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Lego Jurassic World, PS4 Review

Lego_JW011993, the year conventional cinema died and the year that dinosaurs ruled the earth once more. Universal studios were surfing a cash cow that was about to change everything. Since then we’ve seen spectacle after overblown spectacle thanks to blue and green screen technology, CGI has become a mainstay and arguably the wow factor has gone. Fast forward to 2015, Jurassic World is a big budget crowd pleaser and opening takings show that the dinosaurs still have pull.

Of course there’s a game along with all the other merchandise you could think of and of course the best people to take up that challenge are Travellers Tales by wrapping the concept up in lots and lots of Lego bricks.

Lego_JW02Lego Jurassic World offers plenty of value from the go, two narratives cover either the original movie series and the latest entry. The formula is the same as every other Lego game, so the Lego game designer app must be working on automatic over at Travellers Tales.

Set up a level based on a movie sequence, open with a comedic spoof version of the movie and throw a series of challenges at the player to achieve an objective, then rinse and repeat. All well and good, but what does Jurassic Lego offer? Well, that would be the dinosaurs, the playable dinosaurs.

Lego_JW05It has to be said that the movies themselves must be a Lego game designers dream, with plenty of characters to mix up and lots of opportunities to add puzzles. Some of the situations can often be borderline ridiculous, but that’s part of the charm. However there are always obscure puzzles that are never that obvious and when a game is targeted at the younger audience you have to question the times when the next step is just not presenting itself clearly, even to a ‘mature’ adult.

Lego_JW03Puzzles are generally resolved by smashing objects and building something useful from the debris. But then there are character specific solutions that are never made obvious, for example having to change to a character because they have a torch to light a darkened cave where only they can find the required puzzle piece. It’s just not kid friendly especially when their attention span is shorter than mine, the last Lego Batman game suffered immensely from this, Jurassic is not that bad, but has its moments.

The two areas of narrative that span the movies are nicely bridged by a decent sized hub world consisting of the fabled Jurassic Theme Park World. It’s not alluring in the same vein as the Lego Marvel version of New York, but as a playground, but it certainly has its charm.

Lego_JW04As always the game is chock full of unlock-able characters, treats and cheats. Which is where the biggest irk can lie, sometimes a level can be a chore and knowing full well you’ll have to revisit it numerous times in freeplay to collect all the goodies is off-putting if you are a completionist. The series has always had its tongue firmly en-cheek and this is no exception, a quick scan of the trophy list will confirm this. While some of the humour can be puerile and miss its mark the younger players will roll about for sure.

Overall Lego Jurassic World has a lot going for it, the chance to relive classic and new scenes from your favourite dinosaur movies. It offers a healthy combination of mayhem across brick busting platforming sections to frantic chase sequences. The kids will love it until they get stuck, then you’ll all start to hate it for its ambiguous / obvious soloutions.