LEGO Jurassic World [Retrospective]

Back in 2015, off the back of the wondrous return of the movie franchise, I reviewed LEGO Jurassic World as part of another website. Unsurprisingly, as both a long-time fan of Jurassic Park and LEGO, I loved it and so, with the next movie installment on the horizon, and reminded of the joy the TT Games recreation brought into my life, I’ve decided to revisit the land of the LEGO dinosaurs.

Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PC
Also Available On: Mac OSX, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS

This year sees the release of the fifth movie in the series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and while LEGO has gone all out on movie tie-in sets (which I really, really want), there has been no word of any new video game on the horizon. Yes, Owen made a fantastic addition to LEGO Dimensions in 2016, but for the proper dino experience in brick form, there is only LEGO Jurassic World.

By the time Jurassic Park opened its large gates for TT Games, they already had a bit of experience in the art of converting movie franchises into enjoyable brick-based puzzle games; Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and the Lord Of The Rings were just some of the movie series’ bricked up, all with positive outcomes . So, with so much pedigree behind the concept, how do Dr. Alan Grant and co. do with the transition?

Despite sharing the fourth movie’s name, the game’s story actually covers the entirety of the franchise, all four movies from 1993’s Jurassic Park through to 2015’s Jurassic World.  20 levels make up the core campaign, five per movie, each taking significant scenes from the franchise and adding that special LEGO touch.

The cut-scenes are hilarious, to say the least, recreating key parts of the movie almost frame by frame and then just throwing in some brick related humour, it’s a tradition that goes right back to the LEGO Star Wars days and it’s still proving to be a successful highlight in these games.

It’s safe to say that there are a few gruesome moments in the Jurassic Park series which might scare the youngest of the target audience for this game but much like with Pirates of the Caribean and Indiana Jones, TT Games has you covered. Take the opening scene from Jurassic Park, the cargo box holding the Raptor and the transfer which results in an unfortunate end for one of InGen’s employees, LEGO Jurassic World replaces the carnage with a tug of war between said worker and Raptor for a sausage.

If like me, you’re a long-term fan of the LEGO series, then you’ll be more than familiar with the mechanics of the game, the controls are easy to master and in terms of what abilities you have at your disposal, it’s very easy to draw comparisons from the other games.

Alan Grant, for example, has the ability to follow dinosaur tracks, similar to Aragorn in LEGO Lord Of The Rings, and he can dig up buried items much like Wolverine in LEGO Marvel Superheroes. Lex, the teenage girl who calls herself a hacker because of her ability to navigate a UNIX operating system (Remember “hacker”, not “nerd”), has the ability to shatter glass through screaming, much like Black Canary from the LEGO Batman games.

It’s fair to say that the LEGO formula, the refined system of skills and controls, is utilised to it’s fullest in the game without the need for anything groundbreakingly unique. That might sound like a bad thing if you’re looking for something different but when you consider that the target audience for these games is youngsters, consistency is key. Even so, the system as a whole has been evolving since the beginning and every now and again TT Games do throw something new in to see if we’re still paying attention.

With Jurassic World, that unique feature is the ability to control dinosaurs, yep that’s right. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it, after all, if Jurassic World has taught me anything it’s that the dinosaurs are characters too and so deserve their own part to play in this recreation. Much like big figs, like Hulk and the Thing in LEGO Marvel, your movement and abilities are limited but when brute force is needed, having a triceratops on call will always be handy.

Outside of the linear story, you have the now obligatory open world and fans will be more than pleased with it. The hub is split into two separate main areas, on one side you have the Jurassic Park open world, which is essentially the island from the original movie, on the other is the Jurassic World area, which is a LEGO recreation of the newer movie’s fully functional theme park.

Both of these areas are, of course, open to exploration, populated with the standard side-missions and hidden collectibles now standard in these games. This massive open world more than doubles your play time once you’re finished with the stories.

Sadly, there is one fairly annoying downside with the game, poor audio. Early installments from TT’s LEGO series didn’t give their characters voices, LEGO Star Wars, for example, is entirely mute from a vocal perspective. It wasn’t until Frodo and the gang began their adventures in LEGO Middle-earth that we were finally treated to a movie’s vocal talents along with the epic musical soundtracks.

Since then, the movie transitions have mostly been with modern franchises, post-2000, meaning that the audio brought into the game has been high definition quality. Where the original Jurassic Park is now twenty-five years old, the sound-bites suffer somewhat. This isn’t going to do too much to hinder your enjoyment, but it is noticeable, especially in the early levels. Don’t worry though because when you have John Willaims epic Jurassic Park soundtrack blaring at full volume, you need nothing else.

Overall, LEGO Jurassic World is exactly what we have come to expect and love from TT Games and their LEGO series. It didn’t fall too far from the templates established before it, but it didn’t need to, from a gameplay perspective.

The transition from movies to brick form has been very kind to the Jurassic Park franchise, much like the Star Wars prequel movies, this game gives the less than great Jurassic Park sequels a purpose in telling the overall story in a much more fun environment.

Fans of Jurassic Park will love this game, it’s all of the movies told brilliantly with added humour, something seriously lacking from the two earlier sequels.

THE GOOD

  • All four movies brilliantly recreated in LEGO form
  • Massive open-world to explore both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World
  • Gameplay maintains TT Games highest standard

THE BAD

  • Movie sound-bites are a little shaky in early levels
LEGO..uh..Found a way!
4.5

Summary

A game for LEGO lovers and Jurassic Park lovers. The movies are transformed brilliantly with TT Games’ level of detail and their unique sense of humour. The open world is massive, filled with every nod to the franchise that the developers could conceive, fans of the movies are treated well here. Definitely worth a play through.

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