Lego Worlds Impressions: Minecraft meets No Man’s Sky meets Lego meets Peter Serafinowicz going nuts!
I picked up Lego Worlds on a whim for the Xbox One last night, and I’ve played a couple hours of it, the end of the opening sequences.
Lego Worlds first launched in early access a hundred million years ago on Steam…AKA some time in 2015. It was always something that I was curious about in the back of my mind, and I liked that Traveler’s Tales was making it. They’re the folks that make all the other great Lego games, licensed and otherwise.
I think those other Lego games have endless charm and fun gameplay, and shoving Minecraft in there seemed like a winning formula.
But then I kind of forgot about it.
Well now, it’s finally out for reals. It’s $30 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it seems pretty good.
Things I Like So Far!
Peter Serafinowicz going nuts
Comedic character actor Peter Serafinowicz narrates Lego Worlds. He says all kinds of crazy business over the course of the first couple hours of the game, and I’m hoping that his presence isn’t just limited to the tutorial.
It feels like they handed him a list of all the things that you can do in the game, and he kind of just went nuts with the performance. The seemingly-improvised nature of his performance is a credit to both his voice work and the quality of the writing, and it lends a large amount of charm to a game that can’t have the same kind of linear story as the other Lego games.
Infinite Planets to Explore
Lego Worlds takes place on an endless canvas of Lego planets. Eventually you can create your own planets. Each one has new randomly generated things to explore, build, destroy, and punch. It takes the same great Lego gameplay of the other Lego games and expands it with a whole suite of creative tools.
It’s very much the sort of game that, if it hooks you, won’t let go for a long time.
It’s More of a “Game” than I Thought
Like Dragon Quest Builders, even though this is Minecraft-inspired, it has much more structure. There’s a specific progression to the game that feels fully designed and developed, and will teach you how everything works along the way. It’s nice to have concrete goals to complete in this vast collection of worlds.
I know that Minecraft has a story, but it’s so vague and unfocused and weirdly-designed that it never grabbed my attention the way more traditional games do. Lego Worlds splits the difference quite well.
Things I don’t like!
Interface feels weird on a controller
Many of the interface elements in the game seem designed for a mouse and keyboard only. Some menus force you to navigate with a virtual mouse cursor, while others allow d-pad and button navigation. The build tools feel a bit slow and clunky at times, and I can easily see how a mouse would speed them up.
The console version doesn’t control badly, it just doesn’t feel quite right all the time.
Too many tools
You spend the first chunk of the game unlocking all the different tools that the game features. Each one has a very specific set of functions, and its own sub menu that allows you to tweak those functions.
While this does mean that you can do a number of versatile things, it’s also not nearly as elegant or context-sensitive as other games in this genre. There’s a little bit too much stopping and thinking when you just want to build a thing. A few too many button presses stand between you and your creative goals. It’s not Little Big Planet tedious, but it approaches those levels at times.
I do like the way your character is dynamically animated as you use the build interface. I bet that took some programmers a really long time to implement.
Final Early Thoughts
I will write a full review of this when I’m more than a few hours in. So far, I’m both surprised by its amount of depth and slightly frustrated at how that depth has been translated to the console environment.
If you love Minecraft/No Man’s Sky-style endless exploration, and you’ve ever enjoyed one of the Traveler’s Tales Lego games, you’ll find a lot to like here. At only $30, it’s priced really well too. Will it become a big hit like other games in this genre? I don’t know. They spent a really long time developing it and it seems pretty robust. It has local and online co-op. It has enough versatility to be a full virtual Lego set.
I’m just not sure if it’ll be satisfying in the long haul.
I hope Peter Serafinowicz is in the whole game.