Lego Jurassic World
Jurassic Park has had a long and troubled relationship with gaming. There have been some series high points, such as the excellent arcade light gun games, but there have also been huge disasters like Trespasser, released for PC in 1998 to some scathing reviews. So it's pleasing that the latest spin on the franchise, Lego Jurassic World, offers some much needed consistency to the license.
Lego Jurassic World allows players the choice of four campaigns, all based on entries into the film series. This means they can take control of all of their favourite and least favourite characters from the movies. Do you want to take control of a Triceratops, or perhaps the bloodsucking lawyer Donald Gennaro from the first movie? Well, now you can. The game gives players a wide range of choices, boasting a huge library of humans and dinosaurs to pick from. Every character has its own unique ability that comes into play during the more linear story parts of the game: Alan Grant can use his raptor claw to cut vines and ropes, Tim Murphy has night vision goggles to see in dark places, and Ellie Sattler can dig through dinosaur droppings to locate items.
Gameplay primarily involves traversing lush environments and using character abilities to advance. It’s as simple as that. Players are encouraged to interact with their surroundings and to collect smaller bricks, as well as larger Lego parts to build useful machinery. The simple controls mean anyone can pick up the game and immediately understand how to play. This works both for and against the game, as it opens it to a wider audience but perhaps lacks some much needed depth and complexity.
Each of the four central stories has been injected with the developers’ unique brand of block-based humour. Scripting is cleverly written and genuinely quite funny. The slapstick elements will no doubt get a laugh from younger players, whilst the more subtle gags will certainly be a hit with a mature audience. The only misgiving in this regard is that it's all over quite quickly with some fairly short levels.
In spite of its length, the game does manage to pack in several small touches that demonstrate some wonderful creativity on behalf of the developers. One such addition is the interactive credit sequence that has players take control of a T-Rex or a Velociraptor as they race down a clearing. This is fabulous to play through and manages to transform some dull scrolling text into a legitimate extension of the game. Whether you are looking for a family friendly way to introduce a child to the franchise or simply fancy yourself a survival expert, Lego Jurassic World has plenty of fun to be enjoyed by all ages.