A fun and varied new twist on the Lego videogame formula
Game review: Lego Dimensions
Platform: Playstation 4 (reviewed) / Xbox One / Wii U / Playstation 3 / Xbox 360
THE toys to life genre is becoming an increasingly crowded marketplace vying for the lucrative business of families keen to play together, but that has not stopped Warner Bros from muscling in on the action with arguably one of the biggest kids friendly franchises out there - Lego. It is a welcome and refreshing addition, although if you want to get full value out of it, be warned: it will cost a pretty penny.
Dimensions arrives at the right time for the Lego series. While recent entries, such as Jurassic World - have demonstrated a consistent charm, the formulaic nature of the games and the frequency with which they have been released has dimmed their impact. By contrast, Dimensions shakes things up with the introduction of the physical toys, which are as hardy and appealing as any other Lego product.
Dimensions lets you build characters and vehicles, not just place them on portals
While games like Skylanders simply ask you to plonk a figurine on a portal in order to have the character represented on-screen, Dimensions asks you to use your mini-figures and building blocks imaginatively, constructing designs you can then put to use in-game. Better still, the Lego portal - which you can build to your own fancy - allows you to place several characters or vehicles on it at any one time, giving the game a much deeper sense of interaction than its competitors.
The actual third person gameplay itself is instantly recognisable to anyone who has played a Lego game over the past few years and although the blend of light combat and puzzling is not as innovative as some might have wished for, the vast array of licences packed into Dimensions - the highlights include DC Comics, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future - means that there is enough variety on offer to keep things fresh, especially when the various worlds collide.
The starter pack has depth but completionists will require deep pockets
While the starter pack has a pleasing depth of challenges on offer and will take up around 14 or 15 hours of your time to complete, its retail price - it is currently being sold for around £80 - is hard to stomach, especially when you bear in mind that further characters and level packs will bump the price up further.
It is a punitive price tag that will no doubt dissuade many floating Lego fans from picking up a copy, especially when the other new entries in the toys to life genre - Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders Superchargers - can be bought for £30 less. But out of all the games available, Dimensions strikes the best balance between an entertaining video game and memorable physical toys.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
If you’re stumped over how to build a character or vehicle, some useful advice can be found in the in-game character wheel.
Try experimenting with your mini-figures by combining different items on the one character. This allows you to mash up famous figures and franchises.
The cheats menu allows you to make shortcuts in the game by building faster and identifying mini-kits easier. We won’t tempt you, but the codes are available online if you look in the right place.