LEGO Dimensions is the latest game in the growing toys-to-life genre. Like Disney Infinity, Skylanders and Amiibo, LEGO Dimensions is a rather complicated beast with different release dates and prices. This article intends to clear up some of the confusion so you can decide if this is the right toy-to-life game for you.
LEGO Dimensions, as stated above, is a toy-to-life game. As such, you can expect some similarities with other games in the genre. The main difference here is that LEGO Dimensions makes use of the popular LEGO brand for all its characters and levels. When you first pick up LEGO Dimensions you’ll get a copy of the game, three character figures (Wyldstyle, Batman, and Gandalf), a vehicle (Batmobile) and the Lego Gateway, the portal that brings your toys to life.
LEGO Dimensions is also unique in that it has its own story, which doesn’t require the purchase of other characters. On the planet of Vorton, the evil Lord Vortech plots to acquire the Foundational Elements, which would grant him power over the LEGO multiverse. To do this, Vortech opens numerous portals across the multiverse, recruiting different villains to help in his scheme. After the portals accidentally suck up their friends, Batman, Wyldstyle and Gandalf team up to travel the multiverse and put a stop to Vortech’s plans.
Yes, LEGO Dimensions is in fact a LEGO game. You still press Square to attack, Triangle to swap between characters and each character has their own unique ability. Studs are still the main source of currency and can easily be found by smashing LEGO objects. If you love the LEGO games than most likely you’re going to love LEGO Dimensions.
Of course, there are some differences. While previous LEGO games have had a menagerie of different characters to choose from, you will be limited in LEGO Dimensions to what you’re willing to buy. You’ll start out with Wyldstyle, Gandalf and Batman and will only be able to play with other characters if you shell out extra cash. Now you won’t need these other characters to play through the story, but there is extra content available if you happen to purchase Level Packs.
The big difference between Dimensions and past LEGO games is the LEGO Gateway. This portal allows for up to seven characters and vehicles to be placed on it and thus playable. The Gateway is also instrumental in solving many of the puzzles. For example, one type of puzzle involves painting the world in red, blue and yellow. Characters on the left side of portal are blue, right side characters are red and the character place in the center is yellow. Another changes the size of the characters depending on where they’re placed on the portal. They’re fun and kooky, but maybe a little too complex for younger children.
There are a lot of characters and worlds in LEGO Dimensions, though not nearly as many as Disney Infinity. Here’s a breakdown of every franchise represented in-game:
DC Comics (Warner Bros.)
|The Lord of the Rings (Warner Bros.)||The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.)||The Wizard of Oz (Warner Bros.)||The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)||LEGO Ninjago (Warner Bros.)||
Doctor Who (BBC)
|Back to the Future (Universal Studios)||Portal (Valve)||Ghostbusters (Columbia Pictures)||Midway Arcade (Warner Bros.)||Scooby Doo (Warner Bros.)||LEGO Chima (Warner Bros.)||
Jurassic World (Universal Studios)
These are the just the beginning franchises and more are likely to arrive over time. Speaking with Warner Bros. at E3, the publisher confirmed that they are actively speaking with other film and game companies about getting more characters and levels in the future. If you have a favorite franchise, Warner Bros. is committed to bringing it to LEGO Dimensions.
Now, there are a few properties that are off-limits. Though Warner Bros. has released LEGO games for Star Wars and Marvel, it is unlikely that either of those properties will make it into LEGO Dimensions. Disney Infinity and LEGO Dimensions are direct competitors making it unlikely that we’ll see any crossover. We also won’t see any film properties with an R rating, or any games with an M rating.
What we might see are platform exclusive characters. Warner Bros. aren’t opposed to working with Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo on bringing exclusive characters to each platform. It would be cool to see Sackboy on PlayStation, Banjo Kazooie on Xbox and Mario on Nintendo, for instancce.
The different packs will launch in a series of five waves between now and spring 2016. The Starter Pack, which is the most important piece of LEGO Dimensions, launches September 29 on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360. A series of Level, Team and Character packs will launch the same day. Wave 5, which launches May 10, 2016, will be the end of current LEGO Dimensions support, at least until the inevitable sequel arrives next fall.
Click here for a breakdown of the five different waves.
As you can expect, LEGO Dimensions is not going to be cheap. Just getting your hands on the Starter Pack is going to make a serious dent in your wallet. Here’s a breakdown of the different costs for each packs:
- LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack (Game, three characters – Wyldstyle, Gandalf, and Batman – , Batmobile, and LEGO Gateway) – $100
- Level Packs (One character, vehicle, gadget, and a new Level) – $30 each
- Team Packs ( Two characters, two vehicles/gadgets) – $25 each
- Fun Packs (One character and vehicle/gadget) – $15 each
So yeah, it’s going to be quite a bit of money. For comparison’s sake, here’s a breakdown of Disney Infinity’s cost:
- Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack (Game, two characters, Twilight of the Republic play set, Disney Infinity base) – $65
- Play Sets (Two characters, one Play Set piece) – $35
- Figures (One character) – $14
Neither are cheap and the mileage you get out of LEGO Dimensions might hinge entirely on how much money you’re willing to put in. These games are fun, but they’re not cheap.
Now that is the million dollar question and it’s going to be difficult to answer. This game is going to appeal to little kids because it’s LEGO and the fact that it is essentially a LEGO game on steroids means it’s going to be easy to pick up and play for anyone who has enjoyed a LEGO game released in the past few years. Traveller’s Tales has crafted a cohesive storyline that can be played without having to pay for extra characters, which means that this could potentially be the cheapest toy-to-life game available, as long as you don’t buy more characters.
Cost is still going to be a huge problem, especially since the extra characters will add to the overall experience. Finally, we don’t know what LEGO Dimension’s endgame content is going to look like. Disney Infinity has the robust Toy Box to play with once the Play Set campaigns are complete. As far as we know, LEGO Dimensions doesn’t have any mode like this.
For now, LEGO Dimensions looks promising and small children are going to love it. Everyone else may want to wait and see how it compares to Disney Infinity and Skylanders.