lego-worlds-screen-03-ps4-us-11nov16

Console: PlayStation 4

Pros

* Greatly Entertaining Environments to Explore

* Endless amount of discoveries and unlocks

* Amazing freedom to build and tools to utilize

Cons

* World objectives can get repetitive

* Glitches will be common but nothing game breaking so far

—————-

Like most reviews, I like to set the stage by introducing the game or perhaps discussing my history with the franchise.  Honestly though, who needs an introduction to LEGO?  Who needs to be explained the cultural significance of a brand like LEGO?   If you have followed any of my previous coverage of LEGO titles my personal attachment should be no secret, but what you may be asking yourself is “What is Lego Worlds?”  For that question I would start with my previous review of Lego Worlds for the initial PC launch to give yourself a brief introduction into what this title is all about.

So yes, I have already reviewed this title before… “Why review Lego Worlds again?”  The simple answer is that this title has evolved an incredible amount since it’s release on PC and it’s no longer just an open environment without goals.  Now Lego Worlds resembles an actual game complete with unlockables, objectives and just a whole lot more tools to enjoy the Lego…. well… World.

Presentation: A

My initial reaction going into this was that of joy and surprise on how much they actually added since the last time I played.  The user interface is so much easier to navigate and figure out what is actually going on.  There is a real title screen now complete with solo and online options.  The options presented here are pretty standard these days but it doesn’t make them any less exciting.  Having the option to host or join online worlds with your friends is where this game shines.  Another amazing feature that so often gets skipped over is the inclusion of Split Screen Co-Op or Couch Co-Op.  While I enjoy the convenience of playing with my friends online there is still nothing like being in the same room with someone and playing on the same screen.  Perhaps this statement is just showing my age when this was the only multiplayer option available and I’m simply just living off nostalgia, but I don’t think so.  Regardless of your preference Lego Worlds has you covered.

The controls take a bit to get used to once you are actually in the game.  While it’s nothing that is too painful I found it annoying to navigate within the pause menu and there were a handful of times that using the freeform building tools I tended to make more mistakes than I wanted.  I do hate even mentioning this as there isn’t anything that I would consider a deal breaker and I don’t want this title to be marked with a tag like “Bad Controls” because it really doesn’t.  I really think the key here is a few odd interface choices and just a ton of functionality.  Anytime you make so many tools available it can take a while to get your hands to remember exactly what you need to do if the interface isn’t as intuitive as it could be.

The visuals are exactly what you would expect if you played any of the previous Lego games.  I did experience quite a lot of Pop In while playing however.  This is actually a pretty big issue at times as frequently I had to stop and wait for more of the world to load because I hit an invisible wall of sorts. This can be frustrating but for some reason it doesn’t seem to bother as much as perhaps it should.  In fact all of the issues that I came across in this game didn’t ever feel like too much of a burden.  I suppose I would like for them to be fixed in the future, but I was just happy to be able to jump into a freely customizable Lego World so anything I encountered was just a part of it.  I understand not all people feel that way, so I at least felt the need to mention these things as go.

While we are on the subject of issues though, there was one moment where I was saving my progress when exiting the game and received an error message and the title crashed.  This was after a full night of playing and I feared losing all my progress so I immediately loaded the game back up to verify I still had my data.  My fears were realized when I selected load game and was met with an error message.  To my surprise however when I tried loading a second time the game realized something was wrong and performed some type of recovery and brought me into a world.  While I did lose the last world I was on all of my character progress was loaded.  From there I could save again and everything worked as expected.  Since then I haven’t had any more issues so I can’t comment on whether or not other people will encounter this, but at least in this case everything sorted itself out.

Single Player: A+

While we got some of that stuff out-of-the-way, we haven’t really talked about what’s changed have we?  Perhaps the biggest change for me is the overall structure.  The game starts with you falling from the sky and the option to customize your astronaut before landing on a random world.  The main goal here is to perform tasks to earn gold bricks and unlock Lego components as you navigate the various worlds.  You can obtain gold bricks by encountering NPCs throughout your explorations that will requests certain tasks like painting their barn or house, or maybe they are looking to getting more chickens on their farm, or perhaps someone they know is trapped in a cage.  You can help solve all of these by using various tools available to you in order to manipulate the world as you see fit.

You will have to unlock these tools but this part is actually a very natural occurrence and will only take a bit to have all of the major tools available.  What kind of tools you may ask?  The main tool you will be using throughout your adventure is the discovery tool.  You will spend a lot of time walking around with this bad boy out to be honest.  This allows you to discover any item in each world for unlocking as use later.  For example you may see red snake slithering on the ground and once scanned using your Discovery tool, you are able to unlock the use of this creature and generate as many of these as you wish.  The great thing about this is each world is themed for the most part.  So you will encounter a candy world, deserts, forests etc.  Using this tool will let you bring Gingerbread Men into barnyards or lava mountains or wherever you would like to see them.  This isn’t just for beings, but objects in the environment or even vehicles.

There is of course a Paint Tool that will let you repaint any bricks you encounter, but the cool thing about this tool is all of the color selections are also unlockables.  Once you have unlocked Lava for instance not only can you repaint a house in the Lava color, but the attributes change and the walls actually become Lava that will leave you damaged if touched.  This is very fun to play with and can make for some really interesting structures.

The copy tool is very handy.  Essentially you are just given a selection box that you can use to highlight any prebuilt or user built structure and save to your profile.  So if you like that Gingerbread house or spent 3 hours building your dream home, simply use this copy tool to select it and copy it.  From there you can provide and name whatever you selected will now be an unlocked item to place in any world at your discretion.

Another tool lets you morph to the environment at your will.  You can lower or raise the ground or you can simply just level things out to provide you with the perfect building spot.  This tool is customizable with various shapes and sizes so there is plenty of flexibility here.

Perhaps the most powerful tool and my favorite is the build tool.  This pretty much just gives you the ability to build brick by brick and construct whatever structure you desire.  There are a few times when the camera would get in my way with this one, but again this wasn’t a huge issue and just took a little bit of extra manipulation.

Once unlocked this tools are free to use at your disposal and are in no way tied to any of the mini quests that you will encounter.  So if you don’t want to mess with them and just have fun with your toys by all means do so.  We did however discuss you obtain gold bricks by doing these tasks though and perhaps the other big reason for doing these quests is that’s the only way you can discover some of the people to use their components or some of the creatures are unlocked in this way.  What that means is that if you want a pirate beard or an alligator to ride you will need to perform a task or quest before unlocking the ability to discover them.  There are also times where you will need to leave that world and find that creature later on to even get a quest.

Throughout your explorations you will accumulate all sorts of items, creature and people who will show up in your inventory.  From there the next step is to unlock them and you can do this by using the standard coin currency as seen in all the previous Lego games.  The weird thing is I always have a ton of these coins and just unlock whatever I want so with them being so plentiful I don’t see much of a point in even implementing this system.  The gold bricks however are very useful and can be scarce.  This biggest reason for needing these is to advance to bigger worlds.  There are several goals to meet and once you obtain that amount you will be able to start navigating from the smaller starter worlds to medium, large and even custom worlds.  This is pretty cool system and gives you something to work for.

Multiplayer: A+

There isn’t really much to say here except that everything available in the Singleplayer is available here.  You are able to play with your friends locally or online and there doesn’t appear to be restrictions on what is available.

Replay Value: A+

Aside from exploring and discovering items there isn’t really much else to this title with an exception of playing with the building and morphing tools to create whatever you would like, but honestly what more could you want from a Lego title.  While the quests and objectives are pretty basic, that also isn’t really the main focus.  It is nice to have these aspects and provide some form of objectives and incentive to keep jumping back in and unlocking more stuff, but Lego Worlds is all about freedom.  The freedom to explore the various worlds filled with creatures and adventures.  The freedom to build and create amazing structures and share them with your friends.

There are plenty of other Lego titles out there that focus of storylines and more structured missions.  If you just want an open sandbox with plenty to explore whether it be solo or with your friends this title is a must have for sure.

Overall: A+

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