Annual released titles more recently have left a more negative connotation when players are subjected to them every year. With titles like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, many fans are left with a feeling of fatigue from the same formula with a different change of scenery and a few new elements to the gameplay with each iteration. But there is one line of titles that hold up compared to the plenty that push players away from franchises: Lego games.
For me at least, lego games have always been a landmark series that always grabbed my attention with the creative ability to incorporate different worlds with Lego minifigures and dozens of pieces in the mix. Many undermine the idea of a Lego-based title truly due to the fact that they are appeared to be made for a younger demographic, but there is more to them than when first seen.
1) Diversity in setting and characters.
Like I mentioned before, the locales that many of these games are based on already existing universes that we are already familiar with. Varying in worlds from DC Comics to Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Harry Potter: the games already offer known characters and surroundings that will grab your interest at first. Originally the titles followed strictly on the series’ story and plainly translate the plot into lego, but not until 2012 with Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes did the game franchise embarked in their own direction and pick up unique stories for their titles.
The minifigures would only converse through interjections of sounds to project emotion respecting the character based off of the initial story, but now voice actors finally play a primary role in these titles as Travellers Tales introduced dialogue into their games. Creating their own stories while using the iconic worlds that correlate with the respected game expands on their original idea when creating the game’s foundation with well-known properties.
TT Games with the introduction of Lego Dimensions back in 2015 took advantage of more fan-favorite franchises that didn’t receive their own respected game now have the opportunity to get their own Lego makeover i.g. Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Dr. Who, and Adventure Time. More recently the Lego franchise have been expanding to other forms of media besides the tangible toy line with television and film, games also get touched upon by this with their own cast of personas when looking at Lego Ninjago and The Lego Movie. Among the arsenal of franchises provided, gameplay also get influenced alongside the setting & story.
2) Gameplay elements
The wide range of characters showcased in their respected game each offer their own distinct ability or talent that differentiate themselves from the remaining cast and even with others that hold similarities in other lego titles. For example, the Harry Potter Lego adaptations mainly focus on magic-based interactions either it be moving objects or building story-related sets. While compared to Batman where most interactions will be done by hand through combat or constructing.
Personas that hold a type of uniqueness either it being their physical build or gameplay traits stand out when playing among the other minifigures available in each title. Larger characters will hold the role to smash through walls, lift heavy items, and do heavy ground pounds. While smaller characters will help with slipping into hidden crevices and doing puzzles. And so one which varies what their character is based on when following the principles of a certain story.
Each title following a franchise’s basis will translate how characters perform into the gameplay, as I mentioned just before with Harry Potter/Batman, and is what makes each game’s roster authentic when first experiencing. As TT Games tackles on a new universe like the most recent The Incredibles lego iteration, which offer a special move each member of the super team can perform that’s special to the suited person. Or the introduction of dynamic split-screen which allow local co-op to traverse beyond the main screen and splitting the screen into two.
More ambitious additions to the series is the open-world aspect that have seemed to become the norm with games outside of the Lego realm. Yet again birthed from Lego Batman 2, the title spawned the first ever open Lego world based on Gotham City. Following after with New York City, Metroville, and Middle-Earth. Gameplay with the amount of detail is only another layer that rests on the onion that is Lego games, where experience is at the core of everything.
3) Recreational playtime
As I stated before and is fairly true when players are first introduced to Lego titles amid the other genres to play, most assume that these games are only for a younger age group. And primarily they are as these game’s ratings never exceed past E-10/ PEGI 7, just like the traditional line of toys are as well. The meaning for why I wrote this is that there is depth within these titles that fans for any of the mentioned series can touch upon and enjoy despite the youthful first impression.
There is no hidden lore within the depths of each title or a hardcore community playing the endless online matchmaking: these titles are made primarily to have fun. For the more implied demographic, there might be some difficulty when working certain puzzles, but these are usually easy to play and enjoy fully when reaching the end. Lego games are perfect for casual play from how they’re constructed with level and now open-world.
This might just be a bias of mine influenced from nostalgia, pursuing to convince others to try these out, but I really do insist that people should give these games a try. These games regular online store sales around $5 from time to time and it wouldn’t hurt to pick one up if you have some to spare. If you get bored of your library or fatigued from what you regularly play, any lego game would be a good time killer until you’re ready to return.