Nostalgia. It’s a wonderful thing. That smell which takes you back to childhood or the show you used to watch and know the theme tune for even now. It seems like this is the decade for nostalgia, and developers are playing fully into that. It’s no surprise then that Lego has seen the success of games like Minecraft, and decided to grab a slice of the action for itself. The question is – why should you play this over Mojang’s monstrous hit?
While Lego as a computer game isn’t a new concept, with every popular franchise of the last 30 years seemly being made into a Lego game in one way shape or form, it’s always steered clear of what the core idea behind Lego was originally. Although you would be forgiven for thinking Lego was all about mini figures (and for anyone who has been to a comic-con, there are thousands)
Lego is, at its core, a block building game, creating anything out of different shaped block, where the only limit is your imagination. Looking at how well Minecraft has sold it’s a major surprise that Lego hasn’t brought out a game to rival Minecraft while playing on people’s childhood nostalgia and introducing a new generation the joys of imaginative creation.
The premise behind a Lego game where I can build what I want seems amazing and would absolutely destroy Minecraft (sorry but the sheer variety of the Lego bricks can lead to much more interesting structures) and unfortunately it’s an idea I will still be waiting for. The game itself is smart with different tools for different jobs such as a paint tool, a build tool and a copy tool.
However the two tools which will be used most is the Discovery tool, a useful piece of equipment for locating items which you can then unlock and place back in the world elsewhere. The Landscape tool is used to bash away or add land quickly and will be the main source of completing missions.
The game is a delight of sound and is graphically beautiful, the amount of discoveries which can be found go into the thousands and when you collect the 100 gold bricks to be able to unlock world creator those discoveries will be much appreciated. It’s the getting to those 100 bricks which become tedious and boring, while it will be fun and entertaining to children with the bright colours and chilled upbeat music, for adults its will be more a case of determination in finding everything you can.
The missions are similar with find an item, give item to character or take a picture which makes it boring after a while, even the missions where building is involved can be done by placing the same block down multiple times until the quest giver says you are done.
The controls are a bit clunky and will lock onto the wrong thing quite often, and while using the discover tool, it can take ages to lock onto what you want. This is only a minor problem though compared to how it will affect the end game and the Build tool, which places any brick which you have discovered one by one. If the game had a first person mode this may be easy but with the awkward angles placing blocks down can very hit and miss. It needs to take a leaf from Minecraft in this regard and give players the ability to switch to first person and have the individual blocks in hand instead of an awkward tool.
When you find a character who has a gold brick for you but he wants something in a world you haven’t visited yet is the worst feeling, as when you find said world and item, it’s up to you to try and remember which world it was you needed to go back to. This is a fun game but ultimately needed that little bit more, a Minecraft clone would have made me very happy here, being able to build intricate structures with the multiple variety of bricks. I have yet to see many YouTubers who have gone beyond the main storyline and show off their epic creations which is a shame.
Overall Lego Worlds was trying for an updated version of Minecraft with Lego, adding a story mode which is sometimes fun and other times frustrating. The annoying controls and maddening camera angles mixed with a voice over which mixes between bubbly and fun to melancholy or creepy means that Lego Worlds has missed the mark and while it may have achieved what it set out to do, it wont achieve the lasting success of other games of it’s type.