Admittedly, the mere concept of LEGO Worlds is what draws me in. Melding the sensibilities of Minecraft and LEGO itself, its subtle step forward is very exciting. Of course, much of its concept relies on established tropes and mechanics. While it’s not building a brand new concept afresh, the ideas and potential it brings to the table seem to be what I wanted from Minecraft in the first place. However, I can’t deny that the inclusion of greatly varied brick sizes is the main allure in that package. It makes for much more detailed, enjoyable and artful landscapes, the creation of which is at your beck and call in a variety of interesting ways. As a result, LEGO Worlds is essentially a digital way to enjoy its physical equivalent. While this leaves it limited in its tangibility, it offers a scope of possibility to satisfy anyone creatively-minded.
Unfortunately, many of the mechanics and gameplay elements are not fun to use. I can tell that it’s something that would be far more forgiving on a PC player (I played on PS4), but I expect some practice to make it easier. The opening notes of LEGO Worlds leave you trying to understand a barrage of awkward controls. Its learning curve is, while not steep, intensely fast paced. This had me using my first spot of true freedom running around for two hours, desperately trying to get to grips with the various things the narrator had so graciously skated over. It’s not that it doesn’t explain itself either, just that nothing quite works as you’d expect when you get down to it. That’s one of the main problems, though: expectation. I have confidence that more hours on LEGO Worlds will transition it into a smoother and less frustrating experience.
Much of that previous paragraph is speaking about the building tools themselves (which do have some lovely features – like the ability to “copy” constructs). Surrounding the building tools are quite a few nifty ideas, which stopped me from giving a “six” in this category. At first it seemed like a comfy little platformer, relying on you double-jumping and punching things. The more you play, the more you realise how truly interactive the world is. You can ride almost any animal you encounter, along with a wide array of vehicles. Many things act as usable items in ways that show a great attention to detail. I also give it huge props for its nonchalant inclusion of a first-person mode, which is actually useful since the game has guns. There’s a lot of room for fun in LEGO Worlds, and i’m sure it would be hilarious with two players.
LEGO Worlds looks great. That’s a simple statement, but it’s also the truth of the matter. Many of its worlds are procedurally generated, which leads to some occasional ugly glitches, but the landscapes it crafts can be immensely impressive. I’ve predicted for a long time that a LEGO based game like this would be a visual treat. The different blocks available result in beautiful worlds; all of which look as great from afar as they do when studying individual bricks. You could get snobby for its cartoon styling, and childish primary colours, but what the hell do you expect from LEGO? An unbelievable amount of unique bricks and furnishings bolster an inventory you slowly discover and unlock. These range across LEGO‘s entire history, encompassing their many sets and franchises. I’m absolutely certain that creations in LEGO Worlds will provide us with far more stunning sculpting than Minecraft ever did.
Its sound department is where this game really loses a few points. Where, at first, I enjoyed the catchy ditties that bounced in the background, they eventually came to gouge at my patience with their incessant chirpiness. Repetitive and uninspired, almost all of the music in this game feels pretty copyright free. It evidently wasn’t a priority for them, and I can see myself playing through much of this game with an alternate Spotify soundtrack. Other sound effects barely tick boxes too. When spending a bit of time building something brick-by-brick, it didn’t take long for me to notice that the clicking noises were both annoying and inaccurate. There was never going to be voice acting, but even its wannabe-simlish is weak.
I’m beginning to realise how formative these First Impressions segments are. I’m sure that LEGO Worlds will show itself to be vastly superior to this somewhat paltry “six”. It’s so packed with potential and possibility, but my worry is that the effort it requires to navigate will render it too irritating of a task. More time has to be spent with it, as it’s clear that there’s a lot of depth here. I found access to that depth to be a rather thick wall. That said, there’s enough that I like about its concept and execution to want to keep bashing up against it a bit more. For LEGO fans it’s quite essential, and probably very close to the game we’ve all been imagining for some time. It’s certainly as good-looking as it should be, but elements of its procedural generation evoke No Man’s Sky a little too much.
You may find me streaming LEGO Worlds over at Secret Cave’s Twitch.