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Affectionate, well-made remake of Jurassic Park movies
Appealing to dinosaur-loving kids
Surprisingly addictive dinosaur creator
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as voice actors
Somewhat glitchy, with a couple of crashes
No real replay value
LEGO Jurassic World gives you fun, kid-friendly gameplay with plenty of items to smash, extras to unlock, characters to play as, and secrets to find. A few glitches and some odd puzzles don’t detract from the experience of playing through a big-budget dinosaur movie.
LEGO Jurassic World remakes the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy and “Jurassic World” into a four-part open-world LEGO adventure. Each film is the basis for five chapters of play, letting you switch between the films’ cast of characters, as well as a couple of dozen different kinds of dinosaurs. It’s great fun for dinosaur-loving kids and adults alike, especially when early in the game you get to play as a triceratops, charging around the landscape and trampling everything you can reach. Despite some glitches and the lack of replay value, we found LEGO Jurassic World an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
LEGO Jurassic World is an affectionate recap of the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy, as well as “Jurassic World” (2015). Each movie is split into five “chapters,” where players swap off between the central characters of each game.
As in the films, the reclusive billionaire John Hammond has used dinosaur DNA harvested from fossilized mosquitoes to clone a new generation of dinosaurs into existence, which he intends to use as exhibits in a new, one-of-a-kind theme park. Also as in the films, things go wrong with this plan almost immediately, and the main characters must survive following the escape of the dinosaurs.
The first three chapters recap the events of “Jurassic Park”, “Jurassic Park 2”, and “Jurassic Park 3”, with a special LEGO twist. In the game, to survive and escape the park, players must rely on building new items out of LEGOs to evade and occasionally defeat the dinosaurs that have escaped their pens.
Stick your disc in your Xbox’s disc drive, tell it to go ahead and update the game, and go do something else for 20 to 30 minutes. Your Xbox should take care of the rest.
If you’ve played other LEGO games, such as Marvel Super Heroes, DC Super Villains, or Dimensions, the general style of LEGO Jurassic World will be instantly familiar. In each stage, you must overcome obstacles and solve puzzles so your characters can survive or escape the events of the film, reproduced here as a LEGO adaptation.
In each stage, you get at least two characters, each of whom has a special ability and/or piece of equipment, which you’re meant to use to overcome the problems at hand.
Owen, for example, is willing to dig in dinosaur droppings for useful materials, while other characters aren’t, and can use a ghillie suit to camouflage himself from dinosaurs. Claire’s nephew Zach can fix broken machines, while his little brother Gray carries night-vision goggles and has the dinosaur knowledge to use scattered bones as construction materials.
Persistence and experimentation count for a lot more here than fast reflexes.
Claire is particularly agile (hey, she outran a T-rex in high heels), which lets her jump higher than other characters, and carries a machine that gives her security access to panels throughout the park. Using your characters’ unique abilities in conjunction with each other, as well as carefully exploring each environment, is the key to finding your way through each mission.
Once you clear a given stage, you unlock a “free play” version, where you can go back in with a different crew and find new items that you may have missed. Most of the stages have at least a dozen secrets that simply can’t be reached with the cast they give you on your first time through, such as breakable objects that you need a dinosaur to destroy. One of the objects you can find by doing so is an Amber Brick, which gives you a new piece of a dinosaur to unlock and use in a custom dinosaur creator.
There isn’t a lot of actual danger to be had here, as characters will usually back away from a threat rather than rush headlong into it. It’s surprisingly difficult to die, and nearly impossible to get a “game over.” Persistence and experimentation count for a lot more here than fast reflexes.
That said, the game adheres to the basic LEGO formula, which means it has the same problems as a lot of other LEGO games. Many of the activities feel more like a time sink than a challenge, and many of the obstacles may hold you up for a few minutes until you figure out precisely what it is the developers intended you to do. LEGO Jurassic World also a few glitches, such as “soft locks,” where a character becomes stuck somewhere and you’re forced to restart the game before you can continue. We had it happen three separate times in three different levels.
LEGO Jurassic World is a bit of a step forward from earlier licensed LEGO games, such as LEGO Lord of the Rings or Marvel Super Heroes, due to being more recent. It’s a little less frenetic and jumbled than those games were, while still maintaining a lot of charm and solid animation.
If nothing else, LEGO games always give you a lot to do.
A lot of the films’ more famous scenes are faithfully reproduced, and made slightly ridiculous by being entirely made with LEGOs. A few of the funny background events include things like a velociraptor riding around on a tiny motorcycle.
While some of the more adult events of the film franchise are still in LEGO Jurassic World—such as Samuel Jackson’s character’s death in the original Jurassic Park—they’re done so here in a G-rated, almost parodying way. Zora, Claire’s assistant, suffers one of the most notorious on-screen death scenes in the original Jurassic World film. Here, her fate’s a bit kinder and played almost for laughs, particularly when you see the final scene a couple of levels later. Despite the toning down of the seriousness, young children may be slightly unnerved.
A brand-new digital copy of LEGO Jurassic World will run you $19.99 (MSRP). If nothing else, LEGO games always give you a lot to do. The gameplay loop might be basic, but it’s enough to keep you and your kids entertained on long afternoons and rainy weekends, especially with side activities like the races in “Jurassic World.”
As Steven Spielberg projects tend to be, there are a lot of “Jurassic Park” spinoffs, particularly in the world of video games. The most recent is “Evolution”, a business simulator that lets you design and build your own Jurassic Park, complete with dinosaurs to exhibit. It might be a bit dull for younger kids, but has a lot of love shown to its dinosaur models and could be a fun sandbox for them to play in.
Another option, for older kids and teenagers, is Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game from 2011, which is set during the events of the original 1993 movie. As with all Telltale games, this is a choice-based, dialogue-heavy adventure game where you choose your primary characters’ decisions and reactions to their events. It can be slow going, and it’s very much on a fixed path—your choices have a bad habit of always leading to the same conclusion no matter what you pick—but Telltale-style games are deftly written and can be fun on your first time through.
If the LEGO construction is what drew you and your kids in, LEGO has you extensively covered. There are a dozen or so LEGO licensed games out there, ranging from Lord of the Rings to Marvel and DC superheroes, to the LEGO Movie, all of which collide in the playset-based collectible frenzy LEGO Dimensions. By the time you run out of LEGO games for your kid, they’ll have either outgrown it or you’ll be out of money.
If it grabs you, it won’t let go for a while
The Jurassic Park series isn’t the most popular property LEGO’s ever adapted, but there’s a lot here for kids who love dinosaurs, chase sequences, and, well, LEGOs. A few glitches and the typical formula are some drawbacks, but it’s not quite enough to bring down the whole experience.
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