Lego Jurassic World Review
Lego has adapted a story about dinosaurs eating people into one where the dinosaurs don't eat people. That's impressive. Jurassic Park's toilet-sitting lawyer Genarro is saved, Lost World's bearded paleontologist Robert Burke is playfully spit up, and Jurassic Park III's legion of blood splattered pseudo-mercenaries are left miraculously unhurt.
What about those who would attempt to navigate this miniature world? Not so much.
Lego Jurassic World uses a clashing aesthetic. On one side are lifelike, full-scale jungles. On the other, plastic Legos. The jumping Lego pieces happen to exist within reality, like a toy commercial from the '90s where kids played with G.I. Joes with the assistance of awesome smoke machines and rocks. In short, Lego Jurassic World is a nightmare not because of carnivorous lizards, rather for the consequences of leaving all of these small bricks laying about for someone to painfully find during a late night bathroom run.
You will have Legos, on your, uh, Lego tour?
Of course, creativity is squished too; would these worlds not function better if devised entirely from Lego sets? And why do the plants appear full size? These are but diminutive Lego people. A fully miniature Jurassic Park would be adorable – and better for the Lego brand.
The insurmountable level of collectibles, slippery combat, show AND tell puzzle design; nothing's changed.
Yes, Lego Jurassic World has problems. Most of them have been embedded in Traveller's Tales friendly, outgoing Lego games for years. The insurmountable level of collectibles, slippery combat, show AND tell puzzle design; nothing's changed. This one happens to add to the pile of misgivings. Snipped lines direct from the movies are of often deplorably compressed quality, and Mr. DNA is devalued to the teaching level of Microsoft Word's Clippy. Worse, scenes play out of sync (or so perfunctory) as to make the narrative inaccessible unless the movies are known in full.
Within is a posh nostalgia trip, following all four films across the IP (spoilers for the Chris Pratt-starring World included), then of course merging with Lego. In no way can such a combination avoid bringing forth the inner child. Derision toward the formula's repetition is inevitable (same game + choice geeky license = Profit!!) and deserved. Lego games came into their own two console generations ago and they're still making them now as they did then. Lego Jurassic World's unsuccessful running gag over a lost sausage is hardly at Traveller's Tales peak comedic output, either.
You just went and made a new Lego game?
There are a handful of nicely condensed ideas though. Say, the kitchen attack from Jurassic Park. Lego Tim and Lex follow along through a pleasingly tense hide and seek scenario, played out accurately to the film – gags dribbling in to ease the sense of danger. Running (“...and screaming”), driving (“Must go faster”); those are playfully enjoyable too.
Collect pegs, unlock gates, solve puzzles, progress. It's busywork.
As a broader adventure, Lego Jurassic Park is menial. Collect pegs, unlock gates, solve puzzles, progress. It's busywork. Characters are jokingly separated: men are heavy and exist to build or shoot things, women are agile leapers and enjoy jumping in piles of dino droppings. Someone appears to be referencing Jurassic Park's “sexism in survival situations” line. Women will do anything to stay alive, even if it involves swimming in Lego poo. Dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the Earth. Laura Dern was right.
Traveller's Tales are similar: They will do what they must to any license which can be retrofitted to an unchanged, long since redundant format. This brand is their developmental survival. Jurassic Park is still commercially viable, so here we are with World. It's nice and appreciated, but tiresome.