22 years ago Steven Spielberg released something very special into the world, a movie that has since become one of the most loved of all time, Jurassic Park. Following a couple of less well-received sequels the franchise has been left dormant for some time but that’s about to change.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PC
Also Available On: Mac OSX, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS
Release Date: Out Now
This year sees the release of the fourth movie in the series and in partnership with developers TT Games, a LEGO tie-in for the franchise has finally been released alongside the new blockbuster. Welcome to LEGO Jurassic World.
Converting movie franchises into enjoyable brick-based puzzle games isn’t exactly new to TT Games; Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribean, Indiana Jones, Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit have all had similar treatment over the last 8 years and all with positive outcomes. So how does Dr Alan Grant and co do with the transition?
Despite sharing the new movies name, the game’s story actually covers the entirety of the franchise, all four movies from 1993’s Jurassic Park through to 2015’s Jurassic World (now if only we could get that third Hobbit movie game). With that in mind it might be worth seeing the latest movie before delving into this game if you wish for a completely spoiler-free experience, I said the same thing last year with the release of the LEGO Movie game.
20 levels make up the core campaign, five per movie, each taking significant scenes from the franchise and adding that special LEGO touch. The cut-scenes are hilarious, to say the least, recreating key parts of the movie almost frame by frame and then just throwing in some brick related humour, it’s a tradition that goes right back to the LEGO Star Wars days and it’s still proving to be a successful highlight in these games.
It’s safe to say that there are a few gruesome moments in the Jurassic Park series which might scare the youngest of the target audience for this game but much like with Pirates of the Caribean and Indiana Jones, TT Games has you covered. Take the opening scene from Jurassic Park, the cargo box holding the Raptor and the transfer which results in the an unfortunate end for one of InGen’s employees, LEGO Jurassic World replaces the carnage with a tug of war between said worker and Raptor for a sausage.
If, like me, you’re a long-term fan of the LEGO series, then you’ll be more than familiar with the mechanics of the game, the controls are easy to master and in terms of what abilities you have at your disposal, it’s very easy to draw comparisons from the other games.
Alan Grant, for example, has the ability to follow dinosaur tracks, similar to Aragorn in LEGO Lord Of The Rings, and he can dig up buried items much like Wolverine in LEGO Marvel Superheroes. Lex, the teenage girl who calls herself a hacker because of her ability to navigate a UNIX operating system (Remember “hacker” not “nerd”), has the ability to shatter glass through screaming, much like Black Canary from the LEGO Batman games.
It’s fair to say that the LEGO formula, the refined system of skills and controls, is utilised to it’s fullest in the game without the need for anything groundbreakingly unique. That might sound like a bad thing if you’re looking for something new but when you consider that the target audience for these games is youngsters, consistency is key. Even so, the system has been evolving over the last 8 years, every now and again TT Games do throw something new in to see if we’re still paying attention.
With Jurassic World, that new feature is the ability to control dinosaurs, yep that’s right. It makes a lot of sense to be fair, if the newest movie has taught me anything it’s that the dinosaurs are characters too and so deserve their own part to play in this recreation. Much like the recently added big figs, like Hulk and the Thing in LEGO Marvel, your movement and abilities are limited but when brute force is needed, having a triceratops on call might be handy.
Outside of the linear story, you have the now obligatory open world and fans will be more than pleased with it. The hub is split into two separate main areas, on one side you have the Jurassic Park open world, which is essentially the island from the original movie, on the other is the Jurassic World area, which is a LEGO recreation of the new movies fully functional theme park.
Both of these areas are fully open to exploration, populated with the standard side-missions and hidden collectibles now standard in these games. This massive open world more than doubles your play time once you’re finished with the stories.
The biggest issue the game suffers from is poor audio in places. Early installments from TT’s LEGO series didn’t give their characters voices, LEGO Star Wars, for example, is entirely mute from a vocal perspective. It wasn’t until Frodo and the gang began their adventures in LEGO middle-earth that we were finally treated to a movie’s vocal talents along with the epic musical soundtracks.
Since then, the movie transitions have mostly been with modern franchises, post-2000, meaning that the audio brought into the game has been extremely good quality. Where the original Jurassic Park is over two decades old, the sound-bites suffer slightly. This isn’t going to do too much to hinder your enjoyment, but it is noticeable, especially in the early levels. Don’t worry though because when you have the epic Jurassic Park soundtrack blaring at full volume, you need nothing else.
Overall, LEGO Jurassic World is exactly what we have come to expect from TT Games and their LEGO series. The developer has taken what they’ve learned from previous games, made a few refinements and that’s about it from the gameplay perspective.
The transition from movies to brick form has been very kind to the Jurassic Park franchise, much like the Star Wars prequel movies, this game gives the less than great Jurassic Park sequels a purpose in telling the overall story in a much more fun environment.
Fans of LEGO will love this game, it continues a long tradition of maintaining a status quo whilst evolving new features. Fans of Jurassic Park will love this game, it’s all of the movies told brilliantly with added humour, something seriously lacking from the two earlier sequels.