Review

Lego Jurassic World Review

  • First Released Jun 9, 2015
    released
  • PS4

No bite.

When we think of high-budget games, we may think of the cinematic experiences that drag you along a roller coaster-like ride through scripted set pieces and quick time events, like Call of Duty or Uncharted. Or we may think of the glut of open world games we've seen flood the market, all complete with minimaps covered in dots of things to do or collect, compelling you to comb the landscape and visit every single one. The Lego series of games by Traveller's Tales has perfectly embodied these conflicting design philosophies across the many franchises it's taken on and put them in a kid-friendly package. That's why setting a Lego game in the Jurassic Park world is such an enticing prospect: it's a series that naturally combines the cinematic with the sprawling. Lego Jurassic World encompasses just that with style and undeniable charm that will melt your cynical heart, but the boring things the game makes you do hamper the joy.

If you've played any of the recent Lego games, you know exactly what you're getting into: solidly designed platforming amidst a world made of bricks. Combat takes a back seat to simple problem solving as you find ways to clear environmental obstacles, which often takes the form of building new things out of loose bricks that are lying around. Cooperation is also encouraged thanks to hop-in multiplayer and a cavalcade of characters to take control of, each of which has special abilities you need to use to progress through the game. Tying everything together are hub worlds that you can wander around in and collect red bricks (which unlock the ability to buy certain perks) and gold ones (which unlock certain optional sections once you have enough of them), so you get a little bit of structural variety as you progress, which is a nice counterpoint to the very linear levels proper.

Several boss fights pit you against some of the larger dinos, but they play out the same as the regular levels.
Several boss fights pit you against some of the larger dinos, but they play out the same as the regular levels.

A big part of the appeal of the Lego games is the fact that you can switch between characters at will and play around with them. The characters' special powers also go with their personalities quite well and in unexpectedly hilarious ways. Ellie, for instance, can water sprouts to make them grow (because she's a paleobotanist, you see) and jump into giant piles of dino poop to find useful things (because other characters can't stand the smell). And the open world bits fit right into the theme park conceit perfectly, though it doesn't work quite as well in The Lost World and Jurassic Park III since the settings are just more wilderness. But the big draw with Lego Jurassic World is the fact that you can play as the dinosaurs themselves. Here, you get to embody the famous dinos we all found so fascinating as kids, like the velociraptor and, of course, the star of the franchise, the T-Rex. It's great to be given go many options to play, especially once you get through the main game and just want to unravel as much of what's still out there as you can.

The problem is that you can't actually experiment with anything in any real sense. The different abilities are simply keys to unlock progress or secrets. You never get the chance to noodle around with the mechanics or improvise since there's always just one solution to every obstacle the game puts in your way. Another unfortunate side effect of this approach is the fact that the things you're doing in-game aren't nearly as interesting as the things your in-game avatar is doing. She might be performing a high-pitched scream to break some glass in your way or building a giant replica of a hot dog to distract a rampaging dino. In reality, you're moving from one spot in a level to another, where you activate a thing that lets you move on to the next thing, and so on. Granted, this is the baseline for how game levels are built at their core, but Traveller's Tales does nothing to hide this pattern, nor does it add any complexity to how scenarios play out. It's all focused on throwing exactly one obstacle at you at a time with very little stopping you in between.

No Caption Provided
Lego Jurassic World is four games in one.
Lego Jurassic World is four games in one.

This makes for adventuring that is bereft of tension and friction, leading to a game you just stroll through with very little resistance. Iconic scenes are replicated as Lego-built levels, like when Lex and Tim try to evade hungry velociraptors in a kitchen or a T-Rex stampeding through San Diego as Jeff Goldblum speeds in front of it. While it's quite pleasing to stroll through these set pieces as you progress through the game, you never feel like you're in danger in the slightest. The reason the velociraptor scene is timeless is the ever-present danger of the kids being found, the unsettling purring noise the raptors make, approaching closer and closer until the children are right under their noses. In Lego Jurassic World, no such tension exists. Again, you have to find the right thing to fiddle with to move on to the next section to find the next thing and repeat the process until you make it to the end. In the meantime, the two raptors are “looking” for you, but they never actually move from their pre-determined spots except to pace uselessly until you trigger their next movement. If you attempt to move close to them, the kids back away looking cautious and frightened--an inelegant cover for the dreaded invisible wall. Suddenly, you're not playing Lego versions of your favorite scenes but instead find yourself as the cast of a badly-acted Lego play where you can see the stagehands changing the scenery.

The only potential source of tension that the game tries to throw at you is when it occasionally sends a swarm of tiny dinos (or occasionally other Lego people) to attack you, but even this is hollow. Your punch attack is a pathetic wiggle that you have to be right next to an enemy to use. But everything goes down in one hit, so when things swarm at you, you merely have to mash the button as you move around and try not to get hit--and even that doesn't work, as an enemy might land a lucky shot on you as you're moving. The tepid combat makes any enemy encounter annoying, especially when they start pouring infinitely out of a hole until you plug it up. Notably, only the first movie's set of stages is completely bereft of combat segments, and it's all the better for it.

One-on-one dinosaur battles use quick-time events, but the cinematic payoff is one of the game's high points.
One-on-one dinosaur battles use quick-time events, but the cinematic payoff is one of the game's high points.

Don't get me wrong, though: Lego Jurassic World absolutely has its heart in the right place. Every scene is injected with the now-trademark Lego sense of humor. Events like seeing Chris Pratt gleefully play with toy dinosaurs during a tense scene or seeing someone's hair fall off and land on a raptor's head always produce a chuckle at worst. It helps that you have the very serious lines from the original movies juxtaposed with your silly Lego people doing ridiculous things. Unfortunately, the audio from the movies wasn't mixed very well with the game audio, which sounds jarring next to the pristine, polished sounds and voices recorded for the game. Luckily, the funniest aspect of the game requires no voice acting at all: the dinosaurs. They don't talk, so all their humor is relayed in pantomime, a trick not seen in Traveller's Tales Lego games since their earliest efforts. Since so much of the Lego multimedia experience relies on visual humor, the dinosaurs make up the lion's share of funny moments, like raptors chasing a tiny ice cream truck or the hybrid T-Rex from Jurassic World forming emoticons with bones from its pen. It really speaks to the strength of the game's charm and humor that the non-speaking dinosaurs steal the show, but then again, they are the stars of the Jurassic Park franchise, so it's appropriate.

The Lego games set out to create an accessible, joy-filled romp through our favorite pieces of popular media with as few barriers stopping the fun as possible. They are part of one of the few franchises that can get by on charm alone. But Traveller's Tales take this approach to extremes, focusing on the visual and thematic experience almost entirely while letting the actual gameplay languish. Jurassic Park in particular doesn't suit this design because flattening the mechanics removes all notions of tension from the game, an essential part of the film series. Lego Jurassic Park is a nice, pleasant nostalgia trip, but it won't be long before you're asking to leave.

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The Good
Colorful Lego recreations of all four movies
Joyful mix of humor and charm
You get to play as the dinosaurs
The Bad
Shallow, challenge-free progression
Unimaginative use of imaginative abilities
Movie quotes sound compromised in-game
Lacks Jurassic Park's trademark sense of tension
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Jeremy Signor was obsessed with dinosaurs as a kid, and Jurassic Park holds a special place in his heart. He spent fifteen hours hoping the game would properly capture the spirit of the movies. Also, he still enjoys dinosaurs.
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Avatar image for thekazumalord
thekazumalord

there are a lot of spelling errors in that review

Avatar image for Liquid_Snake2
Liquid_Snake2

Lacks Jurassic Park's sense of tension? ITS A LEGO GAME. moron.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I downloaded someone else's videos about this game to watch while I was doing something else - and all of them ended up as background noise to me. Not once did I actually pause what I was doing to focus on the videos. That was how boring the game can be.

Also, if there was indeed voice-overs by the actors and actresses from the movies, then man, are they unenthusiastic.

Avatar image for mr_azim
mr_azim

Great game for kids. Don't know why so much hate. Review isn't accurate either. The characters have full voice acting from the movie.

Avatar image for Furwings
Furwings

Man I remember the hype around the first Jurassic Park movie back in 1993. As part of the marketing machine for that movie the Super NES and Genesis both got their own, completely unique game based on the movie. (They also had their own unique version of Aladdin too - SNES by Capcom & Genesis by Sega). You definitely don't see that anymore! The Genesis version of JP was a side-scrolling action game with (at the time) realistic graphics. It's biggest draw was that you could play as a Raptor in addition to Dr. Grant. It was made by Sega. The SNES version made by Ocean was a 3D isometric open world RPG with a more cartoony look and Mode7 FPS sections in various buildings. Both games were good in their own ways and it was fun to play the SNES one with friends at my house and to go over to their place to play the Genesis version.

Sadly all we get for what is essentially the re-launching or re-birth of the franchise is a Lego game...One mediocre game ported to every platform known to man.

Such a shame considering how great of a game could be made with the power of today's consoles/PC :(

Avatar image for rikku45
rikku45

I think reviewers should be neutral when it comes to this stuff, someone that doesn't like the series will give it a low score like this and really look for things to complain about and people that love it will rate it to high.

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sovietwookiee

I feel like this review should have just said: "Have you played a Lego game in the last 10 years? Did you enjoy it? If yes, you'll enjoy this one."

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JustPlainLucas

I don't think the reviewer understands what a Lego game is.

Avatar image for woodyfr
woodyfr

@JustPlainLucas: No, he did. I bought and finished all Lego games and now it's time for some changes. When you see Lego Avengers or the overpriced Lego Dimensions, it's not getting better. Money, money, money with no innovations.

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Stogin

This review is a little odd, he's basically condemning it for being a Lego game. They all pretty much play like this one does, and I don't think there's ever been a Lego game with real tension in it. They're supposed to be fun little diversions, not super difficult games. That being said I've gotten this from Gamefly and it's definitely fun, but I don't really care for the hub world, it's not designed well and can get very confusing very fast.

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Arsyad00

the dinosaur is not even JAGGED!!!

WHAT HAPPEN TO THIS GAME ORIGINALITY!!!

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balintcsikos

Now is the time for a great Dino Crisis reboot ! ! !

Avatar image for Travian1
Travian1

@balintcsikos: Maybe they can finish that cliffhanger they ended Dino Crisis 2 on...oh wait, we get dinos in space, which should have been awesome, but also platforming and terribad camera.

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m_nay2008

@balintcsikos: agree

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The-Neon-Seal

This, along with Scribblenaughts, is my chill-out game at the moment.

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Travian1

This game is so much fun! They follow all the movies really well and the dinosaur jokes are incredibly funny! They even have all the vehicles from the movies you can unlock and use to drive around. I've never played a Jurassic Park game where you can play as the brachiosaur!

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thegamegod

I bought the game and completed it 100% in just under 24 hours and I enjoyed it for the most part, just like every other lego game I have played. Its not the best one but its still enjoyable. I do hope they change the formula up at some point though, it is getting a bit too samey.

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DrYuya

It's a good thing they're easy and shallow and non-threatening or else the kids they were meant for (meaning not mr man child college student who still likes kid franchises) probably wouldn't find it accessible...which leads to poor sales...which leads to the Lego franchise self sabotaging its own interests in the game market for a reason that's incredibly stupid (that being appealing to Mr man child)

Honestly...I don't even get why GS reviews this game out of the hundreds they pass up every day...their core readership is different...with entirely different priorities than what this game embodies. It's honestly like trashing on a baby bottle for only quenching an adult thirst one drop at a time...and WTF is up with the small capacity? 0/10 stick to big gulp cups!

Avatar image for BovineDivine
BovineDivine

@DrYuya: If you think the majority of people playing the lego games are children, you're wrong.

Avatar image for DrYuya
DrYuya

@BovineDivine: I'm very much not...probably even with the loosest interpretation of the word "children"

Avatar image for finchused18
finchused18

@DrYuya: Eh I enjoy it because its one of my favorite franchises (Jurassic Park that is). This is my first Lego game and I thought it was great but it was more of a "chill out" game rather than the FPS or RPGs I play and since its coop whenever someone wants to jump in its one of the few games my girlfriend will play with me. So I might be 28, and a man child but its fun.

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gopre

Lego games have always been easy and held a strong reason for replay. Whether it be unlocking this, that or the other w/ newly earned characters or in recent games, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a slight sense of exploration. However, Jurassic World is beyond easy and the replay value isn't near the bar set in previous games. Main enjoyment of this game is the fact it is based on the Jurassic Park movies. That's the pretty much the only reason I'm glad I now have this game. Just expected more....

Avatar image for ecurl143
ecurl143

I think there needs to be some changes at Travellers Tales. They just seem to churn out the same old crap & I think it's time they dialed back the lego stuff - it's just getting old.

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greek5

The Lego games are getting long in the tooth.

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jecomans

I think Sony wants people to buy this game? Recently I repurchased Ico, and bought Atelier Rorona Plus, and my 'Just For You' recommendations from PSN for both games were GTAV and LEGO Jurassic World.

Avatar image for igorphoenix
igorphoenix

@jecomans: some time ago I bought Pix the Cat (well, got it on PS plus actually, but it's still purchase from PS Store standpoint) and Just for You recommendations for this game was Alien: Isolation, Resident Evil 6 and CoD AW. The system seems to suggest completely random games that need some increase in sales.

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jecomans

@igorphoenix: With a scratch of the head, I must conclude that this is the least personal recommendation system I have never come across.

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davem1992

Am I the only one sick of the LEGO games now?

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SaturatedButter

@davem1992: Am I the only one sick of old movie franchises being relaunched?

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XenomorphAlien

I remember playing lego Star Wars, Batman, and Indiana Jones. Good times.

I have a lego marvel game for Wii U but can't bother to finish it.

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SuperKlyph

@xenomorphalien: That was the best one!

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thecman25

@superklyph: I wouldnt say thats the best one ever made

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@superklyph: Lego Marvel?

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lilhurk1985187

These crappy lego games have got to stop.

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catsimboy

There's really only so many Lego games you can make where you run around smashing everything in sight for studs while solving simple puzzles that use the abilities of the characters you're given before they start to get old. If they could just add some depth to the combat to add a little challenge, anything to make the game more fun for people over the age of 10 who are fans of the properties portrayed. They could still have baby mode for babies difficulty which lets parents get the game for young kids.

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Scubasteveo336

I wish they would make a non Lego Jurassic park game like on nes And sega genesis

Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

@scubasteveo336: They did. It was called Jurassic Park: The Game. It was made by Telltale (the Walking Dead developer), it came out in 2011 and it was just one long quicktime event that gave you an instant game over try again screen every time you failed instead of doing branching paths.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

Well that's a shame. I was hoping for a better score along the lines of the Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Harry Potter series. Those were great Lego games. Seems the formula might be getting a little stale? At least the humor seems to be intact. That's worth a play through alone. I just thought, given the theme, that this would have been a much more well received game. Seems to be getting an average of 7 depending on the platform - still a good score.

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viciouskiller

"Lacks Jurassic Park's trademark sense of tension" It's a lego game how much tension were you really expecting from it?

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@viciouskiller: Well, considering the movies were PG-13, I'd expect they could have made it a little more tense. It doesn't have to be gory. But a bit of tension couldn't hurt. Its a game about dinosaurs escaping their habitat. I think they could have been a little riskier with this one. Not every Lego game HAS to be E 10+ rated.

Avatar image for Kingjames11
Kingjames11

@bdrtfm: Clearly, you have no idea what Lego is all about. Lego has the license to make Jurassic toys. They are going to cater to an audience that plays with those toys. That means kids under ten.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@Kingjames11: I said it doesn't have to. I'm not dumb enough to think they would. These are the days where plastic crap makes more revenue than the actual game. Freakin' Amiibos are about as costly to produce as Happy Meal toys.

LEGO Jurassic World More Info

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  • First Released Jun 9, 2015
    released
    • 3DS
    • Android
    • + 10 more
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • Macintosh
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Following the epic storylines of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, as well as the highly anticipated Jurassic World, LEGO Jurassic World is the first videogame where players will be able to relive and experience all four Jurassic films.
    7.4
    Average Rating61 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate LEGO Jurassic World
    Developed by:
    TT Games, Warner Bros., Feral Interactive
    Published by:
    Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Feral Interactive
    Genre(s):
    Action, 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+
    Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor