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LEGO Jurassic World Review – You Always Need More Teeth!!
Dinosaurs and LEGO – the perfect 90’s childhood combination. Frankly I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to be combined into a game, but UK-based Traveller’s Tales have finally brought their comedic Lego touch to the world of Jurassic Park. With the ability to play through all 4 action-packed films, you get to relive all the puns, chases and hear John Hammond exclaim how he “spared no expense” about a hundred times. Get ready to feel nostalgic all over again, with the added perk of being able to terrorise Jurassic Park as one of the dinosaurs (more on that shortly!)
The game takes you through all 4 action packed JP movies, with Jurassic Park and Jurassic World being accessible straight from the beginning. Each story is split into 5 levels, taking you through memorable movie moments featuring appearances from a large cast of characters, and these levels are split further by encouraging you to explore the island. It’s a great way to make sure you see the work the TT design team put in, and every minute exploring helps you get closer to that coveted 100% completion achievement. While exploring (and playing through the story) you’ll come across all the familiar aspects of a Lego game: red bricks, gold bricks, races and mini-kits (building these unlocks playable skeletal dinosaurs, how cool is that?!) You’ll also come across the newly-added Photography spots (which reward with more gold bricks) and an Amber brick in each level. Make sure to grab any of these you see, since they unlock new playable dinosaurs and some are indispensable when going for that 100% mark.
You’ll also come across Sick Dinosaurs in each world, which can be treated by finding the 3 items rotating around its’ head. For example a sick Pachysepholsaurus might be healed with a banana, an apple and a blue ice-pop. Hey, whatever works right? Healing them allows you to take control on a temporary basis and rewards you with yet another Gold Brick. Not only does it make you incredibly nostalgic for the movies, but it also tickles the small part of you that wanted dinosaurs to be real when you were young. I’ll be honest: I wanted a pet Raptor after watching Jurassic Park. But who didn’t?
To anyone who has ever played a Lego game, it will feel extremely similar. TT Games seem to apply the old saying of “if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it”, and so far it’s worked. In one way it’s great, making the games accessible to everyone (including the younger audience Lego games are designed for). The downside is that the game isn’t terribly innovative. To combat this, Lego Jurassic World lets you tear up the land (quite literally) as a dinosaur. Yes you can chase Alan Grant as one of 5 Raptors, squash Ian Malcolm as T-Rex and much more. Most of the dinosaurs skills, similar to the human characters, which are incredibly useful in Freeplay. For example, the Raptor team from Jurassic World have the ability to follow scent trails and even build items, while the T-Rex can break solid Amber blocks by roaring. The fun isn’t restricted to the ground either: you can terrorise the seas as the Mososaurus and dive-bomb guests as a Pteradon. Finally, one of my favourite (although possibly limited) parts is the ability to create your own dinosaur through genetic modification. You start with a base dinosaur and can change the head, body and tail to create unique creatures. Add a custom paint job and some funky patterns and it’s practically Pimp My Dinosaur! While the combinations are a little limited, it’s still great fun to play God (in the words of Ian Malcolm) and have a bright pink Brachiosaurus. Because why not?
Lego Jurassic World comes with a large cast of familiar playable characters, from motorbike rider and raptor trainer Owen Grady, to Ian Malcolm and Rob Muldoon (still one of my most favourite characters from Jurassic Park). Previously unnamed characters also make an appearance, like the Giant Turkey kid from Jurassic Park to the unfortunate In-Gen scientists who inevitably get eaten. Even the lovable Mr D.N.A makes an expensive appearance (500,000 studs!) but it’s easy to buy they all since you’ll be swamped with studs by the end. The vast majority of characters have useful skills based what category they’re placed in, i.e archaeologists can reassemble bones, while hunters can follow dinosaur tracks to juicy rewards.
All these features are fantastic, but it’s probably the cut-scenes that stand out the most and help bring it all together. The voiceovers are so close to the actors it’s actually scary (you notice it straight away when Rob Muldoon shouts “SHOOT HER!”) and they manage to tell the story so well you don’t really need to have seen the movies to understand what’s going on. You should still go and see them (they’re Spielberg gold!) but they tell it to the point where there is no doubt what is going on or what you need to do now. The incredibly large number of character deaths have been given a Lego makeover so that nobody actually dies, which are entertaining to watch and don’t really detract from the Jurassic Park story.
As with most Lego games it’s not without a few glitches and bugs (I found a particularly interesting patch of floor that causes you to eternally fall and crashes your console…) but they’re not exactly major game-breakers. The fast travel system is also a little strange and could have been utilised a bit better: Jurassic World has multiple fast travel points, but the other islands don’t really seem to use them. You’ll spend most of the game travelling on foot, which isn’t a bad thing as you’ll be collecting studs at the same time, but it’s a pain if you want to be somewhere pretty much instantly. Additionally, to travel to The Lost World you have to go via helicopter from Jurassic Park, and to get to Jurassic Park 3 you have to go through the Lost World and use a boat there. It’s a little time consuming if you’re hopping between stories to complete everything, but again this is more a minor gripe than a serious problem.
Despite the few glitches, Lego Jurassic World is an enjoyable game that makes you nostalgic straight from the loading screen. The stories are told well and it’s great being able to play from the dinosaurs perspective as well as people, and working towards that 100% completion mark will keep you busy for a while. While it may not be a completely brand new or innovative design, you’ll enjoy reliving the action from the movies (including the giant dinosaur fights) and causing 65million years worth of mayhem. Whether you’re a fan of dinosaurs, Lego or Jurassic Park, Lego Jurassic World should be on your ‘to-play’ list.