lego-dimensions-1-600x300

Gamescom: impressions and hands- on LEGO Dimensions.

At Gamescom, we got our hands on the upcoming action game Lego Dimensions. With this new Lego game, Warner Bros wants to compete with similar games like Disney Infinity and Amiibo. They’ve got a good concept up their sleeves to stand out from these other interactive games.

Why I think Lego Dimensions has a good fighting chance to attract players is the fact that they can go almost everywhere and tingle the interest of a bigger crowd.

Lego Dimensions is all about bringing your LEGO toy alive and play with it. Since LEGO can be used to craft any world you can imagine, it’s not weird that the developers Traveller’s Tales saw this opportunity to make a game around this idea and I want to add that it really works. The game combines physical/ virtual building of LEGO with the amusement of playing a video game. You start out with building your LEGO gateway and getting your favorite characters prepped to go out there and defeat local enemies in different universes, to repair the damage that Lord Vortech has done.

The core game starts with your LEGO toy pad which allows you to bring LEGO figurines and vehicles  alive but it will aid you to solve puzzles and defeat certain villains. The starter pack comes with the LEGO toy pad, the gateway and 3 playable figurines with their own unique abilities: Gandalf, Wildstyle and Batman. There’s also a Batmobile that you can use to overcome certain obstacles. Since each character represents a different world, you’ll have access to these different worlds. Besides the starter packs, you also can buy level packs ( contains a character, gadget/ vehicle and a new playable level), team packs ( contains more characters from the same universe but with unique abilities and vehicles/ gadgets) and fun packs ( contains a character and a vehicle/ gadget from a certain franchise, for example: LEGO Ninjago, LEGO movie, …). It’s also good to know that each vehicle will have 3 “modes” but these instruction manuals can be found in different worlds.

When you start playing, you choose your 4-man team simply by putting the figurines on the toy pad and they’ll digitalize into the game. A world can only be accessed if you have a character from that specific world. When you have that character, every other character, gadget or vehicle can be used in that world. So a character, gadget or vehicle isn’t tied to a specific world but a certain character must be used as a key to unlock a world for your other characters. For example: you can use Batman to drive the mystery van of the Scooby Doo franchise  in the world of “The Wizard of Oz” but to unlock this world you’ll need a character from the Wizard of OZ like the Green Witch.

People who are familiar with the LEGO game franchise won’t see a lot of new stuff. It’s your standard LEGO gameplay but the world is just bigger and it has a couple of tweaks like the use of the toy pad. It’s still running around smashing your way towards the end objective, collecting coins, build tools, complete challenges … Now this interactive toy pad will help you to go further on your adventures. This toy pad is of course used to bring your LEGO figurines to life but it will also help you to give your figurines key abilities to solve puzzles or defeat enemies. The toy pad has different modes that will help you in a certain world. It can be used to shrink/ enlarge your figurines,  use the different elements, locate, …  For example: I played the Doctor Who level and sometimes I had to give my character the ability to use a cone of fire to melt ice on a key panel. The toy pad has been divided into different sections and when u start using a certain mode, the sections of the toy pad will start to glow in different colors. Each color represents an ability.  If you use the elemental mode, one of the sections will be red and if you place your real figurine on the red section, it will gain the fire ability. This ability can be used to melt ice or it will have other functionalities but that depends on the level you’re playing. I really like the use of the toy pad, it makes the game feel more interactive and it doesn’t feel like just a platform to setup your collection of figurines.

 

LEGO dimensions graphical quality has a goofy look but it looks really nice. Combat mechanics were very fluent as I played one of the story levels of Doctor Who. I was surprised how true the developers stayed to all of these different worlds. Doctor Who’s special ability is the regeneration ability which allows you to play all of the doctors. Not only does your figurine changes but the inside of the Tardis changes with the doctor, like it’s supposed to do. Each world has their own sense of feeling and characteristics. The world of Oz is very light and colorful and the Doctor Who level is more dark and cold, just like in space. They really nail the atmosphere of all the different worlds.

My first impressions of the game were actually pretty good. The developers really chose their stage well since they have a big universe to experiment with. Everything you know or love can be changed into this LEGO world and that’s a big advantage than other games. Disney infinity  has a big world of animated characters or worlds but they are limited to the licences they have. LEGO Dimensions can go pretty far. Another good feature is the use of the toy pad. This will also lure another amount of players in since it has more functionality. The use of the toy pad is more than just a display but it’s necessary to solve puzzles and this kind of interaction is just another new way to play. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that it will be an expensive game. All these characters are needed if you want to fully experience the whole game. Yes, you can spend a big amount of time into each world but once you get bored of it, you’ll have to buy another pack. Of course, as a player you can decide if you want to invest in these kind of games or not.

The game will be released in North America on the 27th of September and it will launch 2 days later ( 29th of September) for Europe. It will be playable on the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3.