By Kimari Rennis
Finally! A new Lego game that isn’t based on a movie or show. Ages 4 to 99 can enjoy hundreds of dollars worth of Legos without the pain of losing or stepping on them. Lego Worlds is a sandbox exploration game where you can build, create and marvel at your own work. After skydiving into a world as an astronaut in space, your goal is to become a “Master Builder.” But there are problems because Lego Worlds brings nothing new to the table.
Lego Worlds did not have what I was expecting. I thought that the game would allow me to immediately start building whatever I wanted – as in Minecraft. I thought that I would instantly be able to experiment and use all of the tools I was given. That didn’t happen. During my time playing, I got bored very quickly. Before I even thought about completing the quests, I explored the world and my surroundings. Even during that time, the controls restricted me from enjoying my exploration. The game seemed to get repetitive and uninteresting. My objective in every world I went to was, finding the meteor, discovering a new tool, and looking for golden bricks in order to leave. I did not enjoy forcing myself to follow the game’s script to get all the tools necessary to actually have fun.
For Lego Worlds, credit the game’s rendering and graphics. It’s really nice to see every stud on each Lego brick. The game’s atmosphere and pre-rendered environments are really well made. Players can travel to lands entirely made of ice cream and sweets and to dust and ash fields with volcanoes and bones. Every aspect of the game, even to the water, is made of Legos.
And one of the strengths of this game is the genre. Although the idea of a sandbox game full of creating and building isn’t new, it’s a genre of games where the world can be your canvas! Throughout Lego Worlds, you chase meteors in which you are greeted with powerful and colorful tools. These tools allow you to build, flatten out, expand, dig and collect. You can do whatever you want and build whatever you want.
Here’s the catch. It’s difficult to apply a story to Lego Worlds. It isn’t the plot of the story that weakens the game. It’s the negative effects that are caused through the developer’s attempt to implement a story. All story does in this game is slow players down. Your heart’s desire to create and build is irritatingly restricted by pursuing golden bricks and unlocks and quests. It’s unbelievably time-consuming to have to find, collect then purchase all of materials and tools to build that Kracken fortress in the middle of the ocean that you wanted to do at the beginning of the game. And even then, you have complete quests to obtain gold Lego bricks in order to create your own world. Sadly, there’s a lot more sandbox games, such as Minecraft, that do a better job fulfilling the promise of its genre.
As for controls on the PC, it’s generous of the game to allow full controller support. But the PC version alone has a pretty wonky camera settings and controls. This can be annoying at times as you struggle to try and focus on what you’re building or simply traversing the land. This can also be a problem when you’re building a cool mansion and you want to look around your project from the inside. An awkward camera view within a confined area in a video game is not the best combination.
One major weakness is something that many sandbox games suffer from. In Lego Worlds, excitement runs out quickly and gameplay begins to get repetitive. Plus, Lego Worlds isn’t endless enough. In order to stand out as a game and maintain a player’s attention, you need lasting thrills, varied possibilities and mysteries to uncover.
One thing that could be added to Lego Worlds to make it better would be a more in-depth way to make your own adventure. When I say “make your own adventure,” I mean: making your own quests, characters and even scripted events.The ability to bring your larger Lego creations to life would be a wonderful addition. Think about creating the legendary leviathan as huge Lego creature and watch in awe as it lurks in the stud ocean, waiting for its next foe.
Ultimately, Lego Worlds is nothing new. However, the effort is definitely evident. Just a few tweaks and add-ons and this game could stand out amongst the better sandbox creation games. At least the game isn’t $60, because it definitely isn’t worth that much. Lego Worlds lacks downloadable content, even as a $30 game. The game makers promise almost weekly additions. I hope that happens soon.
Kimari Rennis is a New York Videogame Critics Circle intern from our partnership with the DreamYard School in the Bronx. Her last story about about Plants vs. Zombies.