If you don’t know, LEGO Dimensions is the 2015 LEGO video game that took the world by storm. Following in the stlye of Disney Infinity and Skylanders, you can get access to additional in game characters by purchasing their real world counterparts. They come with a special baseplate that tells the game which piece is being played. You place the pieces on the control pad (pictured left), which determines who you can use in the game. You can have up to 7 characters or items at once, and it can get rather hectic to manage.
As with previous LEGO games, you explore a world made out of LEGO using a huge range of characters. These started with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones games in 2005, and have now expanded into a massive range of games including Marvel, DC, LEGO Movie.
LEGO Dimensions seeks to unify many of these characters into a single world. Allowing you to explore places like Oz (from the Wizard of Oz), Aperture Science Laboratires, the worlds of Doctor Who, The LEGO Movie, Simpsons, Back to the Future, Scobby Do, Lord of the Rings and many many more. Characters are also available from an even wider, and ever growing, range of franchinses so far including Midway Arcade, Adventure Time, Mission Impossible, Sonic the Hedgehog, Jurrasic World, Gremlins, Harry Potter and more to come.
The game is available on all platforms, and is notable for the massive range of franchises that it brings together. Notably Disney (including Marvel and Star Wars) are absent from the range, perhaps due to the obvious clash between Marvel and DC, and Warner Bros being a strong partner with LEGO for their move distribution.
I bought the game the day it came out, along with a few fun packs. I have previously played and loved many of the TT LEGO games, some of which I have reached 100% completion on due to the excellent balance of fun, skill and depth. The original games presented a huge amount of replay value, as you could only pick a few characters to run through a level from a large cast of characters (from that story). Some characters share abilities, so you don’t need to collect everyone to complete the games many maps. The original games also didn’t use any dialogue to tell the story, part of the humour was in having well known stories told through minifig mine.
Starting a few years ago the games began to use dialogue, which took a fair bit of the charm out for me. But it also felt that the huge amount of items you could collect started to become a bit too much, and some of the games never let go of the tutorial style of showing you how to use each ability. The maps also started to move very broadly in three dimensions, moving away from the evolved platformer style that they used to be. Some of the charm was lost.
LEGO Dimensions definitely suffered from these issues for me, it felt too crowded, and the pressure to use the right character to complete a level properly was also frustrating. So too were some of the challenges that required you to shuffle characters around on the game control surface which took you out of the game and back to the real world. Having a huge army of minifigs and models to sort through to find the right one was also tedious. I will confess to having played the game for only a week or two before I got bored with it. Despite my massive love for Portal and Doctor Who I only played the maps for each of these worlds and never explored the other worlds with these characters.
I don’t mind at all that they have created a huge range of items to buy, but I can see that this would drive parents nuts (especially if they already have Skylanders and Disney Infinity). I also love that the game is responsible for many new franchises leaking into the LEGO world. I am quite keen to see what comes up in future, and I will probably purchase a number of the packs just to get the minifigs (as I am sure LEGO wants).
As for the games, I think they need to strip them back a little bit and move away from having a million items to collect to complete the game. The charm is still there but the games were best when they catered to adults and kids alike, where the gameplay was challenging and fun.
What are your feelings on LEGO Dimensions? Am I totally wrong?