As any parent will tell you, LEGO gets everywhere, in your shoes, under rugs and right into the soles of your feet. It’s also all over my Xbox One, Stars Wars, Jurassic Park, Batman, Harry Potter and now, LEGO Worlds has joined our collection. At last a game just about the blocks rather than the franchise, but is it any good?
At a first glance you’ll think it’s a Minecraft clone, which is fair, but in this game TT Worlds has put their own spin on things. You play as an astronaut who crash lands on a tropical island, you are surrounded by pirates who have jobs for you to complete in exchange for Gold Bricks. It’s not long before you are whisked off to a new world with a volcano, where you’ll meet cavemen and women who also need your help. These are essentially tutorial levels that introduce you to the different tools available to you.
As you collect more gold bricks you’ll be able to unlock bigger worlds with more to do. As I watched my two boys play together in co-op it was great to see their excitement build as the next world was generated before their eyes. Eventually you’ll get to a stage where you won’t be landing on procedurally generated Worlds, you’ll be building your own.
To do this, you have a set of tools that perform different tasks. The Discovery tool is your most important, with this you can highlight objects on the world and ‘discover’ them. This adds them to an inventory of objects that you can use at any point, it may help you complete a task or it may just be useful when building in your own world. The scenery tool allows you to modify the environment in any way you see fit, you can raise or lower the ground to help you reach different areas of the map or to help you build in new places.
The build tool allows you to, build believe it or not, early on you asked to build a wall (I doubled checked and there wasn’t a LEGO version of Donald Trump). Finally you’ll gain access to copy and paint tools. The copy tool allows you to select an area of your choice that can be copied for later use, early on you’ll take a copy of a Gingerbread House to us me again.
Despite the wide range of tools the game lets itself down by over complicating the building, especially for younger players. The camera is the biggest issue, it seem to require constant attention, making building more difficult than it need to be. You learn to adjust but you shouldn’t have to. If you are building something small then you won’t find too many issues, but if you are looking to build something on a larger scale you are going to run into more problems.
In general, the gameplay is a bit of a let down for a LEGO game, the combat is simplistic,with a wide range of weapons to use, but the execution is really poor. You are lucky if you ever fire a weapon in the direction you want, thankfully close combat with swords is better. I noticed some stuttering in the game when there were multiple characters on screen and weirdly the game freezes slight when switching between your astronaut characters.
Despite the issues LEGO Worlds has, I can’t deny the fact that it’s done a great job of capturing my boys imaginations. We have already had hours of conversation about which worlds we have landed on, and it has inspired them to go and build things with their LEGO again, something that seems a bit more alien these days as we are surrounded by very specific sets to build. LEGO Worlds is certainly a game worth persisting with, my kids haven’t picked up on the issues I have and are still having fun with it, which is a win in my books.