The LEGO Movie was certainly a surprise. What could have easily been a silly, mindless kids’ movie has ended up as perhaps one of the greatest animated films ever made, perfectly capturing the slapdash, mix-and-match wonder of a child playing with LEGO, infused with charm and genuine comedy. If you were expecting the same sort of surprise from the movie’s inevitable, incredibly meta tie-in, then you’re set for disappointment I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad.

What it is, is a tad uninspired. It sticks to the same tried and tested formula – so if you’ve played any other LEGO games you know precisely what to expect. Its plot is taken directly from the film and this is where this LEGO game takes a step backwards. Instead of the classic LEGO game cut-scenes that humorously thief bits from their celluloid counterparts, this steals them wholesale, ripping them out and pasting them in where applicable. Most of the charm of the LEGO games comes in taking a scene from a film and giving it a LEGO makeover, and that’s just not the case here…though it’s necessary, for obvious reasons.

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And though it doesn’t include everything from the film, playing through this will spoil the entirety of the main plot, so it’s really recommended you watch before playing. The film, thankfully does translate in to gameplay quite well and seldom fails to be at least mildly enjoyable. The game features just about all of the film’s main characters including the protagonist, and follows Emmet, the construction worker who’s thrust out of an ordered world to discover that there is another world, un-manipulated and outside of the one he knows. On top of that, he could be the prophesied Super; the most important person in the whole universe. Yes, on the surface it bears more than a passing resemblance to The Matrix – but there’s a grander cast of characters and much more imaginative worlds in this particular blockbuster.

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While the plot is directly taken from the film, what the game does is reuse many of the film’s action sequences and fluffs them out, stretching them into lengthy sequences with interesting and imaginative objectives, adding depth to on-screen sequences that were just seconds long. 

The Lego Movie: The Videogame lets you play as various Lego characters from the film as they make their way through 15 diverse and colourful chapters, doing exactly the sort of things you’ve been doing in LEGO games for years; collecting little studs that serve as currency,  solving puzzles and smashing just about everything into pieces.

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Because there are different character archetypes, you’ll need to switch between characters and use their unique abilities to get certain jobs done; Emmet’s good for drilling away cracked bricks, the agile Wyldstyle is perfect for high-risk jumps and Batman and his grappling hook are just the ticket when it comes to pulling things down. Minigames, like a Pac-Man-esque hacking game and a dancing game keep things from becoming too repetitive too quickly,  something that’s aided by the fact that each of the game’s 15 chapters feels different from the last. Each set of levels is based around a small, but unique hub world, offering puzzles and collectibles outside of the main game.

As much as everything is the same, there are a few noticeable changes. For one, absolutely everything is made from LEGO, including the scenery, water, smoke and explosions. It gives the whole game the feeling that it’s really all playing out within a child’s head. Another little change is the class of builders; usually anyone is capable of building things from the bits of bouncing LEGO lying about, but here only master builders can make things, willy-nilly. Everyone else has to rely on instructions to build anything.

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The game isn’t particularly long, taking just 7 hours to complete, but as with all LEGO games that’s where he fun really starts. Replaying levels in Free Play with characters who shouldn’t be there opens up whole new sections of levels in your quest for completionism – and it’s where I had most fun with the game. Compared to other LEGO games though, there’s just not all that much content. It’s shorter and less feature-packed than the recent LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and not nearly as inspired or engaging as the excellent LEGO City Undercover.

On top of that, the game’s a bit on the buggy side. A few times I had trigger events fail to happen, forcing me to replay whole sections, while on a separate occasion the game’s save points just stopped working, before crashing out, making me lose an hour’s worth of progress. That’s on top of the usual LEGO game bugs of characters getting stuck in areas they shouldn’t have entered.

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Despite those issues and the overall lack of scope, this is still a pretty good film tie-in, taking some of the best ideas and elements from the entire series and packaging them in a neat, charming and fun family friendly bundle. In fact, it really comes alive when you play it co-operatively, as I did this weekend with my kids. While it doesn’t give players the creative freedom of a world-builder like Minecraft it does allow for the creation of a great deal of chaos, which is really where most of its fun lies. 

Last Updated: March 17, 2014

The LEGO Movie Videogame
Hardly strays from the established formula, but that's not entirely a bad thing. Any single game that allows you to play as both Batman and Gandalf has to be doing something right.
7.0
The LEGO Movie Videogame was reviewed on PlayStation 4
71 / 100

25 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief of comments

    March 17, 2014 at 15:31

    Nanananananananananananananaananaaaaaaaaaaaaaaananananananaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Reply

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      March 17, 2014 at 15:33

      Lego Batman!

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of comments

        March 17, 2014 at 15:38

        Should that not be Lalalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa then?

        Reply

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          March 17, 2014 at 15:44

          Make it so!

          Reply

      • HvR

        March 17, 2014 at 16:16

        I think they based the Lego Movie Batman on Darryn’s videos instead on any of the comics.

        EDIT: Except the part on having girlfriend of course.

        Reply

  2. RinceIsIngwer

    March 17, 2014 at 15:39

    Still need to watch this!

    Reply

  3. General JJ the Fett

    March 17, 2014 at 15:53

    How are all the different Lego games? I’ve never played a single one.

    Reply

    • HvR

      March 17, 2014 at 15:57

      Quite enjoyable especially as couch co-op with a person new to gaming.

      The ones I played I would rate as follow:
      1. Pirates of the Caribbean 9/10
      2. Star Wars trilogy 8.5/10
      3. Lego Movie 7/10 (will give it 8 if they sort the bugs)
      4. Batman 7/10

      Reply

      • General JJ the Fett

        March 17, 2014 at 15:58

        You had me at Star Wars
        Original trilogy or crap trilogy?

        Reply

        • HvR

          March 17, 2014 at 16:11

          Sorry should have been Complete Saga.

          All 6 episodes, quite a lot of play time for your buck (RRP ~ R300).

          You can choose which episode to play, so skip 1 to 3 or play them and let Jar Jar die a horrible lego death 300 million times over.

          Reply

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 17, 2014 at 16:12

            Ah. Okay cool.
            I can cope with the first three if I can have Jar Jar die.

          • HvR

            March 17, 2014 at 16:13

            Like with real Lego use your imagination.

            Control him and let him jump into bottomless pits over and over or take control of Obi-wan and cut him to pieces.

          • General JJ the Fett

            March 17, 2014 at 16:16

            Haha. Excellent.

      • CAE9872

        March 18, 2014 at 07:53

        According to my son (6 years) = Star Wars tops…Lord of Rings OK.

        Reply

  4. HvR

    March 17, 2014 at 16:00

    Biggest problem with the Lego movie and game is getting this song stuck in your head.

    Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      March 17, 2014 at 16:00

      it’s been stuck in my head for a week.

      Reply

      • BCYa

        March 19, 2014 at 08:14

        That song is in my head every morning when I wake up. It puts me in a good mood, but some day may drive me insane. Everything has it’s pros and cons, I guess!

        Reply

    • General JJ the Fett

      March 17, 2014 at 16:02

      No thanks

      Reply

      • HvR

        March 17, 2014 at 16:04

        Is actually quite funny how they use it in the movie

        Reply

        • General JJ the Fett

          March 17, 2014 at 16:05

          Can’t wait to check out this movie actually

          Reply

    • CAE9872

      March 18, 2014 at 07:52

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What have you done!!!!!!!!

      Reply

  5. KvinlonWeldon

    March 23, 2014 at 10:20

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    Reply

  6. Alexander

    March 23, 2014 at 16:59

    Happy game

    Reply

  7. Greg heffeley

    March 24, 2014 at 02:56

    My name is … THAT AWESOME!!!!

    Reply

  8. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 25, 2014 at 10:30

    Everything’s AWEESSOMMMEEEEE!!!!!!!

    Reply

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