More Reviews
REVIEWS Astro A38 Wireless Headset Review
With the launch of the A38s, Astro has clearly shown that they can rock our eardrums off even if we aren’t sitting in our living rooms.

Destiny Review
With Bungie's leap to next-generation platforms and interstellar space closer to home, I wonder if E.T. is out there somewhere.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Skylanders Trap Team Preview
While younger gamers have flocked to the brand, more mature consumers remain reluctant to jump on board. Skylanders move forward with trappable enemies, though I doubt it’ll turn stubborn heads.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14

LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

Read More Member Blogs
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

The LEGO Movie Videogame Review

blake_peterson By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Warner Bros. 
DEVELOPER Traveler\\\'s Tales 
E10+ Contains Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

Solidly built.

The Lego Movie is awesome. It's the first theatrically released Lego film (Lego has already been releasing direct-to-video feature length films since 2003, including last year's excellent Lego Batman: The Movie) and it manages to bridge the gap between the style of the video games and a huge history of fan-based stop-motion YouTube videos. Even though it was animated using CGI, the moviemakers went out of their way to give it the choppy look of stop-motion and to make it in such a way that you could, if you wanted, literally build everything out of Lego.

It's a good match for the Traveler's Tales games, which have only gotten better over time; and at first, The Lego Movie Video Game is everything that's good about the franchise. Like in the film, average construction worker Emmett Brickowski (Chris Pratt) bumbles into a revolution when he finds the "Piece of Resistance," the only thing that can stop President Business (Will Ferrell) from using the "The Kragle" to destroy his world. On his way he meets influential friends from different worlds and franchises (all of them already immortalized in Lego).

Don't expect the standard Lego versions of Batman, Gandalf, or Superman here. The Lego Movie takes potshots at them, especially Batman (Will Arnett) who is portrayed as the narcissistic jerk-boyfriend to Emmett's love interest, Wyldestyle (Elizabeth Banks), and the game elaborates on it further through gameplay. But perhaps nothing is funnier than guiding blind sage Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) across a ledge over a burning pit ("I'll just walk across this completely safe ledge."). 

The story is told through scenes from the movie, edited to remove the best jokes and some spoilers, but the comedy during gameplay easily makes up for it between gameplay sections. Pratt and Banks either voiced the game or are perfectly imitated, and if it isn't Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius during gameplay, it's probably Josh Robert Thompson (who is listed as doing "Additional Voices" on the game's IMDB page) while others are voiced by passable sound-alikes. 

The game does a great job in the beginning of elaborating and expanding the mythology of the movie into larger gameplay set-pieces. It's only towards the end that it begins to break down and the carefully edited clips from the movie stop providing enough information about the plot to carry the story. In one section near the end, Emmett's abilities are greatly expanded, but due to the editing of the clips there's no way players would know that unless they've already seen the movie. This really is completely a film tie-in, even more than other prior Lego properties, where you really must have seen the film to get the most out of it.

One gameplay section involving mech combat and The Green Lantern is particularly bad, with invisible walls keeping the player from entering a clearly visible section that can be played after an objective is fulfilled, after which the walls come down. It took me forever to complete this section due to unclear objectives, and I only figured it out by smashing literally everything I could in the area with the mech. To add insult to injury, the first time I played it, the game froze on the exit-screen for the level, and I had to exit to the PS4 menu to restart the game and boot from my last save.

This drop-in quality is generally true of the entire endgame, which felt very sloppy compared to the very tightly designed first half. After that, the game flags a tiny bit with some of the platforming problems the series has been known for, particularly difficulty determining jump paths with odd angles of approach. Then towards the end, the design feels significantly more sloppy and rushed, which may have been the case since the game released the same day as the film (and most Lego games have traditionally released years after the media they are based on). 

This extends to the hub areas which feel particularly sparse in comparison to the sprawling Manhattan of Lego Marvel Super Heroes. It may be unfair to make that comparison since The Lego Movie Video Game clearly had a time constraint, but it's also clear that this hurts the game. Another hub problem is the lack of navigation for side mission objectives, where you just sort of have to ferret things out. This isn't particularly bad and is actually better than Lego Marvel Super Heroes, where the side missions would remove main mission navigation with no way of getting it back or selecting which mission you wanted to follow.

On a more positive note, it does innovate with some fun mini-games. Hacking with '80s Lego Spaceman Benny is played as a kind of Pac-Man/Q-bert mashup, and there's a dance rhythm mini-game to the movie's theme "Everything is Awesome" as well as a short quick-time event for Vitruvius finding secret paths. The best of these games is when Emmett must build large city items using playset instructions, which involves the set building up, then challenging the player to find a specific missing brick from a circle of pieces while your reward dwindles down the longer it takes for you to find the piece.

This kind of innovation shows exactly what The Lego Movie Video Game could have been had there been more time to finish it. Instead, the quality of the game slowly declines as it moves further and further along, making it clear that the game was developed sequentially. It's still an excellent media tie-in, but it just isn't up to par with the better games Traveler's Tales has developed in the past, perhaps when they were on a less strict timetable. Though it has the same kind of collectible high replay value as other games, it feels less urgent with the problems that it has.

Visually, The Lego Movie Video Game on PS4 looks about the same as Lego Marvel Superheroes did on the Wii U, which is a shame since the movie added scratches to textures and variable stop-motion framerate and lighting effects that could have been exploited with the next-gen hardware. Still, it's a sprawling game with Traveler's Tales traditional clean look that's pretty and plastic-looking—perfect for a Lego game. It just might have been nice to see some of those scuffs we saw in the movie.
Copy provided by publisher. Review based on PS4 version. Also available for Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, and Vita.
The LEGO Movie Videogame
  • Captures the feel of the movie
  • Great comedy
  • Strong gameplay in first half
  • Story doesn't stand alone
  • Weak gameplay in second half
  • Same series platforming issues
  • Fun new mini-games
  • High replay value
  • Replay value is slightly soured by gameplay issues
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about The LEGO Movie Videogame

More On GameRevolution