It seems LEGO games appear on a regular basis, coinciding with blockbuster movies and just giving gamers their chance to collect studs and play with virtual blocks. So it’s no surprise that with Jurassic World stomping into theaters and all over box office records that we get a LEGO game tie in. And we get a full Jurassic experience, as the game contains all four movies- Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and of course the titular movie. Each game is composed of five levels and hits all the highlights of the films, faithfully recreating famous scenes and reciting famous lines. One note here: Because the game does recreate the movies so well, I’d recommend skipping the Jurassic World portion until after you’ve seen the film to avoid spoilers. The game actually does generate suspense in parts, especially with the raptors and the Indominus Rex. It’s not so bad to put little ones off playing the game (after all, they are among it’s target audience), but those easily startled may find themselves jumping in spots. It adds some thrills to the mostly fun gameplay that’s marred by the typical culprits (poor camera angles in spots, characters getting stuck in the environment) and jump platforms that can be inconsistent in propelling characters to upper levels, often taking quite some time of repeated bouncing until the character gets enough height and even then I sometimes had issues with them responding to go over to the platform. It makes for some frustration, especially when you need to spend five to ten minutes to complete what should be a simple jump. Fortunately, the series hallmark humor and getting to play as dinos helps alleviate that frustration, a good thing because this is one of the nicest looking and most interesting LEGO games in the series. Plus, dinosaurs!
The game puts you into the first movie immediately, having you do the first movie’s familiar prologue of getting the raptor cage in place. All the main characters from the movies are here, and you’ll need to switch often between them to get through areas as different tasks require different abilities. Each level offers plenty of space and time for exploration, and there are plenty of reasons to return to levels with characters you unlock to get to places you can’t reach in the main story lines. There are bone kits to discover, and finding a piece of amber unlocks a dinosaur for free play. You’ll even get to play as a dinosaur in certain scenes during the story modes, and there are 20 different species in all to find. In addition to the film stories, there are races to participate in, workers to rescue, gold blocks to unlock, challenges to master, and bone kits to find to build skeletons. The visitor center in Jurassic World allows you to customize characters as well as create dinosaurs by manipulating DNA sequences. The game utilizes the music from the films well, though the main theme does tend to wear thin as you hear it over and over again, especially during free play. The voice cast contains some actors from the movies (mainly Jurassic World, with both Chris Pratt and Irrfan Khan reprising their roles from the film) and the other members do a great job at getting pretty close to sounding like their film counterparts. There’s plenty to smash in the environments to gain studs, which can be used to purchase characters and can go towards getting gold blocks should you achieve True Survivor in the level. The other environments are more photorealistic, with shimmering water and detailed vegetation and buildings. Visually, the game is very nice to look at, and the dinosaurs are designed well and sound like those in the movies.
All in all, LEGO Jurassic World is another solid entry in the long running game series. It recreates the four Jurassic Park movies faithfully, complete with typical LEGO twists and humor. The game gives you plenty to do besides the story mode, and getting to play as dinosaurs in additional to the human characters is just icing on the cake. It’s not an overly challenging game, and is made even easier if you play co-op with someone (though every level can be completed solo). But it is fun for the most part, and makes for a nice break from the many dark and serious games out there. The main target audience may be kids, but with dinosaurs added into the mix this game can play to the kid in all of us. I still felt the sense of wonder when you first get to see the dinosaurs, and it’s still thrilling to hear the roar of the T-Rex whenever he’s on screen. There are some issues that mar the fun, but thankfully they don’t spoil the overall experience. The story mode can take you around 12 hours to complete, and those looking to do everything and find everything could spend around another dozen hours or so in the game. Whether this is worth full price could depend on how big a fan you are of all things Jurassic Park. Some will be satisfied with a rental while others may wait to wait for the inevitable price drop. If you don’t care for LEGO games this one won’t win you over, but if you enjoy the series this is one to definitely play. Because, there’s dinosaurs. And that’s just good enough to give the game a look.
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