Game Reviews

Lego Jurassic World Review: Quirky, Funny and Replayable

I’m way more excited for the release of Lego Jurassic World than I should be at my age. For starters, I never really got into the Lego game series. The only one I played with any regularity was Lego Marvel Superheroes and I really only gave that a shot because I’m a huge comic-fan and the concept looked cool to play.

It was fun, but it certainly wasn’t something I played all the time…definitely not something I would choose over my beloved sim racers or Dragon Age for example.

Lego Jurassic World is different. Ever since I first played the demo at GDC this year, I’ve been waiting for this game with great anticipation. It’s a little surprising that how excited I’ve been for this game, just as excited as I have been for The Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat X and Batman Arkham Knight. Crazy, right?

So why the anticipation? What makes this entry to the Lego series any different than the dozens of others that came before it? Maybe it just taps into my childhood love of dinos but when I heard that Lego Jurassic World would encompass all four films in the series, I started fanboying pretty hard.

It has been a long time since I played a JP game that I have enjoyed (back on Sega Genesis times) and with the anticipation of the Jurassic World film, the timing was perfect to be thrown headfirst into some Lego dino-goodness.

Lego Jurassic World insert

If anyone has ever played a Lego game before then you should feel right at home here. Lego JW does not mess with a proven formula, so you can expect all the environment busting, block collecting, structure building goodness of the Lego games of the past.

An additional bonus here is the ability to play as the dinosaur (both in sequences in the game and also in a special mode). Complete with voice acting from the movies, which can result in some hilarious moments while you play.

The game itself is broken up into two sections. You have the original trilogy (which needs to be unlocked in order of films) and Jurassic World.

The game starts you off on the helipad of Isla Nublar, where you can go left to start the original trilogy or right to start JW. It’s a pretty clever little setup and it was nice to see the current summer blockbuster ready to play from the get go.

Like I mentioned before, if you choose the original trilogy route, then you will need to start with Jurassic Park and work your way chronologically through The Lost World and JP3.

Graphically the game looks beautiful running on the Xbox One. Sure it’ll never be mistaken for something like The Witcher 3 in terms of graphical prowess but as I’m sure most you know, that’s 100% not the point of the Lego games.

The characters and objects that are comprised of Lego blocks look just fine but where the visuals really shine, is in the environments. Things like the muddy ground, puddles, mountains and trees in the background all look spectacular.

In fact, these things look SO good that they almost seem out of place when you have the Lego objects interacting within them. I didn’t get an opportunity to compare the XBox One version to any last-gen versions, so I couldn’t tell you how the graphics compare.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the game is the fact that actual clips of dialogue from the films were used for cutscenes. For some reason, hearing Jeff Goldblum’s voice coming out of a Lego version of Dr. Malcolm is outrageously hilarious.

Couple that with the Lego series’ penchant for slapstick and you get some funny scenes from otherwise grim moments of the movies. Of course the main audience for Lego JW is kids and families, so obviously the violence and dismemberment had to be toned down.

IF moms and dads are wondering how that is done here are some examples. Instead of Gennero being devoured by the T-rex in the porto-potty, you now have him sitting in the T-rex’s mouth and brushing his fangs with a toilet brush. Instead of the T-Rex completely destroying the cars in front of the paddock, you now have a giant squeaky toy for it to play with while Dr. Grant helps Tim and Lex escape.

Each character in the game has a unique skill that must be used to progress through most levels. For instance, Ellie Satler has her paleobotany skill which allows her to grow plants for climbing and jumping purposes and she also has a willingness to dive into piles of dino poop to search for hidden items.

Lex has a hypersonic scream which can shatter glass, Dr. Grant has the fossilized velociraptor claw which allows him to cut through dense underbrush; and so on and so forth.

Certain levels even require you to take control of a dinosaur for short periods of time in order to solve puzzles. All characters (both human and dino) can later be used in free play…often with the result of great humor.

It may be kid-oriented but Lego Jurassic World has a massive amount of content that’s just begging to be replayed multiple times.

Your first playthrough of all four movies should take you around a dozen or so hours but going through with different characters and unlocking previously blocked off areas can easily eat up RPG levels of time.

It’s a fun and quirky look at one of the ultimate classic blockbuster film franchises and the devs clearly paid great respect to the source material with their inclusion of voice acting and tiny details from the films.