Published on October 1st, 2015 | by Mica Rose0
LEGO Dimensions – PlayStation 4 Review
Worlds Collide in LEGO Dimensions – For A Cost
It’s hard to play LEGO Dimensions without feeling like a little bit of a mug. As you go through levels there will be certain areas that you simply cannot access (unless you invest another £15-£30 on one of the extra Level, Team or Fun packs). This serves as a near constant reminder that you will never get the full experience of a game you have just spent £100 on, without dropping even more cash. It’s a completionist’s nightmare, as you won’t be able to obtain all the minikits, gold bricks or all the other things that are a staple part of LEGO games without physically buying all the characters. It’s like reading a book with certain pages ripped out; they may not be key to the story, but the torn edges they leave behind are distracting and unsettling.
Once you get accept the fact that your experience will be less than complete, the game is actually really enjoyable. It plays like every other LEGO game – you destroy, you rebuild and you collect studs along the way. The staple formula is fun and it works well, but LEGO Dimensions adds a whole new component to games of its type with the World Portal. The way that it is used both in and out of the game is truly inspired. There are different modes, or ‘keystones’, throughout the game that will activate an extra function for the toypad:
- Chroma Mode – In game, there will be 3 pads on the ground, 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow. When a character steps on a pad they turn the respective colour. Then, usually to solve a puzzle, you have to move the physical minifigures on the toy pad to change the colour of the light to match the desired effect on screen.
- Locate Mode – When locate mode is activated, the toypad works as an indicator of whether your in game character is moving in the right direction to find a hidden object. If you’re on track the toypad will glow green, going the wrong will cause it to glow red.
- Elemental Mode – This causes the different sections of the toypad to light up in correlation with different elements. Place a character on the light blue section and they’ll acquire an in game shield of electricity, place them on red and they get fire, green to get earth and blue to get water.
- Shift Mode – This will create three different portals that will teleport your in game character to the corresponding position on screen, all you have to do is move them on the toy pad.
- Scale Mode – Arguably the simplest one of the keystones, move the character to the orange section of the toypad and they’ll shrink, move them to the green section and they’ll grow huge. They even have a neutral area if you want to go back to normal size.
I never imagined that the toypad would be quite this interactive with the in game world; my expectation was that I’d place a character on the portal and play away and that would be it. I was very pleasantly surprised to see just how interactive it really is. There’s even a feature where if you get caught in an enemy’s attack, a section of the toy pad will flash red and you have to quickly move your character to a safe section. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the ways the toypad is incorporated but it definitely adds a whole new level to the gameplay.
The levels themselves definitely ring true to their respective worlds. My personal favourites are the Portal and Doctor Who levels within the main story. You’ll encounter 3 of the most iconic Doctor Who villains; Cybermen, Daleks and my all-time favourite: the Weeping Angels. When I first saw the angels in the level they seemed more like a nod to the series, along with BAD WOLF graffiti’d on the walls. However, further throughout the level they most certainly captured their terror; the lights flash out and you’re surrounded – just how it should be. Running down a dark corridor in a LEGO game has never been and probably never will be so scary.
The Portal level is so incredibly smart. Yes, there’s the standard destroy and rebuild but the puzzles are so much more intricate then your usual LEGO level and it really captures the spirit of Aperture Science. This, of course, is strengthened by the robotic and dry GLaDOS, who is as hilarious as ever, and the bumbling Wheatley. Even without the level pack add on you can get a great Portal experience from the main story missions.
If you can overlook the many nudges to spend more money, then LEGO Dimensions can really be a fantastic gaming experience. The unique gameplay is fun and refreshing and adds a whole new layer to playing that is sure to captivate kids and adults alike. The diverse selection of worlds visited in the main game offers something for everyone and they have most certainly done their research. They haven’t just bought the rights to these characters and plonked them in a video game – they’ve recreated their worlds and taken all the elements the fandoms love and built on them. It’s safe to say our beloved worlds from film; TV and gaming are in safe hands with LEGO Dimensions.
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