Traveller’s Tales 26th LEGO game focus on the Dinosaur Zoo that we all want to visit. In LEGO Jurassic World you play through the stories of the 3 original films and the recently released namesake, Jurassic World. If you’ve played any of TT’s LEGO games previously, you will know what to expect. So, do they include enough new to set it apart or is this just a fossil of the previous games.
- Game: LEGO Jurassic World
- Developer: Traveller’s Tales
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release: June 12, 2015
- Rated: E10
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PC/Mac
At first glance everything about LEGO Jurassic World feels familiar. It’s a 1 or 2 player, puzzle solving, action oriented, collectathon. Each level is played with at least 2 primary characters, whom you can switch with at any time. Some of the levels feature as many as 4-6 selectable characters. Each character has their own strength or ability. For instance, Owen from Jurassic World has a knife so he can cut through vines. While Ellie from Jurassic Park, is able to dig through Dino Poo and make flowers grow. As with every LEGO game, each level is made up of a Story mode and a Free Play mode. In Story, you will play with pre-selected characters and experience the story from the film, LEGOized of course. Then, in Free Play, you get to choose any character you like and replay the level trying to unlock secret areas and collect everything in that level. All of the levels are contained with an open, overworld HUB which you can explore in between levels. Each movie with a separate Overworld that are all connected. Much like the levels, the overworlds are packed with collectables and secrets which you will be able to unlock as you get more characters and more abilities.
If you grade the story content, you are basically just grading the movies that they are from. But what is really cool is how LEGO puts their own spin and humor into stories that are so well known. Just as one small example, is the scene with the talking Raptor from Jurassic Park 3. The scene is widely seen as the worst scene in all the Jurassic Park films and the game nails that scene with unexpected humor. The voice acting from the main characters is actual movie dialogue that they have repurposed, so again the story beats are the same. One place in the story content that stands out those is the NPC’s chatter. While you are actually playing the game you will run up on people just doing their stuff and almost every time they say something that makes me chuckle. It adds a lot of humor to the game and freshens the story a bit. If you are playing though and you hear some chatter, stop and listen, you won’t be disappointed.
From a gameplay perspective, everything is tight and performs well. This is a place that Traveller’s Tales has, without a doubt, perfected. But that’s not to say that it’s for everyone. The game is skewed to a younger audience so there isn’t much of a challenge for adult gamers and little to no penalty for dying. But the game controls just as it should, without missing a beat.
LEGO Jurassic World also introduces a few new features into the LEGO formula. The biggest of these is the ability to play as the Dinosaurs. There are a few sequences during the story mode where you are asked to switch to the Dinosaurs and complete a quick time event to progress. And there are also story levels where you get to play as Raptors and then there is the final level from Jurassic World…which we won’t spoil here. In the levels you can find Amber hidden that unlock the Dinosaurs for Free Play. In Free Play you can use them in Level to unlock certain areas or even just roam around the HUB world as a dinosaur tormenting the guests. This might not sound like a huge feature, but there is something very satisfying running around the Jurassic World HUB as everyone’s favorite T-Rex chomping at random NPCs. There is also something hilarious about watching a Raptor build something out of LEGO blocks..hilarious.
As fun as the Dino chomping is, the game isn’t perfect. The biggest strike against the game is that it just all feels so familiar. I have personally played, at least, 22 of the LEGO games to date. And while each one does a few things better, they are all still the same core mechanic as LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. The old saying is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And while that’s true, I would like to see TT shake it up a bit and do something complete off the wall with the gameplay.
There are also the occasional graphical hiccups. While I do feel like this is one of the stronger technical games, it does drop frame rate at times and has froze at least 3 times on me. But the biggest technical issue that I’ve had is with Split screen. I like to turn off the dynamic split screen when I’m playing with my multiplayer, but when I would do that on the Xbox One it would randomly swap the screens. I thought this had something to do with Kinect, so I unplugged it, but it still did it. Not always, but enough to annoy me.
Finally, I am a sucker for original content. My favorite LEGO games so far are the ones with original stories, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO Batman. By using original content you are pretty much free to do whatever you want and you can cater the game to that vision. Why this is an issue is because there are several levels in the LEGO Jurassic World that are hindered by the setting or story that is shoehorned in by the film. When you compare the level design in LEGO Jurassic World to, say, the Statue of Liberty level from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, you realize what I mean. I would love to see an original LEGO game set in the Jurassic Park world where the designers could let their imagination run wild.
I’m 26 hours in and have completed all 4 story levels and I’m still under 50%. This is a game with a lot of content for someone who truly enjoys the experience and finds value in replaying levels and collecting everything. Most LEGO games that I’ve 100% have taken me 40 plus hours and I expect nothing different from LEGO Jurassic World. Although, if you are looking to just go from point A to point B for the story, you could probably finish the game in 10-12 hours. It’s very accessible for younger audiences, so it’s something that I can play with my kids. And there is just something fun about running around as LEGO Alan Grant. The game brings a smile to my face and at the end of the day what more could you want out of the experience. The LEGO games aren’t for everyone, but for people that enjoy them there is a lot to love about LEGO Jurassic World. Come on and give it a shot, the park is open.
LEGO Jurassic World is rated E10 for “Cartoon Violence”. There is no blood in the game, but it is based on a movies where Dinosaurs are trying to eat people. Everything is played for Comedy and never graphic or what I would even classify as “violent”. I allowed both my 6 year old and 9 year old to play and they had no issues with it. One small thing to be aware of, there are several scary moments during the story. A good example is the High Grass level from “The Lost World”. As you are walking through the level, out of nowhere, a Raptor will jump out on top of you and then you will have to mash a selected button to get away. If I’m honest, the first time that this happen I actually jumped a little. So, for the younger audience, it is something to be aware of. There are only a handful of these sections, but they are there. As always, if you have a content questions please leave a comment below and I will answer it the best I can.