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Lego 2K Drive Mixes Mario Kart With Burnout Paradise

The open-world racing game capitalizes on the Lego brand with sharp writing, loads of activities, and satisfying, Mario Kart-like races.

The structure of Lego 2K Drive unfolds in layers that help to illustrate just how multifaceted the game really is. The core story mode takes place in a wide open-world environment composed of a handful of different biomes. I tried the tutorial area, Turbo Acres, as well as a large Arizona-like area called Big Butte, and the world map showed at least three more to explore. Each of these is littered with garages to act as fast-travel points, races, stunt jumps, and other activities. Most of these are integrated right into the open world, so you can simply pass through a gate to start a quick event--say, a challenge to jump over several barns. The open worlds in Lego 2K Drive reminded me of the best moments of Burnout Paradise or Forza Horizon, roaming the landscape and looking for fun activities, jumping into one, and then driving around to look for the next. The vehicles themselves have a solid weight to them, gripping the road in a way that even some more traditional racing games don't quite nail.

Describing Lego 2K Drive is almost overwhelming. There's so much to do and see, and so many smart ways the systems fold into each other for a seamless experience. But in the moment, while playing, it's anything but overwhelming. It's a breezy, pick-up-and-play experience that uses its multitude of systems and options to feel expansive, without getting in the way of the fun. Lego 2K Drive is coming May 19.