Admit it, we’ve all got a dream game or two. How awesome would it be to see Chun Li facing off against Sonya Blade? Maybe you’d like to play as Bowser and lead a campaign of world domination. Almost everyone has as some point imagined a Pokémon game spanning each region with all *insert current number here* of the little beasties. How often, though, have you had a chance to play that game plucked straight from your imagination? Unless you’re a game developer, I’m gonna go ahead and say, rarely, if at all. Ever since I was little, I’ve looked at games and looked at my collection of LEGO and wondered what it would be like if those two came together. Well, thanks to Traveller’s Tales and LEGO Worlds, I don’t need to wonder anymore!
If you’ve read the blurb about me at the bottom of any of my articles, you’ll know I like LEGO. I’ve had some of the delightful Danish bricks throughout every year of my life, from Pirate to Ninja or even the skeletons I pinched from my sister’s Castle collection which I still have today as I collect Star Wars sets. Along the way, my dreams were tickled and teased, as many possibilities emerged in the digital realm, such as LEGO Island and LEGO Creator, though none of them ended up being what I imagined. Fast forward a few decades, and I’ve long since given up hope, finding my fun in the various licensed games Traveller’s Tales pumped out for Indiana Jones, Marvel, Pirates of the Caribbean, and, of course, Star Wars, among others. Then, as if out of nowhere, rumours started circulating of another attempt at a sandbox LEGO game. I didn’t give them much thought, given how many times they hadn’t delivered on my dream. Then just as suddenly, trailers emerged, ads and release dates started popping up, and the eyes of the kid inside me widened.
To boldly build where no minifig has built before!
All this brings me to where I am now, staring at a skeleton minifig juggling his skull and cackling maniacally. To say I’m happy just doesn’t cut it. LEGO Worlds is everything I hoped for all those years ago, combined with the polish that Traveller’s Tales have perfected since they started making LEGO games way back in 2005. If you’ve ever played one of their games before, then you’ll be able to jump straight into LEGO Worlds no matter which platform you decide to play on. All the usual staples are back and are just as good as ever, such as collecting studs or gold bricks, unlocking characters or vehicles and the constant charming humour of the minifigs themselves. Why change what works, right? It’s a good philosophy, and it serves LEGO Worlds well.
Using some very stable building blocks (pun totally intended) as a foundation, LEGO Worlds introduces the one thing I’ve wanted for years, namely the total and complete ability to build or destroy anything in the entire world. Everything you can see or interact with, it’s all made of LEGO bricks, from the rocks to the trees to the buildings, the very ground you walk on, the water you swim in and even the clouds in the sky. If there’s one thing that bugged me about previous Traveller’s Tales games, it’s that often I’d notice how much the LEGO bricks stood out against some of the impressive environments, such as the rain-soaked Flying Dutchman rocking in the sea or the elegant stonework and terraces of Naboo. That’s not the case with LEGO Worlds. The randomly generated sandboxes are a delight to explore and, combined with a whole slew of atmospheric effects that create foggy forests, shimmering seas and much more, these screenshots scarcely do them justice.
I didn’t build this town big enough for the both of us.
Speaking of the sandboxes, as you begin to explore the first one you find yourself in, the game will teach you about the various tools at your disposal and unlock new ones, all of which let you interact with the world in different ways. You can use terrain deformation tools to raise the ground or lower it, level things out or smooth them off, while creative tools allow you to change the colours of things or apply themes, such as lava, snow and so much more. The greatest tools are, of course, the building tools, which allow you to copy existing things in the world, place things you’ve discovered and added to your build menus or best of all, build entirely new things, brick by individual brick. I can’t say every single shape and style of brick is on offer, but there is more than enough to build pretty much anything you might want to. In Adventure Mode, these tools are handed out slowly, in a way that ensures you have a good understanding of one before tossing another one at you. If you want to bypass all that, there is the Sandbox Mode, with every tool unlocked from the beginning, as well as a wide range of assets to start playing with immediately. It’s a quick way to get right into building something without having to work your way through Adventure Mode.
Adventure Mode, or the main story, if you wanna call it that, starts you out as a generic astronaut minifig in a goofy orange spaceship that crash-lands on one of the smallest sized sandboxes, where it introduces you to the basic concepts of the game. You’re expected to collect one hundred gold bricks to gain the illustrious title of Master Builder. As you explore more and more of these sandboxes, you will also encounter themed areas of the worlds, called Biomes, which add to your range of building and creative assets as well as increase the number of minifigs you can become. These areas are made up of the various LEGO brands, such as the ever popular City range, full of townies, cats, dogs, mailboxes and more, or Western, where you’ll find sheriffs, bandits, stagecoaches and so on. Some Biomes draw on brands I’ve never even heard of before, so exploring as many as you can is both essential and exciting. The big difference between the two game modes is that although you can jump straight into Sandbox Mode, there are some rare things you can only discover and add to your collection after finding them in Adventure Mode.
Dead men tell no (Traveller’s) tales.
Now, as much as I could continue gushing about my dream game forever, and believe me, I could, there are a few things I’m going to call out. I’ve mentioned the variety of LEGO brands present in the game, but other than being organised into categories of minifigs, animals, vehicles, buildings and a few other tabs, there is no way to quickly find the things you want to place them into the world. It’d be great if there could be an option to group items into their brands, like putting all the Western, Castle, City, Pirate and so on together, so I don’t have to scroll through every other item from all the other brands to find the one thing I want. The icons representing items in the menus could be a little bigger or clearer too, or a magnified window could be added to show what you have currently selected. There’s even an occasional glitch that will find you stuck in the environment or inside a construct, requiring you to reset your position from the menu, parachuting you back into the world, minus the parachute. While occasionally annoying, these aren’t game breaking. Most of my issues are just little things. Extra polish on something that, in my mind, is already very close to perfect. I’ve rewritten this section a few times at this point because some things I’d noted down to mention here have already been addressed in updates since I purchased the game. Hopefully, by the time you read this review, the few things I’ve pointed out won’t even be issues anymore.
I guess the last thing worth mentioning is the absence of licensed content. I’ve already said how Traveller’s Tales have long since perfected their main series games, such as Lord Of The Rings, The Avengers, Batman and so on, but LEGO Worlds only draws from in-house properties. While they’re going to be adding more of those with each update, there are no plans to include the easily more popular licensed properties, or at least not at this point, and that seems to have caused a bit of a divide in the player base. Some players think it is good that the game can stand on its own merits and others have said they aren’t interested in even looking at it until it has everything. While I’m happy that the game is so entertaining in its current state, I have to say it would be truly mindblowing to transform my minifig into Tony Stark, spawn in an X-Wing and race Harry on his Firebolt! The range of possibilities gets even more insane when you think of everything they could bring in from LEGO Dimensions. The little kid inside me dreamed up this game, so maybe I can dream about these additions. One dream came true, why not one more?
Day 16. Still no clue who built the monument. I believe this site was a place to exchange ideas and opinions. Need more food.
I like to imagine an average day working for the LEGO Company is just like what I’m doing in LEGO Worlds. Having access to an unlimited supply of bricks and being able to create whatever I want is just amazing, and I still can’t believe people get paid to do this! While a lot of reviews have made comparisons to Minecraft as the other main sandbox building game, LEGO Worlds is, to me, in an entirely different class. The variety of creative options on offer in a game only a few months after release already eclipses anything I’ve seen in other games that have been out for years, and it’s got endless room to grow. Even if all the various licensed properties don’t get added, there will still be more than enough to do with the in-house LEGO brands. I’ve been playing for ages, and I’m still discovering new Biomes, adding things to my collections, and I’ve only just started planning my first super build. If you’re looking for a great sandbox game with nearly unlimited potential, Traveller’s Tales has assembled LEGO Worlds from all the right parts. All you’ve got to do is bring your imagination!