Back in the early 2000s no-one could have predicted the success of the Lego games. I remember when the first Lego Star Wars game was being promoted thinking: why Lego? Why not just make it a Star Wars game? How wrong we all were. Traveller’s Tales not only delivered a brilliant game that appealed to players of all ages, but it was one of the best Star Wars games period. I’ve liked all of the Lego games that I have played, but my wife LOVES them. It’s this appeal to casual gamers and non-gamers as well as hard-core gamers that really sets the Lego games apart. Traveller’s Tales’ latest Lego concoction is based on the Jurassic Park/World films, and I’m pleased to report that it is as joyous and wonderful a game as I could have hoped.
Lego Jurassic World is based on the three Jurassic Park films and this year’s Jurassic World. As ever, how well you know the films will determine how much of the humour you’ll get, but even if you’re not a devoted Jurassic fan there is fun here for all. Slapstick and surreal humour are rife throughout the game, and it is all the better for it. There are 5 levels for each film with hub areas that link the levels together. These hubs brilliantly reflect the films that they are based on, each one being distinct and well laid out, with nice bonus challenges and puzzles.
The audio takes its cues from Lego The Hobbit with the game using lines recorded directly from the films. Most of the time these are quite good and add a nice touch, but occasionally it doesn’t quite fit. These moments are usually when the sound is jarringly different because there’s too much reverb (a depth to the sound as though it’s in a large room, cavern or tunnel), but there are a couple of others, the main one being when Roland Tembo speaks. Pete Postlethwaite played Roland Tembo in ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’, but for some reason they have recorded someone else for the game. This might have something to do with the fact that Pete Postlethwaite died a few years ago now (although Sir Richard Attenborough has also passed away and they still use his voice for John Hammond), but it is a little out of place. These are minor niggles though and on the whole the sound is good with a nice surround mix.
Graphics are exactly what we have come to expect from previous Lego games. Photo-realistic visuals were never on the cards here; the visual style fits both the game and the IP (both Lego and Jurassic Park/World) and is more than adequate. If anything I would say that there is more on the screen than there used to be. The density of plants and destructible objects appears to be greater than in previous games.
Gameplay is also business as usual for a Lego game. Characters have different abilities which enable problem solving and accessing different areas. This also forces you to play through the game at least twice if you want to truly complete it, once in ‘Story mode’ and once in ‘Free Play’. Also, like previous Lego games, there are occasions when characters will get stuck in backgrounds or behind objects and force you to reset by either going in different areas or restarting. This is never game breaking but it is a little frustrating.
Lego Jurassic World was never going to be groundbreaking or make massive changes to the formula. What it is instead is more of the same. If you liked previous Lego games, you will like this. If you’re also a fan of Jurassic Park/World, you’ll really like this. As I fall into the category of people who like both, this game is right up my alley. The graphics are fine, the sound is generally good and the gameplay is exactly what we have come to expect from Lego games. Traveller’s Tales have created another solid game in the series, and there’s nothing wrong with that.