LEGO video games are nothing new anymore. There are at least a couple different video game releases in the series every year. Popular movie franchises get turned into the world’s most popular building brick then players go around familiar environments destroying everything in sight. The formula hasn’t really changed that much since the beginning of what I like to call the “modern” Lego video game era and the release of LEGO Star Wars in 2005. You play as various characters from the specific franchise destroying everything in sight then using those pieces to rebuild another part of the level to progress through the story. You collect studs. You collect characters. You collect gold bricks. You collect everything. It’s a formula that worked and has continued to work for years. Until that changes I don’t expect these games to change very much.
It’s also a formula that I’ve really liked. My kids and I enjoy playing these games together. There are franchises that they gravitate towards more like Harry Potter or the Avengers while I have franchises I really enjoy like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. LEGO Jurassic World is the most recent release in the series and it’s just as much fun to me as any other release in the series.
If you’ve played any recent LEGO game then you know exactly what to expect. If you haven’t, let me give you a brief rundown of the game. You play through the story of each of the four Jurassic movies as various characters that appear. You progress through the events of those films, solving small puzzles that usually involved destroying one part of the environment to get an object that is needed somewhere else in the immediate area. Sometimes destroyed objects are turned into piles of bricks that bounce around indicating you need to rebuild them into something else. As you progress you’ll play as different characters, each who have their own unique abilities that will need to be used in order to solve the various puzzles presented to you. Some will be able to dig through dinosaur dung, others can activate security consoles, and others jump higher than anyone else and so on. You can switch between any available characters with a simple button press so jumping around to solve all the puzzles is pretty easy. In co-op you and a partner will have to work together using each character’s unique abilities.
The great thing about these LEGO games is that you get to play as so many different characters. You don’t just have the main characters like, in this instance, Ian Malcom, Alan Grant or Ellie Sattler. You also get to play as various park wranglers, John Hammond, and even the dinosaurs themselves. As you play you’ll collect pieces of amber that you can then use to create your own dinosaur monstrosities. Do you want a T-rex with the head of a pteradon? Build it. Do you want to play as the sick stegosaurus from the first movie? Finish that level and you’ll get to play as her smashing through everything in sight. It’s really one of not only the best LEGO games, but the best Jurassic Park games to have been created. You really get to live out the fantasy of being a member of the science teams creating life on the island.
Visually the game looks as good as any LEGO game to come before it. All of the characters are instantly recognizable in LEGO form. The dinosaurs are big enough to feel imposing and at times scary while still having the LEGO charm. Like the most recent games in the franchise it also contains voice acting, much of which is pulled directly from the movie. If you’ve ever wanted to have a conversation with LEGO Jeff Goldblum (because honestly who hasn’t?) you can and it sounds just like him. I couldn’t really tell, but it did sound like some of the dialogue for a few of the characters has been re-recorded so it sounds a little off from what you might remember. Regardless it puts you directly into the stories of those films.
LEGO Jurassic World is filled with all the charm you would expect. While it does rely more on voice acting to convey scenes that previously were all done in pantomime some of that still exists. These games are really aimed towards families and younger generations. Some of the scenes, like the T-Rex eating Donald Gennero off a toiler, could be scary, but they’ve taken those elements and turned them into typical LEGO silliness. While it might change the overall tone of the film it’s based on it makes those scenes fit perfectly into the game. Much like all the other licensed properties these games are based off of you’ll have more fun and get through the game more easily if you are familiar with the movies that they are based on. It’s certainly not a requirement and each level is still easy enough to figure out, but it feels more natural to me if I’ve seen the movies that they’re based on. There could also be moments that might be considered spoilers if you haven’t seen certain films so be aware of that as you play as well.
Licensed games based on existing IP are generally looked down upon by the gaming community as a whole. I feel like the LEGO games more than any other get around that by just being fun. They remind people who grew up with the films they are based on of their youth. They introduce new generations to films and stories that they might not have seen yet, but then get interested in. They’re a wonderful time for families to sit together and play video games. More than anything after playing this one, however, I just want a LEGO version of Mr. DNA.