0
Review

The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame (Switch) Review

by March 11, 2019

Finally, The Lego Movie 2 is upon us, which means a new Lego game graces the consoles too. There has been a steady stream of Lego games that follow a formula and while it can be comfortable, it’s also less fun every time we go through the motions again. This time, TT Games are trying something different and combining The Lego Movie 2 with the Minecraft-inspired Lego Worlds. The question I begrudgingly ask is everything still awesome?

Following the ending from the first movie, Duplo has invaded Bricksburg and turned it into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And this is where the game begins. Not long after, every returning main character (Batman, Unikitty, Benny and Metalbeard) are captured and taken away. It’s up to Emmet and Lucy to get them back and stop General Mayhem. The Lego Movie 2: The Game does go over events that happen in the film, mostly through narration by Lucy who just tells us what is happening. The environments even resemble some of the moments in the movie, but there are less than a handful of cutscenes related to the movie or even situations from the movie. To be honest, following the movie is a hard act to follow. There’s so much interaction between the siblings in live action that has created these worlds that would be hard to play out in a game.

Even with that not included there is enough from the movie to still tell a story that they chose not to include in the game. Even more disrespectful is that the majority of what actually happens in the movie is chucked into the last 10 minutes of the game. To add insult to injury, the big songs from the movie are all in the credits instead of being throughout the game.

One of the biggest changes for this kind of Lego game is that it’s built on the Lego Worlds engine. It feels a bit like out with the old and in with the new, only it’s too early to tell if it was the right way to take it. If you loved Lego Worlds and the freedom to build it gave over the regular Lego games then you might feel more at home. If you like the more focused levels filled with Easter eggs from the source material then this game will take some getting used to. There’s no scouring the world for every hint of a minikit or desperately chasing every Lego stud to fill a meter. This is a much-needed change as Lego games followed the same pattern for so long. You’re still collecting the stud pieces, but they no longer need to fill a meter to get a bonus gold brick at the end of a level.

This alone is one of the most freeing changes made in a while, although to replace old collectfests they’ve mostly replaced them with new ones. Coloured Lego pieces that fall off of everything you destroy now can be collected to make new Master Build objects. In a way, you’re damned to have to still destroy everything and hoard Lego pieces. And don’t worry, you’ll still need to collect as many stud pieces as possible too. As always they’re needed to purchase characters, vehicles and world specific pieces. The actual collectable that opens up more of the worlds and move the story forward are the Master Build bricks (or sparkly purple bricks). These are given for completing tasks around the world, or are just found tucked away.

Another notable change in this game is the bosses, some of the worlds end in a boss battle against a giant Duplo brick creature. These bosses are giant and will be the biggest challenge for younger gamers. Each screen-filling colossus needs a different way to be brought down, then when they’re dazed it’s your opportunity to climb up onto the boss and help hit its weak points before continuing the pattern. While they aren’t amazing bosses they are by far the most interesting addition to this game.

Having the worlds more open and the experience more focused on your Master building skills, the environments unfortunately feel empty and lifeless. The main motivation besides collecting the purple bricks are scanning and collecting unique items to be able to use them in building your own world. In the end, it boils down to busywork, having to scour the worlds for scannable objects are a chore. Combined with the chores you’re expected to do to move the story along, this game feels like a lot of work. Any puzzle involves building the right object in the clearly marked area. While older Lego games could involve some light puzzle work, these ‘choose the right object from 3 options’ really stretch the meaning of the word puzzle.

If you prefer to make your own Lego worlds then there is plenty of opportunity here. You’re given your own space to build on, so you can have a world that is built from the blueprints for objects you’ve scanned or collected.

Being built off of Lego Worlds it finally hit me what had been bugging me from the early minutes of the game. The game feels like it’s been cobbled together with random themed objects and structures like it could’ve been procedurally generated. Gone are the finely crafted buildings and environments tailor-made for whatever franchise is attached to the Lego style. Objectives are either fetch quests, build items or destroy a certain amount of enemies, or worse you could be expected to drive some of the slowest vehicles possible. Opening up the world seems to have made each one of the planets aimless, unless you follow the bare minimum they provide for game progression. This isn’t helped if you’re not interested in making your own world using bits and pieces from the other worlds. This part of the game might be where kids have more fun, although it’s hard to imagine any kid that would have the patience to go from world to world scanning every item.

Along with the few worlds based off of the movie there are also a handful of worlds based off of worlds from the original Lego Movie such as old non-post-apocalyptic Bricksburg and Middle Earth. These have a short string of quests to accomplish so you can get more purple bricks and earn unique themed buildings for your own world. There is less to do in these worlds unless you want to scan every item for the building database. Given how small some of these worlds are, it feels like they’re solely there to pad out the length of the game (unless you’re really invested in collecting lego objects). There are also some DLC worlds on the way, but I have no idea when. It is good that there will be more to play for those who do enjoy the game.

Visually, the game is mixed. The environments can look impressive at times, when you don’t look too close or too far away. Being able to see all the different blocks the worlds are built with can be interesting. But on the Switch those environments start to look pretty rough as soon as things start moving. The frame rate is choppy throughout, with middling draw distance and weird visual effects. Losing the more fixed camera leads to poor camera angles, it gets caught on the environment and struggles to keep up.

Now hardly a surprise when a movie tie-in game is a cheap money grab and a bad to average game. Lego games for so long have managed to at least keep theirs fun enough that they’d still be worth checking out. Between the lifeless Lego World style environments and nearly absent story, it’s hard to believe that this game is what they decided to represent a long-awaited sequel. Given what little story they provide, one could wonder if they even shared what happens in the movie until the late stages of development or just a short turn around to be out in time for the movie.

I know I’ve given a pretty bleak look at this game, but it’s not a completely unplayable mess. There is some good hidden deep within. For kids, the lack of difficulty or consequences for being killed means anyone can play. If they just like mucking around with Lego and aren’t so fussed about story, they might even enjoy building their own world with familiar characters. As with most Lego games, there’s a co op mode which works just fine so you can build your own ideal Lego world together. While gathering all the objects and blueprints are a pain, it does provide a lot of customisation. Whether it’s what you want to build or making a custom character using pieces from minifigs you’ve obtained.


While Lego games have been getting stale over the years, I can’t say using the Lego Worlds template is an improvement. Instead of a game presenting levels based on and following the story of the second Lego Movie, it feels like an expansion tileset for Lego Worlds. All the charm from the movie has been stripped out, and all that’s left is a bland ‘minecraft’ inspired open world game that happens to have characters from the movie. If you enjoyed kicking around in Lego Worlds there’s more of that here, especially for those with kids who might enjoy anything Lego. If you’re after the usual fun Lego game take on the movie, prepare yourself to lower expectations dramatically.

Rating: 2.5/5

The Good

-Boss Battles are a nice change
-Lots of customisation available

The Bad

-More of a Lego Worlds expansion than a Lego Movie game
-Visual and technical issues
-Too many chores

Our Verdict
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Overall
Final Thoughts

While Lego games have been getting stale over the years I can’t say using the Lego Worlds template is an improvement. Instead of a game presenting levels based on and following the story of the second Lego Movie, it feels like an expansion tileset for Lego Worlds. All the charm from the movie has been stripped out and all that’s left is a bland ‘minecraft’ inspired open world game that happens to have characters from the movie. If you enjoyed kicking around in Lego Worlds there’s more of that here, especially for those with kids who might enjoy anything Lego. If you’re after the usual fun Lego game take on the movie prepare yourself to lower expectations dramatically.

Our Rating
User Rating
2 ratings
You have rated this
What's your reaction?
Awesome
0%
Oh wow!
0%
Great
0%
Fresh
33%
Hmm
0%
Disappointing!
67%
Grrrr
0%
About The Author
Paul Roberts
Lego enthusiast, Picross Master and appreciator of games.

Leave a Response

Overall