Now that the long-awaited The Lego Movie 2 is in theatres, let's see how its video game counterpart holds up.
I must admit, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame isn't what I expected. As opposed to being another linear stage-based campaign with an open world hub, it's played a lot like Lego Worlds yet with plenty of added classic and fresh gameplay elements. Considering it's such a unique concoction, it's definitely not a stereotypical Lego game. The campaign begins in Apocalypseburg and after learning the ropes there, you'll venture off to a handful of areas such as the Harmony City suburbs on your way through the Systar System. Each area is somewhat large complete with plenty of main and optional objectives and collectibles. There is a main path that you can take to whip through these areas as fast as possible but exploring and accomplishing optional objectives is definitely a big part of the fun.
Last weekend, I watched The Lego Movie 2 in the theatre to see how well the game represents what's in the film and it does some things right and others could have been better. On the plus side, there are many characters, gadgets, and abilities that are very well translated from the movie such as the Sticker Gun, your ability to ground pound to flip over enemies, and even Lucy's goofy Scanner Binoculars. On the other hand, there aren't many cutscenes or story elements in the game so you'll have to watch the movie if you want to understand the full narrative as well as have a few laughs which unfortunately, this game doesn't provide well either.
The Lego Movie 2 Videogame's greatest feature by far is its use of gadgets. As you play, you acquire different coloured bricks and can scan certain objects with the aforementioned Scanner Binoculars. Then, you use your Builder Page to construct whatever you have the materials and plans for. On top of this, you can do things like use Unikitty's Paint Wand to bring colourless objects to life and punch through walls with the Danger Fists. It's great fun to use these gadgets to progress in the story and unlock more purple bricks. Plus, being able to switch between dozens of characters including Rex, Lucy, Unikitty, and President Business is awesome.
One thing that almost every Lego game does is provide a ton of replay value and The Lego Movie 2 Videogame is no exception. You can collect 475 purple bricks throughout its many worlds and there are 6 bonus planets within the Rex-Plorer System. In addition to those and the 7 main Systar System planets, there will be a few more free DLC areas within the Galactic Outskirts. If you play like I did, you'll only be at about 25% completion upon beating the main story path so there's a lot to do within these expansive stages.
Whenever I play a Lego game, I almost always play through it cooperatively because that makes it much more enjoyable. However, whereas many previous Lego games feature nifty puzzles where you actually need to cooperate with a friend, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame's co-op simply feels tacked on. Sure, it's fun to play with a friend and beating up the silly enemies is easier as a team but I wish that there was more substance to local multiplayer. Even some bonus co-op missions would have been cool.
Finally, I've seen other reviewers complain about glitches in The Lego Movie 2 Videogame but I didn't encounter any at all throughout my time with it. Did they play the same game that I did or are they just saying that there are glitches because they're assuming that there are due to past games being so glitchy? I'm afraid I can't answer that question because my time with this delightful game was nothing short of smooth sailing. However, one issue I had was with the fact that the boss fights are all very similar. You essentially just dodge attacks then climb the boss only to play a Whac-A-Mole game with weak points that pop up. That got old pretty fast.
I don't care what anyone else says, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame is a ton of fun. With a spot-on blend of familiar Lego gameplay, open-world environments, and an assortment of awesome gadgets; what's not to love?
- + Fantastic combination of classic Lego gameplay and sandbox elements
- + Lots of cool gadgets and characters
- + Rewarding and long-lasting replay value
- - Only loosely ties with the movie / lacks enjoyable cutscenes and story
- - Doesn't take full advantage of co-op play
- - Boss fights are too samey