Wave 6 of the ever popular LEGO Dimensions has seen some interesting new additions, the Ghostbusters reboot, Harry Potter, The A-Team, but one franchise I’d never expected to see in the multiverse is Mission Impossible. The over-the-top spy action franchise targeted at a much more adult audience has now made the leap into LEGO, it seems like an odd choice, surely Bond would have served the genre better, but could the IMF’s best actually turn out to be one the best expansion packs released for the game?
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Also Available On: PS4, Wii U
Release Date: Out Now
So Mr Hunt, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to integrate IMF agents into your existing LEGO Dimensions collection. This review will not self-destruct…
Based entirely on the original 1996 movie, which first introduced us to Tom Cruise’s version of super-spy Ethan Hunt, the LEGO Dimensions level pack has plenty to work with in terms of content and action. Leading up to the release, the promotional material has already given us a sneak peek at the famous gravity defining, cable dangling, which will forever be synonymous with the franchise, but with such an intricate story of double-agents, lies, and deciet, how do you pack that into a one-level add-on and still stay true to the source material?
Before we jump into the level itself, as usual, let’s take a good look at what you’ll be getting out of the box, the new figures included in the pack. IMF’s best Ethan Hunt gets the minifigure treatment and he’s brought a couple of his toys along for the ride, the IMF Scrambler and an IMF Sports Car, both of which serve him well in the field.
Now, as far as I’m aware this is the first time that Tom Cruise has made the transition to brick (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), it’s not that surprising really as despite his CV stretching back three decades, a good portion isn’t really fit for LEGO – That said, if they ever want to make a Days of Thunder or Top Gun set then I’m all over it. Mission Impossible has turned out to be one of his biggest successes, having turned into a multi-film franchise which is still going to this day, so it sort of seems fit for Ethan Hunt to be his debut into the LEGO universe.
The figure itself is dressed in the outfit the character wears in the aforementioned scene from the movie where Hunt has infiltrated IMF headquarters and puts his acrobatic skills to the test. Despite the all-black ensemble not really offering too much in available detail, the LEGO designers have done a great job on the figure. The all black legs don’t offer much so let’s quickly move on to the torso piece where most of the detail comes from. The black t-shirt isn’t covered in detail, but there is printing for the many different straps that the character’s harness uses in the movie. With the subtle use of white and gray, this detail is minimal but certainly ensures that Ethan isn’t generic. The arms are dual-coloured, changing from black to skin colour to show that the character is wearing a t-shirt and the hands are gray coloured, much like the gloves that Cruise is wearing during the movie scene.
The head piece comes complete with two faces, one simplistic design with a few additional line to outline the characters bone structure, the other complete with the glasses and headset from the movie scene that has inspired the design. Focusing more on the latter, it’s great that LEGO has decided to include this detail, it further takes the character away from generic territory and adds a lot of value for fans of the franchise, the inclusion of a small camera just above where the ear would be is just an added bonus. The hair piece is a little more generic, having been used on plenty of LEGO minfiigures over the years, that said, it is perfect 1990’s Tom Cruise. The figure also comes with a set of binoculars, for spy stuff, one assumes.
In-game, it’ll probably be easier to go through what this character can’t do, his skills are impressive and it’s surprising just how many of them are unique to him. Hunt is one of the few non-ninjago male characters with the ability to use the acrobat functions of the game, the high jumping, wall bouncing, pole swinging stuff, a useful skill on its own. He can also use technology panels, fuse boxes, and blow up silver bricks. Digging deeper into the spy skills, he can climb using magnetic gloves, grapple hook (well obviously), rope swing, use stealth, swim underwater and use x-ray vision through his binoculars – I’m not done yet.
The most exciting skills that the IMF agent has at his disposal, though, I’ve not yet seen on any other character. He has a drone helicopter which can enter pipes for switching on buttons, like those shrink and grow puzzles scattered throughout the game, but his number one ability is disguise. One of the new mechanics of the game added by the Mission Impossible level pack is Ethan’s ability to scan a bad guy and then disguise himself at that person, it’s great fun.
As I’ve already mentioned, he has brought a few of his bigger toys along and there are two very awesome looking vehicles included in the pack. The first to build is his bike, the IMF Scrambler. With Owen’s bike from Jurassic World sadly missing from that team pack, the scrambler is the first proper bike to make its way into the multiverse, and it’s stunning. While the majority of the pack is based on the first movie, this particular vehicle actually comes from later in the franchise, modeled off the bike used in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, who said they had to stick to the one movie?
The design is fantastic, creating a much bulkier body than what you’d expect from a LEGO motorbike, the two stud width allows for clips to be added either side for the on-board weapons (which also look like thrusters). Like bigger bikes in the real world, the body also slopes down from front to back and while some LEGO creations in the past have achieved this with different sized wheels, both on this model are the same size. It’s how the bike sits on its pedestal that is actually my favourite part about this new LEGO Dimensions creation, the bottom of the bike being connected to a platform on a hinge so that the entire bike is offset at the angle it would be on the road, rather than flat should the base be directly connected to the bike.
In-game, the initial design has the basics, a built-in weapon and the ability to activate acceleration switches, standard really. There are, of course, two additional blueprints to unlock, the Shock Cycle and the IMF Covert Jet, both of which has their uses and individual abilities, though don’t expect much in the way of unique features on this vehicle.
Moving on to the sports car and again, it’s a looker. The white, black and blue micro-build is a recreation of the BMW i8 concept from Ghost Protocol and while it’s a simple build without much real detail to it, it still looks stunning. The best comparison I can make with this car is against the much more 1980’s wheels that can with the Midway Arcade story pack. Both come with purpose-built pieces which help shape the aerodynamics of the sports car design, and yet both mostly use standard LEGO elements to add the main detail. This isn’t going to be many people’s favourite model in their LEGO Dimensions collection, but it’s stunning all the same.
In-game the sports car again has the bare basics, accelerator switches and the tow bar, very common skills which a huge number of past vehicles are capable of, including the starter pack’s Batmobile. There are two additional configurations available to unlock and this time it’s the IMF Tank and IMF Splorer, the former comes with a laser blaster mounted to the front, the latter is basically a sub – not sure how useful that will be given Hunt’s ability to swim underwater already.
This is, of course, a level pack so that means that there’s a good deal of additional content added to the game here, a unique franchise specific level focused entirely around the story from the first Mission Impossible movie. It’s safe to say that LEGO Dimensions have upped their game when it comes to the level add-ons, a couple of the early releases from wave one just didn’t live up to the price tag in terms of playable content. MI, however, really does. This is, by far, the longest additional level, it’s the first time I’ve not finished the content in one sitting, but once you do reach that infamous train vs helicopter scene you really feel like you’ve got your money’s worth out of the game.
The level is split into several of the key scenes from the movie, first, the initial mission which sees IMF turning on Ethan, then the IMF headquarters raid, and finally the big reveal on the train. Each of these areas is then split into chapters which really make the most of the source material, the exotic locations serving brilliantly as the different backdrops which make you feel like you’re not just playing one level but several. With a small bit of extra content, this could have easily have been a story pack.
Just as an additional FYI for the completionists, this is a really good place to farm for studs, I hit 500K before I was halfway through the level.
For me, the best thing about this level pack is the seriousness of it mixed with the insane nature of LEGO Dimensions, you’re a spy in life or death situations and your companions are Superman, Homer Simpson, and B.A. Baracus, I mean what’s not to love about that? In general, though, this level is so detailed and varying that it’s easily the best level pack so far (that’s coming from a massive Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and Simpsons fan).
Much like the recent Ghostbusters pack, the audio throughout the level is a mixture of movie soundbites and voice doubles, but unlike that other pack the star of the show’s voice is taken straight from the movie – That’s right folks, you will hear Tom Cruise throughout this level and given that the movie is twenty years old, the audio quality is near perfect, working really well against the more recent voice doubles vocal work.
Once you’ve stopped the bad guys, cleared Hunt’s name and saved the world, there is a franchise specific open world hub to explore. Similar to other movie franchises, the Mission Impossible hub squeezes in as much of the movie as it can, with many of the locations from the franchise represented here in some form or another. What did impress me here was overhearing the random characters which populate this world, the dialects change so that if you’re in the area marked as Sydney everyone speaking with an Australian accent. It’s an impressive little feature which will sadly go unnoticed by many.
Overall, the Mission Impossible level pack exceeds the standard which year one set for these add-ons. It’s far more in depth, providing substantially more content than last year’s offerings. The detail and varying gameplay will ensure that you’re not bored at any point and Ethan Hunt is the Swiss Army Knife of LEGO Dimensions characters.
The vehicles look fantastic, they’re well designed and fun to build, but they don’t offer too much in-game that you mostly don’t already have, they are pretty, though. The open-world is a true nod to the franchise and once you’ve saved the universe in the level, there’s so much more to keep you occupied.
This set deserves a perfect score and if the vehicles offered a little more than they do, it would have had that.
[vc_tabs][vc_tab title=”The Good” tab_id=”949df069-0333-3″]
- Ethan Hunt’s skill set is immense and includes a couple of abilities that no other character will have
- The vehicle models look amazing and are great fun to drive in-game
- The story level and open-world are lengthy, varied in game play and exceptional fun
[/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”The Bad” tab_id=”1e55a9e2-1c42-4″]
- I just wish the vehicles had a little more to offer ability-wise