Since 2005, there have been a large number of LEGO games based on successful movie franchises. Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and many more Hollywood blockbusters. With the release of LEGO Jurassic World, yet another series of films is immortalised in LEGO but – do we need another one of these games?
Well, it depends on your approach to these titles. If you’ve played every single one of the LEGO games to date, you could quite understandably be burnt out at this point, in much the same way some fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise have noted. Arguably, LEGO is even more guilty of this as, since 2008, they’ve been releasing 2 or 3 of these titles PER YEAR. They’re nothing if not formulaic so, if you don’t feel you need to play another LEGO game, there’s nothing specifically to draw you to this, apart from the Jurassic Park franchise itself. If, however, you’re the sort of person who only picks up a LEGO game when it taps into a franchise you’re particularly passionate about (we particularly enjoyed the Star Wars and Batman ones, for example) then you might be ready to dip back in.
All four Jurassic Park movies are lovingly recreated here, with many of the film’s iconic set-pieces successfully adapted to suit the game’s ‘break-and-build’ puzzle mechanics. On other occasions, you might find key moments rendered through the use of Quicktime Events, or frantic chases. None of this offers too much of a challenge. It’s seemingly impossible to even take damage during the chases and, as with other titles in the series, if you die at any other point, you’ll be back to life almost instantly to pick up exactly where you left off. For some, this lack of difficulty is enough for people to disregard the titles but, really, the joy of these titles isn’t in the challenge, but in reliving classic moments you either remember with warm nostalgia from your childhood, or are discovering for the first time as a younger player.
These titles are obviously suited to younger gamers, and that’s no bad thing. You’re constantly being offered the chance to add a second player in local co-op, and that’s clearly how the developers want you to enjoy it. Later levels definitely benefit from simultaneous gameplay, rather than the constant switching from character to character you’ll get if you play solo. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy playing solo though, just that – on some occasions – you’ll notice the game probably intended you to have someone else along for the ride.
Once again, the game is a completionist’s dream. Arguably, the 20 story-missions (5 per film) are just the introduction to this world – we’d barely reached 25% by the time the end credits rolled. On completion of each movie’s missions, you’ll have the option to go back and free-roam, not just in the missions themselves, but in the open-world within which they take place. New tasks will also appear, from rescuing workers in peril, to healing sick dinosaurs or racing through checkpoints. None of them offer anything particularly ground breaking but there’s fun to be had in more thoroughly exploring locations you only briefly passed by during your first play through.
It might not take you long to complete the game’s story missions but, if you want to see everything it has to offer, you’ll be spending a lot more time on the islands. But, in answer to our original question, do we NEED another one of these games? Well, no. But many will want and enjoy it. If you’re a fan of the Jurassic Park movies, you’ll love rediscovering the stories, with those little irreverent twists the LEGO series is known for. And, if you enjoy LEGO games more generally, or just love scratching that 100% itch, this game has a LOT to offer. In the words of the great Dr. Alan Grant (well, almost): LEGO, after some consideration, we’ve decided…to endorse your park.