LEGO Jurassic World Review (XONE)

LEGO Jurassic World screen
LEGO Jurassic World screen. Warner Bros. Interactive

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I have said multiple times over the years that your enjoyment of a particular LEGO game depends more on your love of the license they used than the quality, which is always decently high, of the game itself.  The only real exceptions are The LEGO Movie Game, which combines a bunch of licenses and is good on its own, and LEGO The Hobbit, which just wasn't very good.  It applies to everything else, though.

  If you love Batman and DC, you'll love the LEGO Batman series.  If you love Marvel, you'll adore LEGO Marvel.  If you love Star Wars, well, you get the idea

In the case of LEGO Jurassic World, let's just say it's right up my alley.  I was a dinosaur-crazy ten year old when "Jurassic Park" came out, and it has been among my all-time favorite movies ever since then, so playing through LEGO versions of all four movies is a dream come true.  Good news for me and other JP fans, then, that the game is actually really good with better story level and hub design than other recent LEGO games and has amazing presentation.  LEGO Jurassic World is one of the better LEGO games to be released in a while.     

Game Details

  • Publisher:  Warner Bros. Interactive
  • Developer: Traveller's Tales
  • ESRB Rating: “E10" for Everyone 10+
  • Genre: Action
  • Pros:  Dinosaurs!; great music and sound effects; funny new takes on classic scenes; fun gameplay; the best LEGO game in a while; dinosaur creator
  • Cons:  We're tired of the collect-a-thon; too many generic characters

Features

LEGO Jurassic World features characters and levels to re-tell the stories of all four "Jurassic" movies.  Each movie has its own hub level modeled after the key locations and path the characters followed in the movie.  So "Jurassic Park" for example, follows the tour path while "The Lost World" takes you from arriving via boat all the way to calling for help in the comms center.

  Each movie has 5 story levels that let you re-live the key scenes like the t-rex attacks in JP1 and TLW, the t-rex vs. spinosaurus fight in JP3, and the epic throwdown at the end of "Jurassic World". 

Because it is a LEGO game, no one dies in LEGO Jurassic World even though they died in the movies.  There is always some funny way everyone manages to survive.  The LEGO sense of humor is in full swing in pretty much every scene and it generally works pretty well. 

The selection of characters and their abilities are both a bright spot, but also a weak link in LEGO Jurassic World, however.  You get to play as all of the main characters, of course, but past the handful of important characters from each movie the rest of the roster of dozens (and dozens) of playable characters is filled out with generic park workers and nobodies.  Characters that had scant seconds of screen time are playable characters.  I suppose that is the case with every LEGO game, but it feels especially lame here.

The game makes up for the somewhat thin roster by also letting you play as a bunch of different dinosaurs.  Everything from the lowly compy on up to velociraptors, dilophosaurus, t-rex, indominus rex, spinosaurus, triceratops, stegosaurus, and even the giant brachiosaurus among quite a few others.

  Each dinosaur type has different abilities and they're all pretty fun to play with.  Even better is that you can create your own new breeds of dinosaurs by combining DNA, so you can make a velociraptor that has stegosaurus spikes and roars like a t-rex if you want (and yes, I did this).  

Gameplay

The core gameplay in LEGO Jurassic World is pretty much the same as every other LEGO game.  Different objects in the world require different abilities to use, so you have to have the right characters in order to use certain objects.  Alan Grant can dig in the dirt and build things with bones.  Ellie Sattler can grow plants and, er, dig through piles of dino poop.

  Muldoon can follow tracks and also shoot stuff.  Little kids can climb through small openings.  Malcom can solve puzzles and also light up dark areas.  And there's lots more.  The dinosaurs also have abilities, of course, such as the t-rex roar can break tough blocks or the raptors can pull levers and jump up to high areas. 

The gameplay rhythm is also pretty familiar in that you won't have the proper abilities to really find any of the hidden collectibles your first time through each level or area of the hub, so you have to beat the game to unlock everything and then re-play it all again to finish the game 100%.  At this point, however, I'm pretty tired of this pattern and haven't finished a LEGO game 100% in a long time.  Re-playing each level to find hidden junk and reach "True ... whatever" status by reaching a certain stud count just isn't fun anymore.  On the other hand, I did enjoy exploring the hub worlds for the collectibles hidden there, such as helping workers in trouble, healing sick dinosaurs, finding red bricks, and taking pictures at set spots.  Here's hoping future LEGO games have more of that.

I have to admit to feeling a little LEGO game fatigue the last couple of years.  As the games have gotten bigger and the levels longer and more complex, I've had significantly less fun with them than I did the earlier games.  Thankfully, LEGO Jurassic World is a bit of a return to that form.  The hub worlds aren't overwhelmingly huge.  The story levels aren't overly long (in fact, some of them are surprisingly short).

  And there aren't any levels, or sections of levels, that I didn't enjoy.  It is just a very tightly put together and well designed game all around.  And I love playing as the dinosaurs.

Graphics & Sound

Visually, LEGO Jurassic World is a good looking game.  The LEGO pieces are nice and shiny and plastic looking, so you can't really ask for much more.  The attention to detail to make sure key locations and set pieces look just like the movies is also very good.  Sequences that take place in the rain are particularly impressive looking.

The sound is also definite high point here.  The music is all taken directly from the movies and all of the dinosaurs sound just like they did in the movies.  The JP1 t-rex roar is probably my favorite sound effect in any movie ever, and it is here just like you remember.  A lot of the dialogue was also taken directly from the movies as well, but not for every character, which results in odd volume and tone changes between movie scene dialogue and stuff they re-recorded with different voice actors. 

Bottom Line

All in all, LEGO Jurassic World is a pretty darn good game that fans of the movies will absolutely love.  It is not only one of the better LEGO games we've seen in a while, but also easily the best "Jurassic Park" game ever.  There are some aspects of the LEGO formula that are starting to wear thin, but you'll put up with them here because of one reason - dinosaurs.  LEGO Jurassic World is awesome and we highly recommend it.

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