Weekly Gaming: Lego Jurassic World (PS4)

Whilst playing through Lego Jurassic World one thing constantly surprised me; everytime I brought up that I was playing the game to friends and family the absolutely universal love all people (gamers and non-gamers alike) have for the series is shocking.  I was surprised for example that my own girlfriend, a lady who rarely plays games, loves the Lego series, so much so that it was her that bought this copy.

There has to be a reason for this universal love, and one which by the end of this review, I hope to get to the bottom of.

First up, the graphics, which given this is a Lego game, you can imagine there’s not much of the stuff. It doesn’t take much to make simplistic figures with next to no geometry look like real-life plastic, and Jurassic world does it with ease. Oddly enough, despite the lack of need for pretty graphics, the developers have actually managed to flourish the world with highly detailed environments, so details in fact that it can look a little jarring when compared to the characters themselves. Overall the graphics suit the gameplay perfectly, which is to say they’re not the reason you’re here, but they’re ok to look at too.

Speaking of gameplay, it’s your standard lego affair. You play through each of the films, albeit with lego figures, and proceed to beat up baddies and solve puzzles by inventing fantastic lego contraptions to get past the current road block. There’s lots of destroying of items around the environment, and lots of Lego stubs to collect throughout (the stubs are currency), along with multiple collectibles which can help you progress through the game.

Whilst this gameplay is slow, simple, and repetitive, I can’t help but think this is the core reason the Lego games are looked on in such high regard. You see, whilst the campaigns don’t push you as a player, and are so lenient that you can never lose, they’re great ways to sink your time into some mindless fun. There are times for all of us where life can get us down, maybe we’ve just had a bad day at work, or someones annoyed us, regardless of the reason, we sit down and put our time into games to forget the world, and, more importantly, waste time until the next day.

Lego Jurassic World (and other Lego games) manage to take away all the sharp edges of a difficult and challenging game, and as a consequence, give you a good time that anyone, no matter how old or young, can enjoy.

It’s a fantastic time sink. Plain and simple.

This isn’t to say it’s boring because of that fact. Far from it. Not having to worry about dying, or failing quick time events free’s you up to participate in the game at your own rate, even going so far as to let you sit back and appreciate the finer details of a lego game. The jokes, for example, are given a chance to shine, since not even the characters or dinosaurs themselves care too much about the overall narrative, allowing everyone to have a good time with great jokes.

My favourite joke was easily based around the tall grass section of Jurassic Park 3. The velociraptors are hidden in the grass, and it’s your job to successfully navigate past them without being seen. At one point, you create a lawn mower, prompting the raptor that was blocking your path into chasing it down. This in itself wasn’t funny, but later it comes back, with the velociraptor itself now being chased by the small device. It’s jokes like these that come back time and time again that help everyone to laugh together, family and characters in the game included.

Once the main campaign was out of the way, it was on to collecting all of the collectibles, and my god were there many! From Red Bricks that give you “cheats” to use throughout the game (such as a stub multiplier) to camera opportunities that need to be found, the whole world requires so many replays that it feels labourious at times, albeit fun too when you’ve managed to complete an entire level after searching every nook and cranny.

Freeplay mode will help out a great deal in getting everything on offer, with the game allowing you to hot-switch between characters at a moments notice. Considering there’s plenty of collectibles hidden throughout the environment that can only be accessed by certain characters, you’re going to be hot-swapping a lot.

Then there’s the drop-in and drop-out nature of the multiplayer, which I must admit is a god send. Lucy would be playing the game when I got in from work, and without any faffing around I was able to pick up a controller, and jump straight in, helping her out and completing levels as and when needed. When I’d had enough, I’d just drop out, allowing her to continue without any hesitation. This form of multiplayer is hands-down fantastic, and needs to be done in other games more regularly, allowing for friends and family to participate in a challenge together is always going to be fun, and I’d love to see it done in other genres.

Overall, I can certainly see why there are so many fans of Lego games out there. Lego Jurassic World may not be breaking any conventions, and isn’t pushing any barriers in the graphics department, but my god is it fun and a fantastic way to lose an evening without realising. With this in mind, I’m definitely going to play more Lego games in the future, especially given how easy it would be for me to drop-in and drop out at a moments notice should Lucy be playing it. Should you be able to get the games for cheap and have a console able to play them, definitely buy Lego Jurassic World, you won’t be disappointed.

4/5

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