Lego Worlds has been in Early Access for a good while now, only just having been released fully on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One in March 7th 2017 – The game, as is expected, has an obvious likeness to the world’s biggest Survival title, Minecraft…But that’s not always a bad thing, is it..?
Lego Worlds differs in many, many ways from it’s inspiration, Minecraft; often in ways that work well, but in ways that also end up hurting it more than helping it – For one, Lego Worlds comes pre-packaged with an extremely hand-holdish main story (Of sorts), playing through a number of pre-set worlds to help players get to grips with the admittedly painful UI, and the plethora of interesting tools on display here – Lego Worlds, much unlike Minecraft, gives players tools such as a terraforming tool, a “Discovery Tool” (Which allows players to discover items, characters, vehicles and even structures and spawn them in at any time), and a Copy & Paste Tool! Something that I’ve been wanting to be implemented in base Creative Mode Minecraft for years now – These small tools offer a standard player an impressive arsenal of creative tools that can be used to easily make large-scale structures and landscapes in a flash.
Built a part of a gigantic castle that you want to expand? Copy, Paste, and rotate three times to make a full castle. Built a large town district in a city and want to beef it up a little? Copy & Paste. Need a mountain in a flash? Use the terraforming tools. These normally monumental tasks that can take hours upon hours in Minecraft are reduced to sheer seconds in Lego Worlds – Here is where the game shines most, and differentiates the most away from it’s obvious comparison.
Another area that Lego Worlds shines the most in is with it’s impressive use of player interactiveness – A massive array of objects and structures can be interacted with in a variety of ways; from cooking on barbecues, sliding down slides, driving cars or riding pigs and sharks – If you see it, chances are you can interact with it; this is a great place for kids to unleash their creativity, and removes many arguments and instances of crying when a kid sees something they want to mess around with and ends up that they can’t.
However, this is sadly where Lego Worlds starts to show some cracks – The game, whilst being built for families and kids, is limited to 2-player co-op as opposed to Minecraft’s 4-player co-op (8-player in LAN mode); the performance too is sadly quite pathetic in splitscreen on consoles, as it was borderline unplayable in 2-player mode (Expect this to be better on PC, however, depending on the quality of your PC) – This is a sacrifice made through the game being made with a slightly more detailed art style, with more interactive elements than Minecraft. Similar to it’s comparison, Lego Worlds too suffers from odd lighting issues, pop-in object issues, NPC bugs (Such as NPCs not giving quests), and other such issues.
The worlds too, initially, seem rather small and desolate, with a wealth of ‘filler objects’, and a scarce number of actual, meaningful structures such as Towns and Dungeons; it’s unknown if this’ll be expanded further on, but as it stands, there’s just not much to actually do in Lego Worlds. You can roam around and find Gold Bricks, objects and build stuff, accepting quests and doing random stuff, but in the end of the day, that’s all you’ll be doing.
We subconsciously started following an exploration cycle upon landing in a new world; we’d exit our ship, complete the nearest cluster of quests, discover all the local objects, and then go underground to find Gold Bricks before buggering off to a new world. Rinse and repeat, until the end of time, or until we decided to actually build something. This is the self-consuming cycle that Lego Worlds suffers from, with so many items, objects and characters, you never really want to start building something massive because you always fear you’ll discover something new that you’ll have to strip down what you built to implement. Actual building functionality too is limited, without resources such as Redstone in Minecraft, there’s a limit to what you can build, and a lack of interesting off-cut-ideas you can create. You won’t see calculators, computers, minigames or systems here.
Another issue too is that every quest falls into various templates – Photography Quests, Construction Quests, Delivery Quests and Defending Quests (Where you guard an NPC against enemies) are all you’ll see here, and to be fair, it’s a bit sad compared to the fan-made quests you can find in similar sandbox experiences.
All in all, Lego Worlds is an amazing Lego game…But as an exploration / sandbox game…It’s nothing more than flat, boring and short-lasting. Definitley worth the money if you have a kid who loves Lego, but not if you have two or more children that’ll be wanting to clamber around the controller. All you’ll get are tears due to the bad optimisation (On console) and lack of +2 player co-op. It’s fun, but in short bursts.
I would rate Lego Worlds a 6 / 10; hopefully TT Games introduces more updates in the near future, as I really wanted to give this game a 7 / 10…But from the viewpoint of a brother who’s lived and played games with his siblings, and from a single player experience…It needs more work.