Also On: Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, 3DS, PC
Publisher: WB Games
Developer: TT Games
Medium: Blu-ray Disc, Digital
The LEGO Movie is fantastic and is definitely worth stepping out of your well-equipped home theater and checking it out at the actual theater. The movie itself pushes all the right buttons, for both kids and adults, and wraps up the experience in a way not all that dissimilar to, say, Toy Story and Wreck It Ralph. Really, it's great — AWESOME even.
As we all know, games licensed from motion pictures are frequently not worth our time and money, though there's an exception every once in a while. Fortunately, TT Games knows what they are doing with LEGO games, and it was a longshot that they would screw up a LEGO game about a LEGO movie. Well they haven't, and if you enjoyed both the LEGO Movie and TT Games previous game adaptations, The LEGO Movie Videogame is very competent new entry into the series and a no brainer for fans. It's not quite as polished as some other releases from the studio, but it works extremely well with the license (duh).
In The LEGO Movie Videogame, Warner Bros. and TT Games took the plot from the LEGO Movie and wrapped TT Games' familiar LEGO game template around it. If you've owned any of their many licensed LEGO games, you can pretty much imagine how the game will play by watching the movie itself. You begin the game as Emmet, a generic orange-clad construction worker minifigure who lives in Bricksburg and goes about his day doing what he usually does… nothing much. He has no real friends and believes he isn't special or unique in any way — until he meets an explorer named Wyldstyle and stumbles upon an ancient relic right before calling it a day. By discovering this relic (known as The Piece of Resistance), he apparently becomes "The Special", a prophet that will apparently save the world from an evil tyrant of some sort. Along his journey he meets up with an interesting cast of LEGO minifigures including famous comic superheroes, historical characters and dozens of other new and classic figures.
The LEGO Movie Videogame really does follow the movie from start to finish almost exactly. There are a number of themed hubs spread among the game's 15 levels and all throughout, there are an immense quantity of unlockables and secrets. Getting through a level requires a fairly even mix of basic puzzle solving and action gameplay, and there's no shortage of needing to switch between characters (up to 8 at a given time) to make progress. Having a second local player join in on the fun is definitely recommended, and the dynamic split screen does a nice job in framing the action. TT's formula is solid and works nicely within The LEGO Movie Videogame, even with few odd glitches and issues here and there.
Once a level is complete in The LEGO Movie Videogame, you can jump back into it with figures that have been unlocked/purchased to utilize their abilities to unlock even more content. Basically, the typical LEGO game formula, which still works quite well. If you're a completionist, earning 100% will definitely take a wee bit longer than the 7-8 hours the game itself lasts through the story mode.
The cut-scenes in the game are ripped directly from the movie, and a good chunk of the voice actors involved have also lent their voices to the game including Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman and Will Arnett. Other than some questionable quality video compression and a very low center channel surround sound voice mix (even on the PS4), I appreciated the consistency between the movie and game.
Speaking of consistency, the LEGO Movie Videogame looks very close to the actual movie in many ways. This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version, and if you've played LEGO Marvel on the platform, then you probably know what to expect in terms of image quality. In other words, it's clean and colorful, with a stable framerate and some effective special effects. I can't imagine the Xbox One, Wii U or PS4 games look all that different than one another, but then again it doesn't quite have that next-gen look, which is to be expected from a game releasing on several platforms at once. The game's surprisingly interactive environments, including Bricksburg, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Flatbush Gulch, etc., are all constructed of LEGO bricks and accessories and do look great. It differs from previous LEGO releases since there are no realistic environments or structures in The LEGO Movie Videogame, just those built with digital bricks. That includes fire, water, weather effects and everything else in the game, which gives it sort of a stop motion animation effect at times. As a side note, the game looks and plays fabulous on the PS Vita using the PS4 to PS Vita remote play (even though there is a native Vita version), so it's worth keeping in mind.
Suggested retail pricing for the next-generation versions is my only real issue with The LEGO Movie Videogame. It shouldn't really be $60, especially with the less than optimal cut-scenes and audio mix, and it being a licensed game and all. Regardless if you're a fan of the LEGO Movie (seriously, go see it), and TT Games' brand of LEGO games, then there's no reason to not check out The LEGO Movie Videogame.