LEGO Jurassic World (Wii U) Review

By Drew Hurley 02.07.2015

Review for LEGO Jurassic World on Wii U

LEGO Jurassic World is the latest LEGO game based on the numerous properties now available to LEGO. There have already been the Star Wars Saga, Marvel Superheroes, numerous DC Comics titles and more. Now, with the release of Jurassic World, comes this compilation game of the series, incorporating the complete Jurassic Park saga, including Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park II: The Lost World, Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World.

It's quite an interesting comparison to see that the Jurassic World Box Office recently overtook the Avengers for the top US opening weekend, topping the 2012 record of $207 million by another million to hit $208 million. That was a considerable achievement and this game has quite a coincidentally similar hurdle, in that it will inevitably be compared to arguably the best LEGO title out there, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Whereas LEGO Marvel was a completely original game and story set in an existing property, with an open world and freedom for the developers though, this game is based around existing material, which is a lot more limiting for what can be produced.

This uses the same method as other movie based LEGO games, utilising important moments from each film to make up individual stages. Luckily, the films are very much outlined with action beats that transition ideally from movie to game, with enough content so that the stages feel appropriate in length and nothing really feels overly padded or too much like filler. What also helps is that the player doesn't need to progress through in the same chronological order as the films. Considering the hype around Jurassic World and the game even being titled after it, players obviously want to experience that part without playing through the first three movies.

Each film is fairly faithfully reproduced, although obviously being a LEGO game it has been made much more family friendly, with many of the more grizzly moments of the series being made slapstick or just silly, for example, the memorable scene at the start of the first film where a Raptor gets hold of a handler's arm is replaced with the Raptor grabbing the sausage the handler was eating. It does, however, make it a little extreme to then hear the characters screaming for everyone to "Shoot her!" It's just a sausage…! Guns are replaced with electricity shooting taser guns or tranquiliser darts, and victims of dinosaur attacks are quickly happy and smiling afterwards. This sort of atmosphere does not negatively impact the story or the experience, thankfully, and often actually enhances it, with many of the slapstick moments able to evoke laughter from young and old fans, alike.

Each of the different movies is made up of a handful of story-based stages, along with a hub area based around the primary location of the film. This is where the first obvious comparison to the LEGO Marvel Superheroes yardstick is significant. LEGO Marvel implemented an open world that was expansive and well designed, with tons of side-quests and activities to do scattered over the large map, and numerous methods of travel to make traversing the considerable map fun. While this title does not have a singular open world and instead has these four open world hub areas, each dedicated to the four movies primary locations, each of these hub areas still functions as an open zone for players to explore, each brimming with things to collect and unlock.

Screenshot for LEGO Jurassic World on Wii U

All LEGO titles have the same core gameplay mechanics: collecting LEGO studs to use as currency, little puzzles, building LEGO and overcoming special types of LEGO blocks that require a certain special ability. Establishing what ability to use on these special bricks was easy in the recent DC and Marvel Superhero titles - gold LEGO required lasers to superheat, silver LEGO required explosives, blue required magnetism. Anyone with a little comic knowledge could easily select what characters to use and thanks to the media explosion of comic hero-based movies, TV shows and games, there are more people with knowledge of these characters than ever before. With LEGO Jurassic World it gets a little trickier, however, as some are obvious, like archaeological characters such as Alan Grant able to dig up Dinosaur Bones to make bridges and pathways with, or using child characters to climb through grates, but others are fairly obscure and difficult to work out without opening the character select and seeing what abilities each character has.

Similarly, there certainly isn't the same sort of fan appeal for the unlockable characters, even for fans of the series. Obviously, the major cast of each of the films is all accounted for, some numerous times in various outfits, but since the LEGO games are now used to having over a hundred playable characters, the selection here feels needlessly bloated. Even the most hardcore fan is not going to be excited by the prospect of being able to play as "InGen Investor Gerry" or "Gyrosphere Operator Josh." What fans will, and should be excited to play as, however, is the cast of dinosaurs. There is a considerable amount of different species to unlock, falling under three different size criteria, with the larger ones, such as the full-sized T-Rex and Triceratops, being treated more like vehicles and need to be summoned from a special device as opposed to just switching to them in free play once they have been unlocked. These larger dinosaurs are really fun to play as, stampeding along as a Triceratops, destroying everything in its wake with a feel of real weight to the actions as the screen shakes all around.

For the small dinosaurs, players can unlock baby versions of favourites such as the T-Rex, Raptor and Triceratops, along with the small in stature, large in syllable Compsognathus. Gamers can switch to the medium-sized dinos on the fly, like the other mini-figs, such as the series' iconic Raptors, including new favourite "Blue." All of the dinosaurs are particular fun to play and their abilities are required to overcome some obstacles in-game, spitting at glowing LEGO as the Dilophosaurus or smashing the ground to pieces as a T-Rex, for instance.

Screenshot for LEGO Jurassic World on Wii U

The story mode stages include a number of sections where the playable characters are separated into different parties and gamers then need to switch between them to help the other to progress, for example, a group may need to go forward and get the electricity turned back on and then rebuild some water pipes to a fountain, which in turn will make the fountain spray water over a fire that clears the path for the first team. This type of gameplay fits well with the story of the films and is an enjoyable little feature, although, sadly, hardly utilised. It's the open world areas and the free play stages that are often the most fun to play, especially thanks to the gargantuan amount of collectibles and unlockables. There are the reused collectables, as in all the other games, such as 200 boxes of fossils, which serve as this title's mini-kits, each scattered across story mode stages that when all on a stage are collected reward the player with a complete Dinosaur Fossil Mini-kit. There are also 275 of the classic "Gold Bricks" scattered across all aspects of the game and rewarded for numerous different actions, acting as gating mechanisms at points, requiring people to have collected a set amount to acquire collectibles. Then, finally, there are the usual 20 "Red Bricks" that when unlocked give the player access to "cheats," which range from the useful, like double stud points and invincibility, to the cosmetic like 8-bit music. There are also collectibles unique to the game, too, all adding up to a great deal of content for the completionists out there to aim for.

As with many of the film-based LEGO games, much of the voice acting is acquired using sound bites from the films themselves - a method that often results in low quality audio, sounding like the voices are underwater or with background noise. This was most notable with the old LEGO Lord of the Rings game and really detracted from the experience. With LEGO Jurassic World, the quality is much higher, and the sound bites are also supplemented by new voice acting from some of the film's actors and by brand new voice actors complementing the cast.

Obviously, being a LEGO title, the graphics are not much of a focus, yet some aspects reach a decent standard. In particular, the jungles look quite rich, with the grass textures of the floor of higher quality than the usual standard in LEGO titles and, similarly, the fire effects are striking and vibrant at points.

Screenshot for LEGO Jurassic World on Wii U

It's the little touches that make most of the difference - silly things that just serve to enhance the whole experience. Whether it's the loading screens incorporating the Mr. DNA character and dinosaur facts for the budding palaeontologists out there, or just the mini-games involving chasing after dinosaurs, hanging off cars and shooting at Raptors - they all add together to make the overall product something a little more special. Same with the humour; there are real laugh out loud moments scattered throughout. Along with the series' mainstay of all of the LEGO games, there are numerous Easter Eggs. LEGO archaeologists can be seen digging up a certain DeLorean, and the cast of Jaws even show up in mini-fig form, for instance.

The game is certainly not without its issues, however. The hub worlds are frustratingly designed at points, with the ability to unlock things requiring the player to return all the way to the visitor centre of the Jurassic Park hub. Also, travelling between the hubs can be quite a pain and it's never really explained. On starting the game, the player is given the choice of Jurassic Park or Jurassic World to play, yet to switch between these, a set location must be reached to move between them until having unlocked fast travel icons for the main map.

Even with these issues, this is a fantastic example of why LEGO games continue to be so very popular. The gameplay has changed little, but it's what works so well. While it's not the best LEGO release, it's definitely deserving of a place alongside them.

Screenshot for LEGO Jurassic World on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

LEGO games may very well be formulaic, but the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies very aptly here. There is the same comedy and parody of the source material as with many of the other releases, which while is done to make the game more family friendly, has the added benefit of resulting in some genuinely funny moments. The games are simple and fun to play for audiences of all ages and sizes; for fans of Jurassic Park or the LEGO games in general, LEGO Jurassic World is a must pick up.

Developer

TT

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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