Review

The Lego Movie Videogame Review

  • Game release: February 28, 2014
  • Reviewed:
  • XONE

Faithful creation.

The Lego Movie Videogame is the culmination of a surprising series of unlikely events. Based on a successful movie that quite possibly wouldn't even exist if there weren't first successful games and toy play sets inspired by similarly endearing movies before it, this newest interactive journey through the world of branded plastic blocks is a satisfying companion piece to its theatrical source material.

If you've played previous Lego games, you have a general idea what to expect. The Lego Movie Videogame doesn't deviate from its successful predecessors' formula. As always, you must lead a band of merry plastic characters around a vibrant world filled with rudimentary puzzles and enemies who fall to pieces when they meet their demise. Some basic ingenuity allows you to advance to the next set piece with minimal difficulty, and level hubs tie the action-oriented stages together while offering incentive to explore. You collect various doodads and in-game currency, which activate cheats that let you play completed areas the way you like, or unlock a slew of additional characters, and sometimes you get to assemble special vehicles or structures by playing a minigame.

We meet during dark times, Mr. Snowman. I'm Batman!

The same general formula has carried gamers through a variety of Lego adventures in the past, minor tweaks aside, and it is arguably no better or worse with this iteration than it was previously, even if by now it feels less inventive than it once did. The most noteworthy difference is the shortened campaign, which is around half as lengthy and content-rich as something like Lego City Undercover on the Wii U, or even Lego The Lord of the Rings. That's disappointing to find after previous games did such a good job of dropping you into a pleasingly expansive world, but the positive side to that coin is the general lack of dead weight. Here, you are asked to wander a great deal less, and though a handful of optional tasks are offered in each zone, narrative momentum is the obvious priority.

Some basic ingenuity allows you to advance to the next set piece with minimal difficulty.

As for the story, it's the same as the one shown in theaters. Emmet, the protagonist, is a forgettable construction worker who finds his whitewashed view of the world made more colorful by a chance encounter with Wyldstyle, a free-spirited adventurer who is convinced Emmet holds the key to saving the world from an evil menace. The movie had a lot of fun with its clever references to pop culture, and the game does too in the most direct manner possible: by including huge chunks of footage from the film. Except for two pivotal scenes that unfold near the end of the movie but are glossed over or cut here--to no ill effect--and occasional moments of incidental dialogue, nearly everything makes an appearance. The central themes are just slightly less apparent, but you still get a cohesive and lively story from start to finish, complete with the best scenes from the most memorable Lego characters.

What Vitruvius can't see surely can't hurt him...

Many scenes from the movie lend themselves naturally to a game experience, and that quickly becomes evident here. An introductory stage acquaints you with the basics by walking you through Emmet's rather mundane day at the construction site. Before long, though, he's driving a motorcycle along a crowded freeway, and Wyldstyle is making her way along the tops of moving vehicles. These events are almost wholly participatory, making it all feel even more frantic than in the film. Then in a later sequence, the characters flee along the rooftops and battle robots along the way--another pivotal scene at the cinema. Here, it's just fleshed out a bit more, and there are puzzles to solve. So it goes with much of the game, all without the mix ever feeling unnatural or forced. Visuals during the levels and in the cutscenes complement one another beautifully and are perpetually bright and shiny in all the right places.

Although The Lego Movie has delighted audiences of all ages with its clever writing and inside jokes, the video game version isn't as universally absorbing. Puzzles are simple enough that children should be able to solve them just through experimenting, but too many of them take a paint-by-numbers approach. You simply search for an obvious piece of the architecture that Emmet can drill, break everything apart until you find glowing points of interest that can be assembled, or look for a point on a distant ledge to grapple. Throw in some mild brawling elements--with no fear of failure, aside from a lower rating upon completion of the stage--and you have the bulk of the game. It can wear thin at times, but that's not a new problem for the franchise.

Returning wandering felines to their owner is just the cat's meow!

Elsewhere, more minor concerns also pop up on occasion. Infrequently, it's possible to get a character stuck on the architecture, unable to move. If you're playing alone you can easily switch to another character in the party, though, and then break apart your trapped friend. If you're playing cooperatively the second player can do the same, so at least there's an easy workaround when necessary. In other cases, you may find yourself controlling a flying character who stops short at arbitrary barriers quite a lot, even though it looks like he should be able to keep flying. None of the issues are persistent enough to serve as a huge inconvenience, but they do warrant a mention.

The Lego Movie Videogame is a faithful take on its source material, with just enough of the film's content missing to make it worth getting out to the theater, but not so much that the game's narrative becomes difficult to follow. The added interaction is also welcome and is handled in a manner that keeps the experience approachable and generally refined, even if it isn't always as creative and varied as you might hope. While not everything is awesome, The Lego Movie Videogame should be just the ticket if you're ready to spend another 10 to 12 hours in the fantastic world of animated plastic blocks.

The Good
Painstakingly faithful to the film
Vibrant, charming plastic worlds to explore
Easy to get into
Avoids tedious filler
The Bad
Puzzles are overly simplistic
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Jason Venter has played most of the Lego video games to date. He spent around seven or eight hours clearing the campaign for the purpose of this review and another few hours chasing collectibles, plus enjoyed watching the related film in 3D at the local movie theater.

Discussion

68 comments
Razer361
Razer361

It's also worth noting that everything appears to made out of Lego bricks. Unlike past Lego games that seem to only be 63% made of the plastic pieces

rasterror
rasterror

Everything is awesome. Okay maybe not awesome but it's another Lego Game which is good. Still keeps the movie's charm.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Picking this up on Friday - going for the 360 version though. Can't justify the extra spend for no extra benefit (that I can see)

megakick
megakick

This looks like MARVEL SUPER HEROES.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

Ugh... shame they're 60 bucks for the next gen versions... Paying 60 for a lego game is criminal if you ask me. 

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

For a Movie Tie in, not bad, Marvel Super Heroes and Lego City Undercover are probably still better, but you gotta give them credit for actually making this game good.

mruizinho
mruizinho

The bad

Puzzles are overly simplistic...

Arent Lego games for kids?

ricardolongo
ricardolongo

I am a huge fan of Wii U's Lego City Undercover, but that's mostly because of how fun and seamless exploration is when your setting is one big city (made of Legos, no less) with a dozen really unique boroughs. Can I expect something similar here?

press-play
press-play

too many lego games..flooding the industry..geez nothing stays original for long.

Necrotron
Necrotron

The movie was really well put together.

Raxyman
Raxyman

They making a GAME based on a MOVIE of LEGO? Wow, and people wonder why old school gaming was better. Back when people had the creativity to make good games for kids like Klonoa, Crash, Spyro, Sonic and Mario... Games with a merit of their own and not a gimmick based on something else...
Still better than mobile gaming i suppose, but saddening all the same.

thanticore
thanticore

Tell me, is Jason Venter a South African?

If not, from where the surname?

themc_7
themc_7

Great review for the Lego Movie and the game? wow. Does this game feature the song: "Everything is awesome"?

grin89
grin89

yo dawg i heard your 7 years old and cant complete intermediate puzzles so we went in threw in a hole bunch of simplistic puzzles!

Hurvl
Hurvl

Wow, a movie tie-in game that gets a good review! The days of wonder are not all past.

max-hit
max-hit

A LEGO video game based on a LEGO movie which was based on a LEGO video game. 

aaaaaaaa.... LEGO-ception

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

It is true that the LEGO games are pretty much all the same, yet after playing the first few levels of this one, I think it's great! I can't quite put my finger on why, but perhaps it is the reduced content and greater focus on narrative. The last couple of LEGO games I played were too big, imo, with too much to do -- especially Marvel Superheros. Because the gameplay of LEGO games is so simplistic, they do get boring after a while, so a shorter, more gripping adventure is better, imo. A good game, after all, is about the story or action, not the collectibles and grinds. I hate that kind of padding in modern games. So many newer games feel like the same treasure hunt game with a different story attached.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

This movie looks great to watch with your children, just like Toy Story 3 and Spirited Away.

weakan
weakan

why are these lego games blantantly the same game over and over, seriously the exact package with a other coating>__>

Samparksh
Samparksh

I'm actually not too comfortable buying movie tie-ins.But after reading the review,I guess I'll give this one a try.


sakaixx
sakaixx

does this game have any tarantino films ? 

RobDev
RobDev

damn, between this and the marvel game it seems like all i play these days is lego games!

disneyskate
disneyskate

Plenty of kids games with amazing puzzles. Nice try though.

deathblow3
deathblow3

@Raxyman idk if you can say crash,spyro and mario where for kids. even though i was a kid when mario first came out (15) these games where more for pre teens and up. heck crash was one tough game to beat so was mario. games in general have been dumb down for what ever reason.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@Raxyman  and that great Crash Test Dummies game for NES!


...there were terrible games in all generations friend,  nothing has changed there.  Love that old cliché "back when...", it's usually just a sign of someone who doesn't look hard enough!  I hear it used regarding music, movies, games and more.. but it's always a false claim of things only being good "back when..."

press-play
press-play

@Raxyman  so true well said..i miss old school gaming everyday..i also like how things were done back then as oppose to today`s world of the gaming industry..by the way Klonoa was a beast of a game..loved it..old school platforming at its best

Sulima
Sulima

The song is in the game a lot, there are even 2 dancing mini games to that song. Plus, the original voice actors are all through out the game.

woodyfr
woodyfr

@max-hit  What? The LEGO movie is NOT based on a LEGO video game!

stuff238
stuff238

@max-hit  ....Based on Lego toys. You forgot that. There is 4 levels remember. Yes, you can do that deep!

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@MateykoSlam  

 Finally a game for next gen, we had nothing last month except for Tomb Raider HD port, a PORT,



and Make that 2 for Wii U, DK's out next Friday and its gonna be amazing

emptycupofgames
emptycupofgames

@Tao_and_Zen  True statement in my book as well, but for my kids, that are young enough they still have trouble completing the levels, the exploration mode is perfect for them. They'll run around in the world not unlocking anything for days. There's a consumer group out there for almost everything.

Sulima
Sulima

IMO it's the best lego game out there. You will not be disappointed.

luke1889
luke1889

I feel the same! Lego Hobbit later this year too. xD

deathblow3
deathblow3

@disneyskate yeah 8year old to 5 year olds cant figure out amazing puzzles and i would rather my kids not ask my every 15 mins to help them with a game.

Raxyman
Raxyman

@nl_skipper Sure, bad games exists in various generations, but the reduced amount of good ones that exist is what bothers me. Look, how many decent E-rated game franchises do we have nowadays? Ratchet and Clank aaaannnddd...... No other come into mind.
Then look at ps1: Crash Bandicoot, Klonoa, Spyro, Rayman, Gex, Megaman...

Maybe i did sounded a bit like nowadays there's only trash, it isn't my point nor my intention. What i wanted to say is that devs were more creative around the Fifth Generation. Now that gaming is a lucrative business, they shell out whathever crap they can to make it sell without any quality in the game itself. Brand sells. You get what i'm saying?

immblueversion
immblueversion

@Sulima Not from what I heard. All the non-movie lines in the game are supposedly done by impersonators, and damn good ones at that.

C_McButterpants
C_McButterpants

Plus, the original voice actors “phoned in” their lines and it sounds like complete garbage!

#fixed

The LEGO Movie Videogame More Info

Follow
  • First Released
    • 3DS
    • Macintosh
    • + 7 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation Vita
    • PS3
    • PS4
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    The Lego Movie Videogame puts Lego kids into the role of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average Lego minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world.
    7.9
    Average User RatingOut of 21 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate The LEGO Movie Videogame
    Developed by:
    TT Games
    Published by:
    Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Feral Interactive
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief