Platforms: PC, Mac, 3DS, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
We played on: Wii U
LEGO Jurassic World is the latest in a long line of franchise-ready tie-ins crafted in LEGO form. LEGO Jurassic World continues the trend of breaking and building objects, unlocking and using a wide variety of characters, and offering a large amount of replay value through hidden items and puzzles. By combining some pretty tense PG-13 movies into the humorous slapstick LEGO style, LEGO Jurassic World creates a fun if occasionally awkward experience.
Instead of focusing on the new movie release, LEGO Jurassic World lets you play through all four Jurassic Park movies. Fans will immediately recognize classic scenes and characters. There are five levels for each movie. You can play as a variety of the characters from all films.
The game takes some liberties with the story to create scenes that are more game-like in nature. For example, when the Tyrannosaurus Rex first attacks the cars outside the rain-soaked paddock, you run around solving puzzles to help the trapped kids.
There’s rarely any actual danger or combat throughout the entire adventure. As the great Dr. Ian Malcolm once said, it’s mostly running and screaming. Levels are often punctuated with chase sequences, where characters automatically run at the camera. While the car chases can be fun (like the famous “Must Go Faster” scene in the original film) they grow increasingly repetitive.
LEGO Jurassic World, like other LEGO games allows you play as LEGO mini figures as they run around the world. The LEGO games are designed to be silly and easy to play. They have a variety of characters, almost all of which are playable as you move through the game.
All of the characters have their own set of abilities and items inspired by the films. For example, Dr. Grant can dig for fossils and build unique objects. Dr. Malcolm can use his analytical brain to solve simple color-matching puzzles and use a flare to explore dark areas.
Between each of the five levels, you’re allowed to explore the island to get to the next story-level. In Jurassic World level this is quite enjoyable as you get to walk around the park and see all the fun exhibits. The gameplay focused on the other three films feels almost pointless as you’re mostly just walking along paths and jungle to get to the next area. It gets better in Free Play Mode when you can solve new puzzles using all your acquired characters. As in previous LEGO games there’s a lot of stuff to do and lots to collect. Workers in peril, sick dinosaurs, and vehicle races all reward you with bricks that can be used to unlock a variety of goodies.
The most exciting gameplay element is the playable dinosaurs. During the story mode you’re occasionally given brief control of a dinosaur. The dinosaurs are fun to play. Like the other characters they can be used to create custom figures with unique heads, tails, and color patterns.
LEGO Jurassic World does have some drawbacks. If you’re just looking to play in the fun dino-playground of the Jurassic World film you might be disappointed. The game version of Jurassic World is only a fourth of the 10-hour adventure. I think the game would have been better served by just focusing on that film rather than including all the others. Jumping around between levels and movies is a needless hassle thanks to some overly long loading screens.
It was also jarring to hear real audio clips taken from the films coming out of the LEGO characters’ mouths. A character will yell and scream like in the film while their cute little LEGO figure simply flails around adorably.
LEGO Jurassic World is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and up by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence and Crude Humor. Traveller’s Tales does an impressive job taking content from movies and making it so kid-friendly that my toddler giggles at the various antics and animations. Dying only gives a small stud penalty as your character explodes into LEGO pieces, then quickly reappears. Every character is capable of punching (and a few have guns). But you’re mostly attacking inanimate objects to collect more studs or build other objects.
LEGO Jurassic World holds tight to the classic LEGO video game style, which has become both endearing and somewhat tiresome. Including all four movies is an interesting choice that would seem to draw in older nostalgic fans, but the Jurassic World levels are clearly the most fun to play. Two-player local cooperative play is still a huge selling point. It works particularly well on Wii U as one player can use the gamepad while the other gets the TV screen. Fans of the LEGO style and the Jurassic Park franchise will find a lot to love, but ultimately LEGO Jurassic World feels like a small step backward compared to previous LEGO games.