Since 2009, we have been blessed with what is arguably the greatest creation game of all time. Minecraft was introduced and the world hasn’t looked back. Capturing the imagination of both Children and Adults, the success of the franchise has spawned numerous ports, merchandise, imitations and even an upcoming title called Minecraft: Story Mode. I was a little late to the Minecraft revolution and wasn’t really sure what all of the fuss was about. That was until of course I gave it a try and realized what I was missing. My first thought was “This is like a living Lego World” and hours later I was still chipping away and mining resources.
Five years later I’m crafting pyramids with my six year old son and building a roller coaster to try and impress my wife. ( I know it’s lame) Minecraft is a one of a kind cultural phenomenon and still manages to surprise me with it’s depth and newly added items via regular content updates.
When I first got the e-mail about Lego Worlds I was beside myself. Could this be what we were all waiting for? I hadn’t realized much was missing from Minecraft, but surely this has something right? So what would any creation buff do, I jumped in as soon as I could.
The emphasis on player choice is prominent immediately from the start screen. You are presented with a beautiful view of the world you are about to jump in and provided the ability to randomly select a new map or punch in coordinates much like the seed system in Minecraft. I really hate to compare two games so closely, but Lego Worlds is exactly what Minecraft fans hoped for when they first loaded up that survival/creation sim. Once in the world it bears some resemblance to Mojang’s world, however due to actually being generated from Lego blocks everything is built from much smaller bricks that at times can look a bit more sloppy than MC.
Probably the biggest different between the two games however is the overall objective. While MC included a creative mode, this option was merely added later and the emphasis focused on the survival mode. Lego Worlds to me focuses purely on exploration and creation. Starting out with very few building options and only three characters with hardly any customization options quickly change once you start traversing the world. If you encounter a skeleton, just attack it and you unlock the ability to buy the character and it’s customization options. See a Horse…..just hop on to unlock that option. Whether it’s a vehicle, character or dragon…. Yes Dragon! You can quickly earn the opportunity to purchase these options with the usual Lego block currency we have become accustomed to. This is an amazing easy mechanic that is extremely rewarding and highly promotes exploration.
Lego World… Check
Lego Characters, Animals, and Vehicles…. Check
Buying items with Lego Currency…. Check
But what else?
I spent the weekend playing with my son to see what we could discover. The amount of customization and building tools included in this game is something to be witnessed. In MineCraft you are forced to build brick by brick and there aren’t really very many shortcuts to this mechanic. Lego Worlds is a completely different story. Not only can you tackle building brick by brick (which is amazing) and enjoy different blocks both by style and color, but there are shortcuts that make large scale projects much easier. Using terraforming tools like the ones found in Far Cry and Sim City, you can shape and morph the land to your complete specifications and not spent hours doing so.
You can also place Lego “Sets” in place that allow you to build completely structures quickly. Placing a house within minutes and taking a few moments to relax on the patio is a pretty neat edition. My son found this option while I was in the other room and surprised me when I seen him grilling out in the his backyard and cutting the grass with his lawnmower. A few hours in we managed to find a steam roller to smooth out roads, planes to soar the sky and a drilling vehicle that reminds me of the Modules on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is by far the coolest toy giving you the ability to just drill into the side of anything in the world.
One of the other great features in Lego Worlds is the inclusion of Treasure Chests spread throughout the land. Each one of these contain a usable item. This can range from binoculars, guns, swords and so many more. We haven’t found everything, but my sons face when he found a bazooka was priceless. The best thing about Lego Worlds is that it’s so amazing and it’s not even complete yet.
I have been hearing statements that this is the Minecraft Killer or at the very least heavy competition. I thought so at first to be honest, but after spending time with this title I quickly realized not only the similarities but many differences. I honestly feel that while Lego Worlds will attraction the exact same audience, there is easily room for both. I am loving my time with Lego Worlds, but with it I still miss the charm and culture that Minecraft has created.
You can jump into Lego World now with Steam Early Access. If you have been holding out on this, the good news is you don’t have to. The early access is well worth it and I look forward to seeing what additions come in the future.
Keep this one on your radar…..