LEGO Jurassic World Review
LEGO Jurassic World combines everything I liked about LEGO video games and largely removes the only thing I really hated: the combat. With the focus on combat gone, Travelers Tales has given more time to environmental destruction, helpful hints for those young LEGO fans, and more puzzles to complete. Oh yes, and dinosaurs.
The games and levels mimic the movies they are trying to recreate very closely, but of course, they add their own unique LEGO humor. Ever since the Lord of the Rings LEGO title came out, Travelers Tales has worked on putting voicing into all their games. The writing is incredibly…wait a second. They just copied the movie script! In deed they did, but they captured the feel and look of the movies, but in LEGO form. This is probably easier said than done because movies rarely ever translate to a video game. Traveler’s Tales seems to have a knack at it by bringing the first 4 movies, and all the DLC launches to the Nintendo Switch.
The humor is created by extras that the development team added in. For example, early on in Jurassic Park, a group of dinosaur care people prepare to lift a cow into a dinosaur enclosure. Of course, LEGO has spun this scene on its head, and before you know it, the cow is operating the crane and the crane operator is soon to be dinosaur lunch! This humor, and more like it throughout, had my five year old son rolling on the floor in laughter.
Humor is not all this game gets right. The increase in puzzles is a nice touch to offset the loss of frequent combat sequences. The puzzles, while often simple, use the game world really well. It only took my son a bit of hand holding to navigate through the toughest of puzzles .Most of them he could complete on his own. I never felt that I missed the long combat scenarios. Combat has always been the weakest part of LEGO games, so to see it minimized is amazing.
In LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U, characters could be customized and changed. This customization appears once again in LEGO Jurassic World when it was originally released in 2015, and has expanded into numerous other LEGO titles since. It’s back and better than ever on Nintendo Switch, except the customization is with the dinosaurs. It often isn’t very deep – just changing the dinosaur’s colors – but it’s still an added touch that will resonate with a few consumers. When you do finally get that bright blue T-Rex, roaming around the open world is great, and there is plenty to do. I wish the character selection screen showed which characters offer up certain skills.
For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out who I needed to buy, and/or collect from a different level, in order to take pictures, break locks, and much more. I wish when you attempted to do some of these extras, and if you didn’t have the correct character, it told you where you could find that character. It created a minor amount of frustration when, after completing the first movie, I was given many extras to do around the world, very few of which I could actually do at that time.
The only downside to this title is – like all LEGO games – the camera angles. I would argue that 90% of the time, it is fine. But that 10% always seems to come at the worst possible time, often leading to deaths that don’t seem ‘fair.’ While it may be minor, when it does happen it can ruin my game playing experience, especially if it sets me back in the level or causes me to lose out on getting the True Adventurer for a level.
While not every LEGO title is getting a new lease on life with the Nintendo Switch, I’m glad that LEGO Jurassic World is. There is lots to destroy, puzzles to figure out, and a load of dinosaurs to find and collect. For those who haven’t played the game yet, now is the perfect time to dive in! It is a LEGO title that will resonate with children and adults, and will prove to be a great multiplayer experience between parents and children. While other LEGO titles left me frustrated with my child’s inability to move past some of the combat and puzzles, LEGO Jurassic strikes the perfect balance that creates an accessible challenge for all ages.