With the recent release of The LEGO Movie 2, and the video game tie-in to go along with it, it got me thinking… What happened to my love for the LEGO video games?
I remember the first LEGO game I played, it was LEGO Harry Potter; Years 1-4, followed by, unsurprisingly, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. I had heard about the LEGO games being quite good, but if I’m being truthful, that is not the reason I first decided to play one of these games. If you have ever heard Respawning’s PlayStation Podcast then you will know all about Javier and myself’s trophy war from years ago… And admittedly my first LEGO game purchase was a casualty of this war!
What happened next was quite the surprise though.. I really enjoyed my time with LEGO Harry Potter. I very quickly found myself getting addicted to smashing everything I could find to collect as many pieces as possible, then trying to unlock every character in the game by replaying the same levels again and again. Add to that the charm and comedy that came along with the recreations of iconic Harry Potter scenes and I was hooked!
So the next time I picked up a LEGO game, it was no longer because I was chasing that shiny platinum trophy and trying to out level my good buddy, but because I genuinely wanted to play it! This trend would continue for a number of years as I played my way through Pirates of the Caribbean, the first two Batman titles and The Lord of the Rings. It seemed like LEGO had it all with its seemingly unlimited amount of franchises. With every game they released I would find myself wanting to see famous moments recreated with tiny pieces in a way that only LEGO can.
Then something happened, I stopped. And not just for a while, but for good. January 2013 was the last time that a LEGO game was played on my PSN account despite a continuation of critically acclaimed games being released by the beloved toy brand. But why? Well it might have been the same thing that made me love them in the first place; the endless amount of franchises. As impressive as it is (And it bloody is!), the amount of different franchises that LEGO have and the sequels that follow them started to burn me out. Especially for a gamer like myself, who is usually all or nothing. It felt like if I wanted to play all of these games then I would have to have a game library of primarily LEGO titles. And as much as I had fallen for these games, this is what I felt turned me away.
Or is that just a big old excuse? An excuse because I cant be bothered? A popular talking point for a lot of adult gamers is time, more so the lack of it! As we go through life, we seem to take on more and more responsibilities that tend to more often than not, eat into your gaming time. So it’s natural to look at the games you play and start to make some sacrifices! With me, I am a sucker for a sports simulator, specifically the Fifa franchise. There is nothing more relaxing for me than getting home from work, switching my brain off and having a quick 30-60 minute kick around in a virtual world while I unwind. And even if I do have some rare time to spare, and want to take on a new game to complete over a weekend, I am more likely to go for a big action adventure game with a new and unique story, rather than a LEGO retelling of a story I already know.
So with all this in mind, I guess it is no surprise that I have fallen away from my once beloved LEGO games. But does that mean that I am completely done? I hope not. After seeing and loving the first LEGO Movie in 2014, I was tempted to go back to the games. And again in 2016 after seeing a friend play through some classic MCU scenes in LEGO: Marvel’s Avengers. Though for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. So as I sit here writing this, coming to the realisation that I haven’t picked up one of these games for over 6 years now, it makes me sad. It makes me sad because my ever growing distance from these charming games probably represents my ever growing distance from my younger, more care free years. And with that being said, I have the itch for the first time since 2016 to pick up a LEGO game and give it one more go! Will I love it again? Or will I finally realise that my time with LEGO is done?
Watch this space!