Lego Dimensions review
Lego is more popular than ever and Dimensions is the biggest Lego game yet. Find out how much fun you can have mashing up so many worlds and characters in our Lego Dimensions review.
Update October 2017: Warner Bros has confirmed to MCV that "After careful consideration, we will not be producing new expansion packs for the game beyond what is now available. We will continue to provide ongoing server and customer support for all Lego Dimensions packs. Existing packs will continue to work interchangeably and will remain available for purchase."
Lego Dimensions review: Price and add-on packs
Games are pretty expensive these days but at launch its price of £74 (£69 on older consoles) seemed pretty steep - even if it is Lego. It's available much more cheaply now.
That said, it's not like you simply get a disc and nothing else. The starter pack comes with a Toy Pad on which you place characters to play in the game. You get Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle in the box and you can also place vehicles on it and the Batmobile is included. All of which you get to build from scratch.
Furthermore, you get the Lego Gateway which sits on top of the Toy Pad which is what the characters jump though in the game to visit different world – don't just build this from the manual as the process is part of the game. This is a 50+ step build so when you add off this up (mini figures are typically about £5 or more) the price suddenly doesn't seem so bad.
As we mentioned, the Starter Pack doesn't get you the entire Lego Dimensions game. You can play through the story mode with the provided characters and vehicle but there are more levels and also plenty of things you won't be able to do with buying more.
Level packs are around £25-30 and come with three extra figures – a character and two vehicles – these can be used in the regular levels and the extra one which you'll be able to access by buying it. There are also Fun Packs and Team Packs which simply come with extra characters and vehicles to use in game. Collecting them all with cost a bomb – we're talking way over £300 in total which is pretty epic. Click here for more games news and reviews
Lego Dimensions review: Story, gameplay and features
Previously, you'd buy a Lego game related to the franchise you're interested in – whether that's Harry Potter, Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean. What Lego Dimensions does it create a somewhat mind blowing mash up of worlds. It's single plater or two player co-op which is equally as fun.
Lego Dimensions includes DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, The Simpsons, Portal 2, Lego Ninjago, Doctor Who, The Wizard of Oz, Lego Chima, Jurassic World, Scooby-Doo, Ghostbusters, and Midway arcade games.
The story, in a nutshell, is that Lord Vortech (voiced brilliantly by Gary Oldman) is trying to merge all the universes into one under his control using eleven Foundational Elements, or keystones. The three starter characters are sucked into vortex from their respective worlds and must join forces to set things right.
That's quite the list and it's frankly super cool to be Batman in the The Simpsons house or Gandalf driving the Batmobile in the world of Doctor Who. There are so many combinations that it's just awesome and the voice overs are the real deal and excellently acted.
If you've played previous Lego games you'll be familiar the third-person system and most of the mechanics. You'll still be running around collecting studs, looking out for the illusive blue ones, as well as switching characters as and when you choose.
The big difference in Lego Dimensions is the Toy Pad. Not only do you get the thrill of building it yourself, but it's more advanced that other ones on the so called 'toys-to-life' market. A long cable is provided so you can have the base near you which you'll need to do as we found out.
Here there are three sections to place NFC-enabled toys on allowing up to seven at a time meaning if you buy extra packs you can choose which characters and vehicles you want to use for any level. Discover a bit which needs something which isn't on the pad mid-game and you can just hot swap them – on the screen they neatly appear and disappear through the ground via a very appropriate vortex.
The Lego Dimensions toy pad sections light up with a rainbow of colour which not only looks great but is very necessary in game because it is used for various game mechanics – moving it from a nice functional idea to an integral part of the game.
For starters, a boss might zap a character with a sort of force field and you'll need to move them to a different section in order for them to escape. Other times, you'll need to move Wyldstyle around all three in a particular sequence to build something in the game.
There are many other things you'll need the toy pad for throughout the game once you collect keystones such as scale, elements and colour. However, it's not always very intuitive despite on-screen hints – sometimes the changing colours of the pad aren't enough information to know what's going on leading us, sadly, to search online to find out.
Some extra help in-game when the player is clearly struggling to figure it out would have been a good idea – especially since the game is geared towards kids and adults.
As mentioned earlier, there are parts of levels which you need certain characters for – even from the very first level which we think is a bit harsh. If you don't want to splash out on all the extra packs needed, you can 'hire' a character in the level for the task but it will cost you a whopping 50,000 precious studs.
You'll probably want to collect the studs in order to upgrade vehicles, though. Not only can you make them better in various ways, but upgrade them enough times and you'll be offered the ability to buy and new version – each has three in total including the standard mode. Spending studs on this provides you with an on-screen instruction book showing you how to rebuild the machine into a different version using the same parts which is pretty cool.
We tested Lego Dimensions on the Wii U so it's worth pointing out that the game doesn't make good use of the Game Pad's additional screen. You simply get a duplicate of what's on the TV. We've also found a number of glitches particularly with the level which comes with the Doctor Who Level Pack which isn't ideal.
Lego Dimensions: Specs
- Wii U
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Wii U
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
SHOULD I BUY LEGO DIMENSIONS?
Despite a few niggles and the astronomical cost should you buy the whole set, there is so much fun to be had with Lego Dimensions. Mashing up characters and worlds is pure genius and the NFC base takes things to a new level for the 'toy-to-life' category. You just need to resist the urge to splash out on the entire collection.