Let me level with you: if you have a problem with the whimsical, family-friendly brand of platforming in the LEGO games; their humour and simplistic puzzles, then stop reading now. If you have not liked one before, this is not the game that is going to convince you otherwise. Those that do know what they are going to get here, well, this is my favourite one yet.
Obviously a companion to the recently released Jurassic World movie it seems TT Games decided that just basing it on the one film wouldn’t be enough, and saw fit to include all four into the package. That’s a very smart move, as the constraints of each story mean that the experiences are normally over in two to three hours. That’s not a dreadful run time of eight to twelve hours at least, and is not taking into account the time you can spend outside of the story mopping up those hard to find secrets.
In typical LEGO fashion, the game is broken up into chunks with a small amount of world traversal to break up the pace. Each chunk has you destroying LEGO set dressing to uncover items, or break down into pieces which can then be rebuilt into something that allows progress (it’s a formula that has worked consistently, so it’s no surprise to see it unchanged here). Once a level is finished it’s available to run through again in free play, which allows you to switch characters out for any other unlocked ones allowing you to uncover any unattained hidden items.
Aside from the usual Red and Gold brick collectibles, Jurassic World has two other types of items to pick up. First up is Amber (one per level). Finding one of these will unlock a dinosaur for use in free play mode, and you can then use them within the levels and the open world to activate certain events. As well as that, you can also pick up minikits (ten per level), which are boxes of dinosaur bones. Collecting full minikit sets unlock dinosaur skeletons, which can be mixed and matched to create your own dinosaurs. Custom dinosaurs can then be used to take on specific free play challenges throughout the world.
The trademark humour that these games are known for is present and correct, although it just seems to work better with the dialogue from the films, mocking the dinosaurs as it goes, generally coming across as funnier than usual. Watching giant lizards performing human style mannerisms doesn’t get old, and the silly things the human characters do doesn’t feel like unnatural behavior for them.
There are a couple of issues though. QTEs feel more prevalent here than they have done in previous titles, and sometimes it’s not entirely clear what you’re supposed to do for them. Sequences can switch from mashing a button to singular presses without warning, and then singular presses can turn into stringently timed presses. They crop up frequently during dino-on-dino fight sequences, which feels lazy, as it’s something that could have been done with an actual fight system rather than a series of QTEs.
Chase sequences are a problem too, as they’ve taken the approach of a rear facing camera, so you can’t see the route ahead, making upcoming route options hard to choose and blue studs difficult to obtain. At least they’re partially on rails, and your vehicle is indestructible so you don’t have to worry about oncoming obstacles. It’s obvious that they took this option so you can see the dinosaur chasing you, but it’s still really annoying to miss out on the true survivor level rank because you didn’t collect enough studs because of it. However, once you’ve finished the story, you can re-play the chase sequences as the pursuing dinosaur, which is a much more satisfying experience.
What LEGO Jurassic World boils down to, is that if you like the games you will have good time with this one. If you like the Jurassic Park films, that’s a massive bonus too, as this package does a faithful re-purposing of them. Kudos to TT games as well, because anyone that can sit through the terrible Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World and turn that into something entertaining and playable deserves a high five. It is fast becoming the case that the formula is becoming a little stale, and although the games are nice and inoffensive enough, it’s becoming harder and harder to shake the feeling that you’re just playing the same game, again.
Great sense of humour.
Excellent portrayal of the films.
Formula is getting tired.