking building sound continuing incessantly throughout my game and on several occasions my character was locked in a pose and I couldn’t access the tool menu. Luckily for these instances the game features a parachute button in the pause menu, so if your character finds themselves in an inescapable situation, hitting this button will spawn him or her in the midst of free-fall, landing you safely back on terra-firma.

With plenty to unlock and a genuine sense of achievement as you rank up completing tasks, Lego Worlds will keep fans engaged for hours on end. The replay-ability is next to none and the typical playful tone the Lego games have come to be known for will charm you throughout. If, like me, you’ve longed for those days of rummaging through bricks and constructing whatever your mind could conjure up, then this is one game you’ll love, without a doubt.

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