WHY I LOVE… LEGO GAMES
Bricky versions of beloved franchises might be a hard sell, but there’s nothing quite like the LEGO games
However you chose to categorize the mainline LEGO games (there are a number of contentious criteria to consider), there have been a relatively large number of entries in a short space of time.
Over 20 of the blocky actionadventure games have graced Xbox consoles in the 13 years since LEGO
Star Wars’ 2005 release, each giving a marginal update on a tried-andtested formula. But though they rarely bring anything new to the table between each release, they are still a reliable source of fun, met with praise for each new instalment. But why?
The answer is simple: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When LEGO Star
Wars was first announced, few could have expected it would be the first game in a long-line of tie-ins that would still be seeing new releases over a decade later. A new Star Wars game? Yes please! One in which everything’s made out of LEGO? Err, well… But it proved a surprise success—a plastic rendition of George Lucas’ sprawling space opera was something gamers never knew they needed—and even managed to make
Episode I’s trade embargoes fun. The premise is simple: You guide a cast of Minifigures through levels based on key moments from pop culture staples, be that iconic movie moments, comic book crusades, or completely original scenarios involving your favorite characters.
Bashing the LEGO-made assets within a scene rewards you with a satisfying shower of separated blocks and shiny studs—which work as in-game currency— and certain objects will break down into constituent parts, which you can then rebuild in a whirlwind of plastic into something new, often key to making it to a level’s next section. There are puzzles too, which usually require the player to make use of the two onscreen characters’ combined abilities—perfect for drop-in, dropout co-op. Split-screen, cooperative multiplayer is something which all the LEGO games come with as standard, and in an age where that is dying a slow death, they present us with repeated reminders of its necessity. Working together with a friend to go on a stud-strewn rampage is an absolute blast, with stretches of LEGO-smashing chaos only punctured by considered moments to contemplate a puzzle’s solution.
Piece by piece
It’s all delivered with such charm too. For an idea, imagine Pirates Of The Caribbean’s Saturday matinee stylings as told with the British humor of a Cheshire production studio, or if Leslie Nielsen’s spoofhumor popped up in the grizzled fantasy realms of Lord Of The Rings. Earlier iterations delivered their stories through nothing more than slapstick pratfalls and barely decipherable grunts; that allowed for all manner of sight gags and humorous references, but a decent grasp of the original material was a help. More recent games have audio and dialogue ripped right from the bigscreen adventure they are portraying, which really gives them that ‘game-ofthe-movie’ feel while retaining all the silliness you’d expect.
You will quickly find yourself wanting to see what quirky detail the animators have managed to get into even the most obscure characters’ idle animations. The moment I unlocked a LEGO Dory, and it slowly dawned on me that the stars of other Pixar franchises were to be present in the recent LEGO The Incredibles, a huge, beaming grin ripped across my face.
There is often talk of the lack of proper videogame adaptations of big-screen favorites, usually citing the fact that historically they’ve always been ‘a bit crap’ as the reason for their absence. But the LEGO games have been bucking that trend of mediocrity with every new release. It’s hard to say which of the games is the best. 2013’s LEGO Marvel
Superheroes introduced fully openworld sections between its levels, so it stands out as a highlight, while
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is genuinely one of the best Star Wars games you could ever play. Whatever the next game is after
LEGO DC Super-Villains, you can be sure it will be worth your time, and they are the kind of games that give hope to even the most leftfield of tie-ins. The recent reveal of Gears Pop! had me scratching my head, but then I remembered my love of the LEGO games. It is surprising that more publishers have not tried their hand at crafting a similarly unlikely mash-up. But then, maybe the LEGO games simply cannot be beaten.
“LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the best Star Wars games you could ever play”
below Seeing how LE GO games imitate the original artwork is all part of the fun.