When Universal Pictures decided to rejuvenate the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World in 2015, Chris Pratt (a.k.a. Star-Lord) was thrust into the main role for what turned out to be a box office hit. As is usually the case where blockbuster films are concerned, LEGO wanted a piece of the action. This led to the development of LEGO Jurassic World by TT Fusion as a tie-in videogame in the hopes of bringing their family friendly fun to homes around the globe. So let’s take a look back to 2015 and see whether the nostalgic journey delivered a totally roar-some experience, or not.
On 12th June, 2015, LEGO Jurassic World launched for a multitude of platforms including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, PC and a selection of old-gen consoles. It followed in the footsteps of numerous many other popular licenses acquired by LEGO – like Batman, The Hobbit and Marvel – giving the dinosaur filled universe the brick treatment. The fact that this particular game came at a time when the market began to get rather saturated with LEGO titles won’t have done it any favours, but the nostalgic elements were to be admired.
You must wonder how LEGO Jurassic World features nostalgia as it released in unison with the Jurassic World film. Well, TT Fusion managed to cram in the stories of the original Jurassic Park trilogy alongside content focusing on the latest movie. This meant you’d get the pleasure of playing through levels that are created from a whole host of iconic moments. To pick out just a couple of scenes, the kitchen based chaos and the T-Rex tussle with the Jeep Wrangler are suitably paid homage. Furthermore, the infamous LEGO cutscene style ensured that such scenarios were memorable and sprinkled with a decent amount of silly humour; it’s enough to rekindle the love you might have previously possessed for the series.
And the fun didn’t stop there as it would occasionally require you to take control of dinosaurs, such as raptors and T-rex’s, to unleash their powerful attacks on the environments and any threatening looking creatures or humans within. After all, the core gameplay consists of destroying anything in sight in order to earn coveted Studs and be able to build useful contraptions needed for progression.
The problem highlighted here is that aside from dinosaurs, LEGO Jurassic World didn’t offer much which hadn’t been seen before on countless other occasions. Even the potential excitement brought about by chase sections soon wore off as they occurred far too frequently for my liking. It also struggled to incorporate varied environments, meaning you’d end up traipsing through generic jungle after generic jungle on Isla Nublar.
Hold on to your butts though, because the inclusion of over 100 unlockable characters must surely bring about a ton of freshness, right? Sadly not, with far too many bland offerings making up the numbers. Once you’ve got your hands on a cool dinosaur or the handful of recognisable folk such as John Hammond, Ian Malcolm, Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant and Owen Grady, there’s little desire to acquire random guards and other easily forgettable insignificant people.
While the film itself garnered a sequel in the form of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, there was no such continuation for the LEGO universe – despite selling really well. Instead, Frontier Developments released Jurassic World Evolution on 12th June 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC to accompany it. Being a management simulation, there’s a load of depth to proceedings and the opportunity to build a successful park, as well as breed dinosaurs, provides a great experience for those craving for more of what the Jurassic Park world has to offer. To the developer’s credit, they’ve been able to enhance the base game in the two years since launch due to a combination of paid and free downloadable content.
What does the future have in store for dinosaur loving gamers chomping at the bit for more? Well, there are currently no plans in place for any more games inspired by this long-running franchise. Given that the sixth film, Jurassic World: Dominion, hits cinemas in 2021, chances are that there will be something up their sleeves. So watch this space.
I just hope it’s not another LEGO instalment however, because LEGO Jurassic World just didn’t deliver an enjoyable enough product. Undoubtedly, it was a lovely trip down memory lane, but that only gets you so far when the gameplay is increasingly repetitive. It’s highly unlikely the sheer nostalgic effect will be able to paper over the cracks for another game.
Maybe you remember LEGO Jurassic World a tad fonder than I, in which case, feel free to share your thoughts and memories of it by either leaving a comment below or shooting us a message on social media!