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LEGO Jurassic World

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: TT Games
Release Date: June 12, 2015


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Xbox One Review - 'LEGO Jurassic World'

by Adam Pavlacka on June 24, 2015 @ 2:30 a.m. PDT

LEGO Jurassic World is the first videogame where players will be able to relive and experience all four Jurassic films.

The LEGO games have had a good run over the past few years, with titles like LEGO Marvel Superheroes, LEGO The Hobbit and LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham all pushing the bar for what fans expect from the LEGO franchise. Each installment took the existing formula, improved what was there and added new elements for players to enjoy. LEGO Jurassic World presents traditional LEGO gameplay but doesn't really do anything to move the franchise forward. If anything, it feels like a filler title rushed out by TT's "B-team" to make the film's release date. It's not that LEGO Jurassic World is a bad game; it's just not a particularly great game.

LEGO Jurassic World starts out promising enough, with a title screen that mimics a park overview from "Jurassic World" before dumping you into the opening of "Jurassic Park." After playing through the first level of the game, you have the option of continuing on with "Jurassic Park" or moving over to "Jurassic World." "The Lost World" and "Jurassic Park III" levels don't become available until you've beaten the preceding film's story.

As soon as you've played through more than one "Jurassic Park" level (there are five levels per movie), the lack of polish starts to become evident. In previous games, the TT audio team did a great job of matching levels among the various speakers. Here, the film clips are incredibly obvious because the sound isn't matched. Sometimes, there is background noise from the film lines that isn't there when anyone else speaks. Other times, the film lines are at a different volume than those crafted specifically for the game. The issue is most obvious in "Jurassic Park," but it happens throughout all four of the movie sequences.

Gameplay is standard LEGO fare — break the bricks, solve the puzzle, move on to the next part of the level — but it has been streamlined to the point where puzzles simply don't exist. In prior LEGO titles, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the experience with my significant other because we could sit down on the couch and work out some of the tougher puzzles together. In LEGO Jurassic World, that simply wasn't possible because there really no puzzles in the story levels. Everything you could possibly need was handed to you on a silver platter, right as you needed it.

Without a doubt, LEGO Jurassic World is the easiest game in the entire LEGO franchise. Even the four boss fights were trivial affairs, with no depth whatsoever. The end of "Jurassic World" is a little better than the other three, but even that doesn't hold a candle to previous LEGO games. Races (an area where previous titles could be extremely challenging) are also set on permanent easy mode here.

Playing with the dinosaurs was supposed to be a highlight of LEGO Jurassic World, but they are little more than specialized big figs. The dino fights are nearly all QTE sequences, and levels are structured to keep playable dinos constrained to specific areas. Even the bonus levels, which have you "replaying" certain sequences "as the dinos," are mostly identical to the standard levels on which they're based. The only difference is that human models have been replaced with LEGO models. The Indominus and T-Rex chases are exceptions, yet neither dino can actually damage the vehicles they are chasing, even if they do catch them. And no, despite it being an ideal opportunity, the game does not let you tear apart downtown San Diego as the T-Rex.

Overall stability is another issue that is worth noting when it comes to LEGO Jurassic World. The LEGO games have always had their quirks, but, at least on the Xbox One, LEGO Jurassic World may also be one of the buggiest in the franchise. I experienced two major game-breaking bugs while playing through the game for review, along with a number of other minor issues. In one instance, the game froze up and crashed, forcing a replay of one of the levels. In another instance, I was exploring a paddock and took control of a triceratops. The only problem was that the game wouldn't let me change back to a human character. The only way out was to reset and skip that area until I finished the "Jurassic World" story.

Fans of LEGO games are used to overlooking one or two minor issues, but in LEGO Jurassic World, they seem to be more common than ever. The Xbox 360 version had its own issue when the Day 1 title update rendered the game unplayable for consumers if they were connected to Xbox Live.

Once you finish the story, LEGO Jurassic World opens up into free play mode, with levels available for play with all unlocked characters and a series of mini-missions in the world maps. Due to the nature of the game (four films instead of one story), there isn't a single world map. Instead, you get one map for each park. They do the job, but again, the lack of polish shows. One example: When you bring up the world map, it doesn't even bother to center on your location.

Thankfully, the joy in exploration isn't lost due to the smaller issues. "The Lost World" and "Jurassic Park III" are pretty forgettable, while "Jurassic Park" is worth wandering enough just because it's Jurassic-freaking-Park! Those who grew up with the films will love driving around the grounds or exploring the T-Rex paddock. Of all the areas, the map for "Jurassic World" is the most realized in terms of variety and activity. In some ways, that makes sense, since the newest movie is the focus of the game, but it would've been nice to see an equal amount of love in all of the areas.

When all is said and done, LEGO Jurassic World is still going to appeal to fans of the LEGO franchise, but it's not going to impress them. This is a by-the-numbers game that doesn't bring anything new to the table. Unless you've played through all of the other LEGO games or are a massive dinosaur fan, there is no reason to buy LEGO Jurassic World at full price. Wait for a sale on this one, and save your pennies for LEGO Dimensions.

Score: 6.5/10

Editor's Note: For more on "Jurassic World," be sure to check out our review of the movie.

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