LEGO Dimensions could have easily slapped some toys into the base model that developer TT Games uses for every licensed tie-in to properties from Batman to the eventual reboot of Indiana Jones starring a smirking Shia LaBeouf in a few years time. A few toys here, a fancy portal there and a tried and tested gameplay formula would have easily sealed the deal on a brand new license to print money.
And in many ways LEGO Dimensions is that game. It’s familiar to anyone who has ever taken one of those titles for a spin, but it’s fortunately also aware of this reputation, leveraging its strengths to create something that makes it more than just another grab at the toys to life market that recently claimed the life of Disney Infinity.
I mean, you can still expect to pay plenty for the game and its various add-on packs. But sweet Gandalf, is it fun.
It’s also got a nifty setup: There’s a big baddie on the loose by the name of Lord Vortech, and he has designs on controlling all of time and space as the grand cheese of everything. Just your standard Tuesday in super-villainy then. That’s where you come in, and by you I mean a trinity of LEGO heroes: Batman, Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie and pass-master Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings.
Evil’s afoot and it’s up to you to stop it, by going face-first into numerous portals and battling Lord Vortech’s draft picks of evil along the way across multiple dimensions. And for the most part, it’s the LEGO game that you’ve been expecting. Smash bricks, collect studs and build your way out of a tight spot. Something we’ve seen in every game so far.
LEGO Dimensions tightens the focus on the puzzles this time however, with the ace up its sleeve being its actual core philosophy in front of you: Building. That portal that you just spent the better part of an hour assembling? That’s a part of the game itself, in more than just a visual nod. Say what you like about LEGO games being repetitive, but they’re absolute masters of puzzle gameplay.