LEGO Dimensions Level Pack Reviews – Back to the Future, The Simpsons, Portal 2
If you haven’t seen our review of LEGO Dimensions, you can click here to do so. This review will cover the extra Level Packs available on launch day individually. Each Level Pack costs $50 RRP.
Regardless of what level pack you buy, to access them you will need the minifig associated on the Toy Pad to enter, similar to adventure worlds. Ie: Even if you have played the Simpsons Level additional level before, you will need Homer on the toy pad to enter the level. Every Level Pack grants access to the Adventure World of that franchise to.
Level Packs are additional levels in the game from 6 of the 14 franchises. The Simpsons, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Portal 2 & Midway Arcade all featured levels in the base game, but will feature an additional level based on their individual franchise and characters unlike the mash up of the base game.
Back to the Future
Set Includes – Marty McFly Minifig, Delorean & Hoverboard Vehicles.
This set is a hit and miss for me, the Delorean looks great (it even has functioning doors!) and easily is the highlight here, but Marty’s guitar has barely any detail and the Hoverboard… well… it’s a solid peice of lego plastic on a little podium, there’s only so much you can do to make a skateboard without wheels look cool. Functionally in game, the Hoverboard will do it’s best to follow the active character and will allow you to glide across gaps at the height you were at for a few seconds before dropping down to the ground. The Delorean is one of 2 (the other being the Time Train sold with Doc Brown) vehicles that can be used to travel back and to the future using accelerator panels to build up to 88 miles an hour, these pop up in a lot of levels and adventure worlds and it’s fantastic to see how time changes a level, whether it be Hill Valley, or Midway Arcade.
The Story content of this Level Pack is unfortunate to say the least, It’s a retelling of Back to the Future. While this might sound great to you, the sections of the story you get are Marty trying to find the Doc and building the Amplifier, trying to get away from the Libyans and traveling back in time to 1955 to meet up with Doc from the past and then finally connecting the delorean to the lightning strike. The most confusing thing is Marty will have the 2015 hoverboard (and build it in game) in 1985! He just says “well this isn’t from my time” before he even knows about time travel, it’s a nitpick sure, but with the care and love the other franchises got it’s a tad upsetting. Overall this took me about 30 minutes to complete, and that was a lot of me messing around breaking everything and trying to find all the Minikits, and if you wanted to get from point a to b, i wouldn’t be shocked if you beat it in under 20 minutes your first time.
At first I was disappointed with the Adventure World for Back to the Future, as it was relatively flat and self contained.. that’s until I traveled through time however. Yes you’re actually getting 3 smaller Adventure Worlds for Hill Valley, one in 1885, 1985 and 2015. Your actions from the past will change minor things in the future and overall it’s great to see how the exact same area can change over the course of 130 years.
With Doc Brown’s Fun Pack coming in at half the price of the Level Kit, and coming with the Time Train that can travel through time like the Delorean and have access to the adventure world, I would suggest unless you’re desperate for the 30 minutes of content I got from the Story Level, to buy this Fun Pack instead. Overall I was pretty disappointed with how fast it skipped through the movie, and how locked off and small most of the areas were.
Set Includes – Chell w/Portal Gun Minifig, Sentry Turret & Companion Cube.
While it seems Valve can’t count to three, they at least let out the licenses for Portal 2 to be included into LEGO Dimensions. LEGO Portal does not exist outside of this game either in sets or video game form, but it’s absolutely brilliant how they translated the Sentry Turret, Chell and her Portal Gun, and even the Companion Cube into LEGO form. These stand out as some of the best looking figures in Wave 1, even so that I’ve seen a lot of people comment that regardless of their interest in the game, the LEGO designs look brilliant enough to buy. In game the Portal Gun works almost exactly like the game, you will only be able to shoot portals on very limited and specific walls, Companion Cube is used for pressure sensitive switches, and the Turret? Well that’s pretty badass. The Sentry Turret is now on your side, and to accommodate this there’s new Turret Switches that require a constant stream of bullets to activate certain switches, in addition to this it’s still considered a vehicle so you can ride and fly around on it once upgraded.
The Portal level in the base game was brilliant. It was a great substitute for puzzles based around the Toy Pad, rather than from it’s source material. However now with Chell, Portal Guns, Companion Cubes and more, this Level Pack is outright perfection. Clocking in at about an hour, spanning over 10 test chambers and a completely original story set after the events of Portal 2, this feels more like Portal 3 than LEGO. With Chell required to access the level, the story takes place around her, Glados & Wheatley interacting with each other. This level is a lot less of a Lego vibe, you will certainly be building and destroying objects, but for the most part you will be puzzle solving in test chambers that very much resemble Portal 2. Aerial Faith plates, Companion Cube Switches, Excursion Funnels, Propulsion Gel, Repulsion Gel, Thermal Discouragement Beams and so much more return to make a fully fleshed out Portal 2 Experience.
The emphasis on Portal 2 is important, as the way the story is written it takes place after the events of Portal 2 and has all the mechanics that were first introduced. For the 4 people who haven’t played Portal 2 yet this will be a little confusing and won’t pick up on some of the in jokes, even light spoilers. To those that have, you will see some blue gel on the ground and immediately know what to do with it, and that’s the beauty of the level design. It’s constructed so Portal 2 fans get something new, and newcomers get a compact sort of “Best of” version of Portal 2 mechanics to introduce you. Like the other levels in the game, there’s a hidden area that is tied behind a character ability, this time it’s X-ray. Currently only Zane has this ability, and it’s maybe worth looking into as there’s about 4 Test Chambers locked behind this.
The Adventure World for Portal 2 takes place in a dilapidated Aperture Science, but if you access the Delorean Time Switches you can restore sections of the facility back to it’s former glory resembling more the likes of the original Portal. There’s a lot of puzzle solving whether it be with the Portal 2 elements, or the Toy Pads Keystones, and focuses on this rather than an open world exploration like the other levels. It’s well crafted and again adds a lot of new original test chambers, and you can even bake a cake.
Portal 2’s Level Pack is the only Portal figures being released for this game, so to access the Adventure World you will need to buy the Level Pack. While this is one of the higher costs, if you’re a fan of Portal 2 you will for sure get your money’s worth, in my opinion this is one of the best levels in the game.
Set Includes: Homer Minifig, Homer’s Car & Taunt-o-Vision
In my review of the base game, I criticized the Simpsons Level not having any of the licensing and thus no music or original voice acting. I guess somewhat creatively they decided to chose an episode from 1997 to base the level off, The Mysterious Voyage of Homer Simpson. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s the episode where Homer eats the Guatemalan Insanity pepper and starts going on a tripped out journey to find his Soulmate. This is a smart way to deal with the lisecening, it’s a well known episode and for the most part can substitute a lot of the music. However for an episode that deals with Homer finding his soulmate (who is marge, guys it’s been 18 years) without having any dialogue other than homers, in an episode that relies on supporting characters like Flanders & Mr Burns along with his bloody soulmate Marge.. everything’s there to represent the episode thematically and visually, but when there’s no dialogue about 2 alarm chili, or any audio of Marge saying “I Love you homer!”.. it just further highlights this of all the franchises was done to sell units, and not done out of love and care for the source material.
The Figures themselves are pretty underwhelming. Homer is straight out of the official Lego sets, Homers Car other than being Pink, could be the car from anything, which is disappointing as i personally would adore a Mr Plow truck. The Taunt-o-vision is the most unique, it’s the family TV featuring Itchy & Scratchy, and in it’s base configuration when it’s removed from the Toy pad will explode silver lego bricks and somewhat confusingly in it’s final form it turns into a mech.. yeah not sure about that one.
If you have seen the episode, you know what the story is going to be, and the level itself is well put together and lengthy clocking in for me at about an hour. It’s not the most interesting level, but it’s certainly a better way to spend your money than the Back to the Future level (weird that a 20 minute episode got an hour long level, and a hour long movie got a 20 minute level).
The Adventure world… well you know what I’m going to say right? It’s set in springfield featuring everything from the Power Plant, to Krustyland, in a compact and detailed environment. Visually it’s great to see everything from KBBL to Radioactive Man but, and it’s beating a dead horse here sure, aside from the random dialogue spliced in, there’s nothing new recorded for the quests, and given the other franchises in this game and how much care they have, even the largest simpson fan could probably agree they could have, and have done a lot better in the past. Seriously, where’s my HD Remake of Hit & Run?
Don’t worry, I won’t say it again. I would wait for this to go on sale before picking it up, nothing in the pack whether it be Homer or the extras have unique abilities, and Krusty & Bart will give you access to the adventure world when they are released in a couple of weeks time. It’s a disappointing outcome for the pack, but I suppose it reflects the TV show in more ways than one.
All in all, you have to take into consideration while the price may seem high to how much in-game content you are receiving, you’re not only getting in-game content, you’re getting LEGO. Minifigs for example can cost up to $5 for a blind bag Simpsons Set. If you take away $5 for the figure, and let’s be very modest at $5 for each of the vehicles, that is $15 alone worth of LEGO. Not only do you get an extra hour of content for the most part, but you also get a new character with new abilities to enhance the base game experience and duration. At the end of the day, this is nothing new as Disney Infinity & Skylanders have been doing the same thing with add-on content at a similar price, sometimes it’s worth it, others it’s not. You will have to be the judge at the end of the day how much you buy into this game.
If you need a score;
- Back to the Future – 2/5 (for fans add one, the Delorean is worth it)
- Portal 2 – 5/5
- The Simpsons – 3/5
Well that’s that for our massive in depth review of LEGO Dimensions. Doctor Who’s Level Pack is out in 2 Weeks time, November 4th, along with Wave 2 which we will be featuring on the site in due time, and then Ghostbusters & Midway Arcade are out in January & March respectively.