To some, Lego Dimensions may seem a silly concept. Not a serious game for serious gamers; an money-grabbing venture accessible only to the richest of kids. But looked at right, you can soon learn to adore Lego Dimensions. While it is certainly not without its faults, there is just something about this game that brings joy.
The concept is the same as Skylanders or Disney Infinity – you have a sectional game pad to place physical, Lego models of characters onto, unlocking them for video gameplay. Remove them from the pad and they disappear with their own characteristic sign-offs. Two phases have been released so far, each including several famous franchises. Phase One includes Jurassic World, Lord of the Rings, Portal 2, Doctor Who; while Phase Two has welcomed Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, Mission Impossible and Adventure Time, with more coming soon. You get the basic story pack, character packs (which include a character and vehicle), level packs (which include a level featuring a central character in a franchise), and team packs (two characters and two vehicles).
A common and understandable critique of the game is the sheer amount of money it consumes when compared to other Lego games, which only take time and patience to unlock. For example, collecting mini kits in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens might take a couple of replays and unlocked characters, but with time and effort, it’s definitely conquerable. Even DLC Level Packs are pennies compared to one Lego Dimensions kit. I recognise this issue. For every world you want to unlock, you have to buy a character from that franchise, and even then, different characters have varied skills and abilities, so there are certain figures you need if you want to collect everything possible in the game.
If ‘completing’ the game is your goal, then this isn’t your game – in fact, I don’t think it’s really possible thanks to the wave release structure of the packs. Plenty of people have put together lists dictating the cheapest way to do it, explaining which characters have the most multipurpose skills, which ones you absolutely need. You don’t have to buy every pack to get all of the story’s collectibles. I understand the mentality of not wanting to sink a lot of money into the game, but buying the kits is part of the fun! Building the different vehicles, piecing together the characters, figuring out what skills they have; all essential parts of the Lego Dimensions experience. Having the minifigures collected together around your console, along with their unique vehicles, is a small pleasure, but an important one – some of these are minifigures you would never be able to get otherwise.
The main story is a reasonable length to enjoy, but on completion, there is a whole heap of other ways to explore the game. Allow yourself to get one or two new packs a month to keep the excitement in the game; Dimensions is eternally replayable. With each new franchise you open another aspect which has been Lego-fied. The Lego aspect is obviously a draw, and the wide range of franchises available is a credit to the power of the huge company. Where else will you be able to be Marty McFly in the Delorian, or travel as the Doctor in the TARDIS, or ‘phone home’ as E.T? Some of these franchises have never, and probably will never, get games if their own, so a taste of them in Lego Dimensions is perfect.
And at the end of the day, who doesn’t like the sound of riding around on a Velociraptor as Lord Voldemort, or driving the Hogwarts Express as Scooby Doo? It’s childlike and gleeful, and you should consume it now.
Lego Dimensions is available now. Lego Batman Movie and Knight Rider are the next packs to be added.