Quick Take: An online sandbox building game where players travel between “worlds” created by other players and complete quests, discover new building tools, or create whatever they can imagine.
LEGO Worlds is the latest entry from the LEGO company and developer TT Games. An online sandbox building game where players travel between “worlds” created by other players and complete quests, discover new building tools, or create whatever they can imagine. A culmination of years of LEGO building in physical form and their digital competitor, Minecraft. LEGO Worlds is the perfect game for youngsters who don’t want to be limited by the usual fandom and want to play online with friends.
LEGO has been making games for a while now, and toys even longer. They have a tried and true approach, and generally, their games are well received by fans and gamers alike. LEGO games have a quirky sense of humor, childlike, because they are for children. Parents are happy because they can trust the brand to be wholesome, and as an added bonus, LEGO has always made games and toys that captivate children for hours. Cocktail time, go play LEGO.
LEGO Worlds proves to be more of the usual formula. This time using a concept I am shocked it took this long to produce. With gameplay similar to previous LEGO titles, in a third person view, your chosen character will attack, use items, jump, and climb, and of course nearly everything can be broken for LEGO buttons, the currency of all their games. LEGO Worlds tosses in Minecraft-style building, NPC placement, and online “worlds” or servers. It includes some nice features like “discovery,” where players must hunt down new components to add to their building menu. What gamer of any age doesn’t love collecting things?
Players travel via a spaceship, that oddly looks like a flying R2-D2, to various worlds, some that are created by other players, if you so desire. These worlds can have various themes, like pirates, Jurassic age, and so many more; your imagination is the limit. Players will find quests from NPCs that will usually award the ability to discover that costume for your character. Again, collecting is fun. These quests will, at times, also award you gold LEGO bricks that you can use to upgrade your spaceship and unlock travel to other worlds.
What is a great concept and a tried-and-true brand is unfortunately plagued by some irritating issues. LEGO Worlds has some serious load time issues for the PS4. Travel between worlds is a good 30-second intermission. Due to the nature of a true sandbox where anything in the environment can be manipulated, there is a lot of texture issues, graphical errors, and horrible camera control. For combat, once I got a ranged weapon, I discovered I could switch to first person and it was much easier to take out enemies with a reticle. In fact, the game was just better in first person most of the time. I reserved zooming out for building and demo.
The building system, while robust and having a great interface, is hampered by the console and its controllers. I can see LEGO Worlds being much more fun, building wise, on a PC with a mouse and keyboard. The world map and the GUI map in the corner, are awful. They are so small and peppered with icons all over that it ends up just being confusing. Some quests are just item hunts, running around in circles looking for a certain item for hours. But I guess that’s a good thing for parents as well. Diligent children will prevail in LEGO Worlds.
Two player local play is offered, like most LEGO games, with a split screen this time. My daughter and I spent some time questing, building, and being goofy. It was fun, but also more difficult to see the map in the squished split screen, thus leading to her just making a tower as high as she could and then climbing it. But the skydive down made her laugh, and isn’t that the point?
For all its faults, LEGO Worlds is a solid title for kids. It’s an amalgam of ideas “built” over years. Ah, LEGO humor. Take the best of Minecraft gameplay, previous LEGO games, and LEGO products, toss it online for console so it can reach a younger and larger audience, and you get LEGO Worlds. As much as the issues with LEGO Worlds bothered me, I had fun playing it, and I couldn’t put it down. So I know kids won’t either. Hopefully, with some updates, a more polished game will be found, and a good game can become a great game.
LEGO Worlds is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and eventually Nintendo Switch. This review is based on a copy provided for that purpose.