It wasn’t until I started my latest review that I realised that LEGO has always been a mainstay in my house. I still have the childhood memories of placing bricks in the completely wrong order, yet still being proud of my creation, right through to the early adult stages in which I would be standing on the damn bricks and dropping to the floor whilst looking at which imprint would be stuck with me for the next few days, after the little ones in the family had left them in unexpected places. Recent years have seen the physical bricks take a leave of absence though, but as my self-confessed gaming addiction became more prominent, it were the LEGO games that took up residence instead.
Most LEGO games though, whilst mostly great, don’t usually tend to be LEGO as we know it, but rather a popular film series that has been fully recreated in the same visual style and comedy that the LEGO franchise has started to turn to with their digitised showings in recent times. So the idea of a LEGO game that would let me do all those things I loved as a child, without the hassle of new imprints onto my skin, sounded like a dream come true.
LEGO Worlds hasn’t always had people anticipating release though, with many fully expecting a Minecraft copy-cat, but in the form of LEGO bricks. There were many who said it was too late for LEGO to start now. Before we finally get this review under way, let me tell you that this too was my initial impression. But LEGO Worlds is nothing like a Minecraft clone, and instead the result is rather inspiring.
LEGO Worlds doesn’t start off like most games; it doesn’t shove a massive backstory in your face, it doesn’t set you on some endless path to become the best you can be, and there’s no saving the universe – I think that covers most releases we expect to see this year. No, instead it drops you in slowly, it introduces what you will be doing, and why you would want to do it. So, what will you be doing? Building of course, at least in the end. For a while though you’re going to be new around these parts, and that means you need to gather a working knowledge of how things work. To do this you will need to go around and discover literally everything you come across; plants, animals, people, bones, everything that has ever been made in LEGO, it needs to be discovered.
This is done with the Discovery tool. There are several tools that you are slowly introduced to along the way but the first thing you need to focus on is learning what everything is, and discovering it is the only way you’ll be using and building it. The Demiscovery tool is a lot like a scanner, and it works pretty simply by pointing it at something you haven’t seen before and pressing discover. Things you haven’t seen are easy enough to find by the glow they emit, so you’ll never be stuck for things you haven’t discovered.
Once you have them discovered, you are required to pay a one-time fee of studs in order to have an infinite amount ready to use, and build with, at the click of a button. The price is usually an acceptable ask too, with things like vehicles – of which there are many – usually costing the most.
So, what do these discoveries do? Help people of course. There are many animals and characters throughout the endless worlds and it’s up to you to go to them and help them out of whatever predicament they may be in. This can result in a range of things from beating up robbers, to building new houses and structures, to freeing a friend stuck inside whatever various object they are stuck in.
Some of these will require use of other tools such as the Building tool which allows you to build brick by brick, or the Copy tool which lets you copy any structure and create a clone of it immediately. Of course, the use of the Discovery tool will also need to be utilised should you wish to help build those requested items you’ve spent several hours scouring various worlds for.
Completion of quests can result in players getting golden bricks, and it is these which result in you achieving your end goal – to become a Master Builder. You’ll need to work for it though because as many as one hundred gold bricks are required to become a Master Builder, and indeed to unlock bigger worlds. But getting to one hundred bricks is no easy task, so for some time you will find yourself jumping from world to world via your spaceship to find new quests to complete in order to gather bricks.
Most of the worlds are rather different too. I don’t recall seeing a single world that was immediately identical to another, and any I felt were a little similar to that just left could be escaped by jumping in my ship and heading off to another random location somewhere in the universe. New worlds, very much like the aforementioned Minecraft, are based on seeded numbers, or in this case Galactic Coordinates. And with a press of a button an entirely new one is generated. You can press this as many times as you like, until you see a 3D model that looks interesting enough to dive into, giving a near endless amount of exploring to be done. But bear in mind some worlds are rarer than others, and whilst you won’t have time to make every discovery in every world, to unlock the characters and certain animals for use, you must first complete their quests.
One reason why this is so much fun is because the items in LEGO Worlds that can be discovered aren’t all generic LEGO items. The items in LEGO Worlds come directly from the various LEGO series’ that have come and gone over the years. This includes, but isn’t limited to the likes of LEGO City, LEGO Minifigures, LEGO Pirates and various others. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts I wasn’t fortunate enough to find anything from any of the various movie series covered by LEGO magic, but hey, we can’t have everything and I haven’t yet had the chance to search absolutely everywhere.
Whilst it would be nice to have a story built in somehow, one real complaint I do have though is that after a while, some quests would become repetitive. For example, on one lava filled world I found that the only quests I would be doing would consist entirely upon saving individuals stuck behind an impassable object or giving various animals food. Thankfully, not all worlds were as repetitive and I can only guess that is down to a fairly limited quest selection. But all in all, the overall goal is to reach that Master Builder status so you can build your own magnificent worlds – but it would have been nicer to have some more varied quests to take part in along the way.
It may well be the Master Builder status you should be looking to work towards, but it’s worth noting that anything and everything in any given world can be destroyed, removed, flattened and demolished in order to create whatever you so wish in its place. Alternatively, you could just build on the already impressive worlds available to create something truly special with the ability to spawn anything at any point whenever you feel like it.
Best of all though is the fact that LEGO worlds can be enjoyed with a friend as online multiplayer is available from the off, and those looking to play solo can always open their world up for a random online player to jump into the wonderful creations at any point. At least should you trust those lovely random online strangers.
You’ve probably figured by this point there won’t be much you’ll find me complaining at with LEGO Worlds – and from the various LEGO series, to the beautiful visuals all the way to the exploration and back again, there isn’t anything left to really wish for – except for that story.
LEGO Worlds may not be built on the mighty foundation of survival and building, but the content in place is certainly a welcome addition. Whilst the quests could certainly do with a little more inspiration, it will be the infinite Master Builder possibilities, with the many thousands of LEGO bricks available, that you’ll be remembering this classic for.