The Simpsons Level Pack is one of the Lego Dimensions build sets available at launch. If you're wondering if its contents are enough to warrant splurging on, I'll break down what you can expect to help you make up your mind.
As with other Level Packs, this includes a character (Homer Simpson), a vehicle (Homer's car) and an item (The Simpsons' TV). The Homer figurine depicts him holding a can of Buzz cola which makes me wonder if they intentionally avoided giving him some Duff Beer to keep the game kid-friendly. The Simpsons family vehicle has 3 forms, the first of which being Homer's car - the standard pink vehicle that's shown outside the Simpsons' garage in every episode. The second transformation is The Homercraft which allows you to sail on water (yay, you can finally do those water races!) Finally, The SubmaHomer is a submarine that allows you to go underwater and shoot missiles. Homer can't swim underwater though, so don't exit the submarine when you're deep sea diving around Springfield. The television is less exciting than the vehicle and only really has one ability unique to the others (destroying gold bricks). This can be unlocked by upgrading it twice to The MechaHomer. The standard TV build called Taunt-o-Vision distracts enemies for you and destroys silver Lego bricks when it blows up. The first upgrade for the TV changes it to the Blast Cam - a turret for Homer to ride. Read on for a list of the abilities gained in the Level Pack as a result of using and upgrading the toys.
The following abilities become available for you to use throughout the Lego Dimensions universe when you purchase this Level Pack:
- Homer: Destroy glass by burping (sonar smash*), grow to super-size (big transform) and break cracked walls (super strength)
- Vehicle transformations: Homer's Car (tow bar*), The Homercraft (sail on water), The SubmaHomer (destroy silver blocks and dive underwater)
- Television transformations: Taunt-o-Vision (destroy silver blocks and taunt enemies to distract them), Blast Cam (rideable turret), The MechaHomer (destroy gold blocks)
* also available with an upgraded Batmobile
You may recognize the name of the level included in this pack as an actual Simpsons episode - The Mysterious Voyage of Homer. This level follows the episode's story quite closely. Homer attends a chili cook-off held in Springfield and tries to impress the crowd by eating all of the chili. However, when he tastes Chief Wiggums' chili, the peppers used are so strong that it sends him into a hallucinogenic trance. Playing the level will take you to the Simpsons' home, the chili cook-off event, a desert, a pyramid and the docks. It took me a little longer than other levels in the game, likely due to the variety of settings that you traverse. One thing stood out like a sore thumb while I was playing which was the lack of voice acting. I only heard Homer's voice and a couple of other characters had a few one-liners. Marge is seen occasionally but she never utters a word, making some of the cutscenes come across as awkward. Voice acting aside, the level is great fun to play and if you're a Simpsons fan, you'll surely appreciate the time taken to recreate this classic episode in Lego form.
The Simpsons adventure world that you unlock is none other than the town of Springfield itself. The world is quite large and offers fans of the series lots of eye candy. Although you can't go inside some iconic buildings, there's fun to be had around their vicinity. This can be said for structures like Barney's Bowlarama, Burns Manor and The Aztec Theater. Larger regions that have more to do include such areas as Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, the Springfield countryside and Krustyland. Though Krustyland isn't a prominent piece of the Simpsons universe (I had to look it up to remember what it was), it can be quite fun running around and actually riding the rides. Hopefully your head has more luck staying on than other recent visitors to the park. On the other hand, there are some crucial Springfield features that are missing such as the Springfield Retirement Castle, First Church of Springfield and Moe's Tavern. The world is still large, but being able to visit the bar where Homer spends most of his time would have been a nice addition (especially if Seymour Butz is around).
A mute Marge and restricted Springfield world make it tough to justify this purchase for the price at launch. Also, the gameplay and overall content doesn't offer anything significantly special to the core Lego Dimensions experience. However, I can't deny that I had a lot of fun driving around with Homer in his pink battered up car through Springfield and hallucinating in the desert.
- + Lengthy story level that mimics an actual Simpsons episode
- + Sailing and diving are handy abilities
- + Large Springfield adventure world
- - For the added cost, it doesn't differentiate itself enough from the main game
- - Some iconic Springfield buildings are missing
- - A few noticeably absent voice actors