Review: Lego Jurassic World
Welcome to Lego Jurassic World! Okay, it’s not as quite snappy as John Hammond’s introduction to the ill-fated theme park in Spielberg’s classic 1993 movie. However the enthusiasm John had then is still applicable to this game.
Lego Jurassic World is the latest in a long and seemingly never ending line of Traveller’s Tale Lego movie adaptations. Each are based on the same light puzzle and stud collecting structure that’s been present from the beginning with each subsequent title making minor improvements somewhere in the basic formula.
Latest instalments normally have a spin on what has gone before and true to form this title has you playing as dinosaurs. The 100 playable different characters (including dinosaurs) all have their different abilities as you’d expect to tackle the light puzzles you come across. You’ve got the dinosaur experts in this game who are the only ones who can assemble bones into bouncing platforms (obviously!) to reach higher places or the engineering types who can fix electric panels. Playing as a dinosaur you use little ones to go through small gaps, bigger ones to crack open objects and some can pull down switches with their mouth. All fun but functionally identical to older titles.
Despite the overall improvements each subsequent game makes the one area this game can’t compete in is the cast of characters. The Batman and Marvel games in particular have 100 characters and are all actually interesting in one way or another. The entire Jurassic Park film series doesn’t have that many characters to speak off so there are plenty of filler/dud characters that are pointless to include.
Even though the puzzles are very linear and no room for experimenting, say Portal 2, a few puzzles can be a little hidden in their solution by being partly obscured or slightly obtuse. At least you know that if you just keep smashing around for a few minutes something will present itself as the answer. Again this is how it’s been before and it would be nice for some more variation on puzzles. The gyrospheres you use in this game could have been used better for example with a balancing puzzle through in and a far improved escape scene from the Indominous Rex. It was so on rails that I even took my hand off the controller and I was still making progress.
However the familiarity that marks down other games in a big way isn’t a problem here compared to some more adult titles. The people who will be playing this the most will be children and the fact they are already aware of how to play the game makes it easy to pick up and play whilst enjoying the aesthetic differences that come by being based on different source material.
Ultimately it’s the humour and the way Traveller’s Tales adapt the films into their titles that keep pulling in people despite the generally stale core mechanics. It’s the great visuals and art style the jokes which use original voice clippings and the constant use of slapstick comedy and background jokes that can be quite subtle in some instances.
The good thing is that although the game is named after Jurassic World, the game actually features content from all four films in the series with each film getting five levels each. This means that you can watch Jurassic World with your children in the cinema over the next few weeks and replay the film in Lego format but then relive your own childhood by playing with Lego Dr Ian Malcom. His manly essence even oozes when he’s made from plastic.
As you’d imagine the main set pieces from each film are lovingly recreated in Lego form with the trademark humour ever present and even making some of the slightly scarier scenes more child friendly. The classic scene from Jurassic Park when the T Rex escapes looks great as you can see in the screenshot above but it’s been recreated in a way that’s fun rather than getting you on the edge of your seat. The great adaptations continue though scenes in The Lost World and Jurassic Park III and all contribute to a bunch of fun levels.
To sum up
Lego Jurassic World doesn’t evolve the Lego series but does serves up another fine piece of entertainment that will keep fans of both Lego games and the film series happy. The co-op feature still continues to be perfect for parents to play with their children and despite the lack of new ideas, the Lego games continue to be one of the best games around.
Lego Jurassic World is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita and PC.