What is LEGO Dimensions?
When a mysterious and powerful vortex suddenly appears in various LEGO worlds, different characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie are swept away. To save their friends, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle bravely jump into the vortex and quickly find themselves fighting to save all of LEGO humanity.
Let creativity be the guide to a building and gaming adventure – journey through unexpected worlds and team-up with unlikely allies on the quest to defeat the evil Lord Vortech. Play with different minifigures from different worlds together in one LEGO videogame, and use each other’s vehicles and gadgets in a way never before possible. LEGO Bad Cop driving the DeLorean Time Machine…why not?! The LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitsu fighting alongside Wonder Woman…yes, please! Get ready to break the rules, because the only rule with LEGO Dimensions is that there are no rules.
Bought this last night and thought it’d be wise to get a write up on the first play experiences while the memory is fresh in my head. I was actually at Target last night to get a Rock Band 4 kit, but they were completely out of them at the time, and for half the price they had Lego Dimensions. This isn’t a final review mind you, just initial impressions, most of which were pretty mind blowing that no one from any of the associated companies tested themselves to see how crummy of an experience setting it up is. First, you get the game at the store, there’s no way around that, no way to get the game digitally, as there’s a physical toy component to the game. It’s $100 for the base kit, which comes with the game on a disk, three minifigs, one mini-batmobile and one massive portal device that plugs into your console’s (very limited in number) usb ports. With this game, all my usb ports are full, as the Xbone only comes with three of them. TV tuner, lego and rockband adapter are what’s in mine.
First serious let down of the game is when you put the disk in and you’re told that there’s a 4.1 gb upgrade that’s mandatory if you’re going to play online, and since this game requires an internet connection, you have to get that download out of the way before you can play. Microsoft has a notoriously slow download process for their games, and this was shown yet again when it took about 2 hours to download about 60% of the game update, just enough for the quick launch to start and give us access to the first level of the game. So now it’s 10pm and all I’ve done is watch some TV while the console took it’s sweet as time downloading god only knows what. I thought that I’d be able to take some of that time building the lego pieces that came with the game, but someone make the super exciting decision to have the instructions for all the items be in-game only, so you have to wait for that initial download before you can even see the instructions for the minifigs. Don’t get me wrong, I can figure out the minifigs, but it’s the Portal turrents or the batmobile that I didn’t know every detail for, and having all those pieces sitting there mocking me was very frustrating. All in all it took about 4 hours to get the entire game downloaded, but as I mentioned there’s an early launch option when it gets to around 60%.
Playing the gaming has some odd choices in it too. In the end, I enjoyed the first level but there were times that they required you to put your controller down, get off the couch, walk over to your tv and move one of the minifigs to a different square. One time, that wouldnt’ be bad. Twice, would be annoying. After the 10th time doing this, I was ready to just give up on the game, as there’s no reason for interrupting the gameflow with those types of shenanigans. I can only hope they’re going to introduce an option to disable that type of gameplay as it really took me out of the enjoyment of that first level (which I won’t be describing here, as it was a delightful surprise to see where your first mission took you). Another drawback is that when you’re playing couch co-op it makes some interesting choices in how the screen is split: it doesn’t split it at all until you’re far enough away from your partner to warrant it, and even then it only splits off a portion of the screen, not an equal 50/50. It sounds odd but it actually works for the most part, it’s just weird to have your field of view change so quickly.
The reason I was so excited about this game was the addons that they have for it all ready. If you were to buy just the level packs, you’d spend about $100 for the base game, and about $180 in the expansion levels:
I picked up the Portal expansion pack based on how much I loved the first two portal games and the fact there’s a new Portal song included. Sad part was that you can’t use Chell or any of the included turrets until the game is 100% installed, and you can’t build any of the units because all the instructions are in game…so I didn’t get to try it out in the first 5 hours I owned it. I’m an adult and can live with that, but if you bought your kids the Simpsons or Dr Who pack, they’d likely expect to be able to play those games as soon as you got home, afterall, isn’t the entire point of having a console system is that you can stick the disk in and just PLAY? Now it seems like there’s a several hour long process to install and download all sorts of bs for the game that’s on the disk. Ugh. I’m even more convinced now that the whole idea of consoles is pretty much dead and I should have just stayed a PC gamer.
But who am I kidding, I love me some Halo and Rock Band.