After a plethora of Lego games with near identical game play mechanics, Lego Worlds goes in a completely different direction and tackles the open world sandbox genre for the first time. With impressive creation tools and a near infinite number of different things to build and collect, Lego Worlds is impressive for the first few hours as you get to grips with the game play and begin unlocking more items on your travels. Its only after extensive playing that the cracks begin to form and the frailty of the system shows its weaknesses and repetitive game play.
The game opens with several tutorials that see you take control of a random Lego figure and collect gold bricks and collect items in order to repair your spaceship and fly off to the next area. These small, opening areas are good with pre-rendered buildings and interesting decor to gawp at as you run around the open world collecting gold bricks and smashing everything in sight in exchange for coins. These coins in turn allow you to unlock and buy new buildings and creatures to place in the world.
There’s no denying that at times, Lego Worlds is incredibly good fun
After the first few tutorials, the game opens up with the sole task to collect gold bricks from chests and completing quests for random NPCs around each world in order to upgrade the spaceship and unlock more tools to use as well as visit bigger worlds. I mentioned earlier about cracks forming the longer you play and its here that two distinct things become apparent. The first being that the larger worlds make it considerably difficult to get gold bricks and the loading times increase ten fold including an unwelcome amount of lag during game play. If you intend to play this game two player I highly recommend not doing it on the larger worlds as it was so bad at times I had to stop what I was doing on my side of the screen to allow the game to render the terrain and stop lagging. Its really disappointing too because playing two player is one of the best things to do in Lego Worlds and its restrictions on the larger worlds almost make it a deal breaker at times.
Playing two player is one of the best things about Lego Worlds but it can be very laggy at times.
I mentioned earlier about it being harder to collect gold bricks and I’ll explain why. The basic mechanic of Lego Worlds involves finding a cave and exploring underground until you find a chest. When you open that chest, you hope to find a gold brick but failing that the chests reveal items to give to NPCs for side quests or buildings and props to use in the world. Whilst the latter is useful and helps when you decide to mess about and make a massive town with buildings and items you’ve collected, the former is required to access some of the more lucrative areas. Without gold bricks you’re effectively stuck on the same size map until you earn enough to move on.
The pot luck nature of collecting gold bricks is made worse by the random emergence of quests. Some quests will give you a gold brick but you have to do two tasks before for coins before you get the opportunity to get a gold brick. All of these are easy and straight forward but are regularly frustrating, sometimes involving traipsing through more cave systems to find the specific item that character is after. A lot of the time can be eliminated by simply using the creation tools and digging deep underground but the task becomes repetitive and tedious as you open 20/30 chests and none of them contain gold bricks.
The creation options and ability to shape the world to your liking are incredibly powerful tools
For all its faults with its bugs and repetitive game play, there’s no denying the charm Lego Worlds has. Its incredible good fun at times and its creation tools are powerful enough to allow you to pretty much build whatever you want. Its the little things here that really make this game. The ever-changing day-night cycle, the surprising dungeons full of skeletons and traps and so on and so forth. When Lego Worlds is good its really quite brilliant and has a charm unrivalled in other Lego games.
The real joy from this game comes from exploring all the nooks and crannies of each randomly generated world. Of course, with its randomly generated model there are some odd design choices including trees hanging off large mountains and buildings appearing underground but it doesn’t detract too much from the experience. Kids and families will love this but with the emphasis being on playing more to unlock more, my only concern comes from the perseverance to stay with this once it begins slowing down on the larger worlds. Having said all that, its a fun sandbox to play around in and its creation tools are a great way to blow off some steam. For anyone looking for a rich Lego experience, you won’t find it here and will do better looking elsewhere. With the numerous problems plaguing this game, its unlikely its fan base will stick around for the long haul but in the short term, its a fun little game to get lost in.