Frankly, it’s a surprise it’s taken this long for the team at Traveller’s Tales to get their hands on the Jurassic Park license. But on the plus side, it’s meant they have managed to squeeze the brand new Jurassic World entry into the game alongside the original trilogy.
In fact, if you want to dive into the new movie straight away, you can after the prologue level. But if, like us, you love the original movies, you’ll want to play through from the very start. By now, TT are seasoned pros at reproducing iconic moments from films into family-friendly games. They’ve had their work cut out for them though as the original movie is surprisingly violent, so the game has been heavily reimagined or cut. So nobody really dies, goat spines don’t land on sunroofs and you certainly won’t be seeing Samuel L. Jackson’s severed arm flopping onto Laura Dern’s shoulder. Hell, even Dennis Nedry has even been slimmed down (because Lego doesn’t do fat). I’m surprised (disproportionately outraged) the electric fence scene has been completely cut though.
There’s no beating around the bush. It’s another Lego game, so don’t expect any genuine innovations. Aside from enjoying the Lego games’ established gameplay, your main reason for buying this should be a love for the source material. Expect the usual mix of platforming and smashing everything made of Lego in sight. Unlike real life, any problem in Lego games can be solved with wanton destruction and that’s the status quo once again.
Naturally, the formula’s been tweaked enough to match the skills of the cast. So Alan will use his dug-up Raptor claw to cut through vines and a trowel to dig up items. Ellie will stick her hands into piles of dino doodoo. Muldoon can track footprints. Malcolm will solve equation boards, look smug and use a flare to light up dark areas. Timmy crawls though vents. Lex hacks computers or screams so loud enough to shatter glass and so on. Familiar concepts, but put through a Jurassic Park filter. Crucially, most of them will bring a knowing smile to any fan’s face.
The dialogue audio from the original movies is used like we saw in Lego Hobbit/LOTR. Although, the quality of the voice recordings is really poor, sounding like an old VHS, rather than a blu-ray. Hell, Ellie’s grunt noise when fighting sounds like it’s coming out of a GameBoy from under a pile of laundry.
The addition of dinosaurs to the playable roster soon brings back the smiles though, even if their use in Jurassic World working with the humans is as daft as it sounds. Raptors are featured the most in the campaign, but the Triceratops gets in on the action too thanks to their ability to smash through things. Playable dinos are more of a feature in the end game’s open-world island as you hunt down another epic haul of red/gold bricks, minikits and employees in peril. The usual.
As far as gameplay goes, you’ll enjoy familiar stages involving breaking items, rebuilding them as zany tools and having a good time just ploughing through, especially if played with a friend instead of doing everything yourself. The chase scenes are a massive highlight and really bring back some of the film’s magic, be they on foot or in the car fleeing the iconic T-Rex. Do try and play the game in co-op though as the teamwork is great fun as one player drives while the other flings flares in Rex’s gaping maw when he unleashes that iconic roar.
If you’ve played a few Lego games in the past, you’ll probably be expecting the odd rough edge. But here’s the thing, Lego Jurassic World is a technical shambles (note: I’ve only played the PS4 version). And I’m not talking about frame-rates or the interact button not working sometimes; I’m talking proper issues that’ll have gamers of all ages nearing tantrum-esque levels of fury.
Playable characters and vehicles constantly get stuck in walls or trapped in locked animations forcing a restart that often requires near-complete chapters to be played from the beginning. An essential vehicle disappeared from the hub world between levels, but I didn’t know it was gone, so I spent ages exploring the rest of the island for it, only to give up and reboot the game to find it magically reborn about ten feet from where I started.
More? How about climbable swing-vines that you’ll leap straight through time after time, losing thousands of studs until the game acknowledges there’s something to grab. The Raptor’s ledge grab lock-on rarely works and often requires player two to drop-out when playing in co-op because the camera angle refuses to look at it. A huge battle scene with a T-Rex vs the Spinosaurus is ruined thanks to the final QTE prompt not actually appearing on-screen, we had to guess which button it might be as it would be different each time and after a while we bluffed through. Trophies will ping for finishing each chapter, but some won’t actually appear in your collection. They may ping when you replay a level. But the warning signs of a potential borked Platinum hunt like the unfixed Laketown glitch in Lego Hobbit certainly threaten to stop the end game fun dead in its tracks.
That would be a shame too, as the end game is what we really enjoy getting stuck into with TT’s Lego games. Discover a few red bricks and you can start hunting down those gold blocks/minikits and making sure to add every single character to your roster. Replaying the story levels in freeplay mode lets you use newly unlocked characters to reach new areas in the usual way and will last for way longer than the initial eight hours it takes to finish the campaign first time around.
The hub islands for each film aren’t as open as those found in past Lego games, but still provide an undeniably moreish experience to fans of shiny collectibles. The character select wheel is still an utter swine though as it never seems to keep the character you want on it, meaning you have to dive into that ridiculous mega list of characters, which is even more unreadable when playing co-op. But if, like me, you love the old movies and have a fair few Lego games in your collection already, you’ll push through all manner of annoyance and bugs for the good parts. I’d wait for patches and discounts for a while though as ropey releases like this shouldn’t be encouraged.
- Nails many moments from the movies
- Lots of fun in co-op
- You can be a dinosaur!
- Too many glitches and forced restarts
- JW1 dialogue audio quality is terrible
- How do I turn off that bloody theme tune!?
The Short Version: Lego Jurassic World has clearly been rushed through to release alongside the new movie, and as such is riddled with bugs and glitches -more so than any other licensed Lego game. There are plenty of grin-inducing moments for fans of these incredible movies though and as such Lego Jurassic World is still worth a look if you love the films enough to forgive the defects in its DNA.
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed) | PS3 | X360 | XO | PC | Wii U| 3DS | Vita
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive