Lego Jurassic World
System(s): PS4 (Also for 3DS, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita, PC)
Release Date: Month Date, Year
Publisher (Developer): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Traveller’s Tales)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone 10+” for Cartoon Violence and Crude Humor
Given the 14 year gap between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, it’s easy to forget the Michael Crichton was once such an extended series. Most people tend to focus on the original, and the passage of time has turned them into a “nineties” thing. But there is a storied history here and surprising depth of lore, with Jurassic World revitalizing interest in it. Fortunately, people can take to Lego Jurassic World to act as a competant, if buggy, refresher.
Welcome to Jurassic Park.
Lego Jurassic World is a humorous and lighthearted recounting of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World. The most poignant scenes from each movie, complete with original voice acting, are provided for all players to reexperience. Naturally, since this is a Lego game, they’ve been fluffed up some. There isn’t the same fear that the dinosaurs are going to eat any of the heroes or heroines. It’s more of a lighthearted rivalry at times instead.
The twist is that you not only get to play as all of the stars from the Jurassic Park series, each with their own special skills and abilities, but as dinosaurs as well. Like the characters, they each have their own special abilities and, taking a cue from Jurassic World, can be even create your own custom dinosaurs.
Which means the goal comes down to running through familiar movies and enjoying the ride, perhaps stopping back later in free play to use additional characters and creatures to acquire every collectable.
Don’t rush me.
Much of Lego Jurassic World is par for the course. The concepts are the same. Revisit worlds you’ve loved. Complete objectives. Come back later to see every bit of the world. Marvel at Lego recreations of iconic moments, and revel in destroying it all. It’s the sort of game you play when you need something entertaining that you don’t have to think about, given that the puzzles are never too challenging.
In fact, simplicity is a recurring theme in Lego Jurassic World. There are open world elements to the game, where people can explore as a human or dinosaur character. The retellings of the main adventure, however, embrace brevity. Traveller’s Tales’ titles have always been the video game equivalent of CliffNotes for established franchises, but it’s never felt as obvious as it does here. The levels here are shorter than ones found in the Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars or Lego Lord of the Rings series. Some may appreciate this, as it makes it easier to unlock areas for free play adventures, but it feels like it’s taking an easy series and dumbing it down further.
It makes me wonder if Traveller’s Tales was pressured to push Lego Jurassic World out to coincide with the movie’s release, and the final product suffered as a result. I’d believe it, given the troubles I experienced when the game. Sometimes, I’d be going through a mission, wondering why I wasn’t progressing, only realizing that it was impossible to because bugs kept me from completing objectives. (Exiting the game and reloading tended to fix things.) The dinosaurs don’t work right, with collision and control errors. There was even a time when a checkpoint didn’t function properly in a level. Quick time event prompts are broken.
Know what isn’t fun? When you’re controlling a raptor or driving a car and it gets stuck. One moment, you’re driving. The next, you’re stuck to a wall. Want to break free? Reload. Then, you wait for it to happen again. Because it will happen again.
Dinosaurs are troublemakers.
Lego Jurassic World is, at this moment, a disappointment. It’s the most problematic Traveller’s Tales game I’ve ever played. Never have I seen an installment where, instead of becoming absorbed in the experience, I’m waiting for things to fall apart. And not in the good, shatter these bricks so I can collect pegs way. The game needs patches, though even when those do come and make it more playable, Lego Jurassic World will still be remembered as one of the “average” Lego video games.