TT Games has been releasing Lego versions of older franchises but now they're taking on newer ones. This latest addition was released alongside the movie that it's based on and it got the ultimate treatment: its very own Story Pack!
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack comes with a new MACUSA (The Magical Congress of the United States of America) gateway, the Newt Scamander figurine and Niffler toy. Off the bat, the fact that a Story Pack only comes with one character and one creature is disappointing. The new gateway is entirely superficial and the only fun to be had with it is the time spent to build it. That being said, it is the most interesting gateway so far with moveable lifts on either side and doors that open in the centre. However, you'll completely forget about it while playing the levels and new world because it's not incorporated into the gameplay at all like the original gateway was.
Newt Scamander looks quite spiffy, kitted up in his early 1900s attire and holding his simple wand that can be used to levitate objects and spray water among other things. His buddy Niffler is quite ugly-looking to be honest yet his CG version in the movie wasn't all that attractive anyway. It does come with some unique pieces though and takes some time to build which is more than can be said for some characters in other packs. Newt introduces a few new unique abilities as he can pick locks with the help of his little green buddy, use his briefcase to enter hidden rooms (and often find a gold brick or other collectibles) and use teleportation pads to reach otherwise unreachable areas. If this set was a Level Pack with the Newt minifigure and some other more interesting vehicles and such then it would be on the short list for my favourite set.
The following abilities become available for you to use throughout the Lego Dimensions universe when you purchase this Story Pack:
- Newt Scamander: Spray water with his wand, target, deflect lasers, use Diffindo spell to break red bricks, pick locks, illuminate dark hallways, destroy silver blocks, use stealth, use magic, solve intelligence puzzles, fix broken objects, use his briefcase to enter hidden rooms, and use his Apparate access ability to teleport
- Niffler transformations: Niffler (playable character, attract studs, guardian ability, dig), Sinister Scorpion (vine cut, special weapon, guardian ability), Vicious Vulture (use flight docks and flight cargo hooks, destroy gold blocks, guardian ability)
Throughout the six levels included in this Story Pack, you'll basically experience the entire Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. It has an interesting setting of mid 1920s New York and the Lego version of it captures that time period very well. I've said before that Lego versions of real world cities are starting to get dull but putting it in a different time period makes this miniature New York a delight to explore. Starting out in a bank, you'll chase Niffler while attempting to capture him in your briefcase. Next, you'll have some fun in a forest then move on to a zoo where you'll try to capture another escaped beast - the Erumpent (a giant rhino/bison crossover). When you're done, you'll be fighting a load of bad guys at the MACUSA headquarters. That's pretty fun, but battling hordes of enemies happens a few times throughout the story levels and gets a little boring eventually.
The fifth level is the lengthiest and the most interesting as you chase beasts in the toy section of a department store at night. Because a lot of the levels are quite dark and have similar textures, it was fun to be in a colourful area with Christmas trees and toy trains dotted around. In the final level, you're on the streets and rooftops chasing a black cloud and making pathways to reach it. Overall, the length of the levels feels short with each being about half of the length of the average Level Pack. Combined with the fact that you only get two characters (and one of them isn't particularly handy), it's hard to justify the price of admission. On the plus side, I found that the story levels had a great sense of humour even above what I've seen in other packs due to the amount of silly clips to watch. There's also a ton of cameos with other Lego characters throughout which is always a laugh because they obviously don't fit into the scenery at all.
You'll navigate to each level in the Story Pack through the unlocked Adventure World (à la other full Lego games). The Adventure World itself is a miniature New York complete with the Statue of Liberty, Port Authority, Times Square, and with unique buildings from Fantastic Beasts mixed in such as the Magical Congress of America tower. The NPCs walking around are dressed in typical 1920s attire and the signage and overall style of the city reflects the setting of the movie very well. However, it doesn't have anything unique when compared to other Adventure Worlds which is a little disappointing. The size of it is rather small, too. The quality of the voice work can be bad yet it isn't as apparent when you're walking through the Adventure World as Newt. It makes me wonder if Eddie Redmayne (or a sound-alike) was recorded just for this game yet audio clips ripped directly from the movie were used in the story levels.
I applaud TT Games for continuously switching things up and finding fresh ways to make me bring out my collection of minifigures and have fun with Lego Dimensions yet again. However, I would have preferred to see the gateway be incorporated into the gameplay or replaced with another vehicle along with the story levels being a little longer. Having said that, Newt Scamander is a great addition to my collection and I'll be using him throughout the Lego universe that I've unlocked so far.
- + Gateway is the most interesting one available
- + Newt Scamander has lots of enjoyable abilities including multiple unique ones
- + Walking around '20s New York is a lot of fun
- - Gateway isn't used in the gameplay
- - The six included levels feel short and are over far too quickly
- - Adventure World is too small and ordinary