Unlike past Lego games, Lego Dimensions isn’t trying to follow any franchise’s pre-determined story. This isn’t Lego Star Wars or Lego Marvel Super Heroes, but instead a combination of famous properties from a multitude of mediums in an entirely original adventure. It maintains the witty, playful humor of past Lego games, but because of its multi-faceted crossover nature the writers have a ton of freedom to create hilarious interactions between characters that would otherwise never meet, and they take full advantage. Lego Dimensions’ designers get in on the fun as well, dreaming up interactive playgrounds based on the bespoke elements of each world’s source material. The result is a game that combines all the greatest assets of individual Lego games and makes something new, a theme seen through Lego Dimensions.
Though it features levels and characters from a wide variety of well-known franchises, Lego Dimensions focuses primarily on the characters of Batman, Gandalf, and Wildstlye. They’ve teamed up to defeat Lord Voltech, a new villain on the scene who has discovered the power to control all of the different Lego multiverses and reshape them as he sees fit. Their journey takes them through worlds many players will instantly recognize, pulled from movies like The Wizard of Oz, games like Portal, and shows like Scooby-Doo. Lego Dimensions‘ starter pack contains a fully-realized gaming experience, featuring over 14 levels in the core game along with three bonus adventure packs. Characters are your keys to the world in Lego Dimensions, and while Batman, Gandalf, and Wildstyle may be the primary protagonists, players can bring in any character they choose, at any time, to complete any level.
Traveler’s Tales has created a unique and wonderful platform for franchise crossover with Lego Dimensions, and experimenting with different combinations of characters, vehicles, and environments is a blast; where else will you see Scooby-Doo driving the Batmobile on the Yellow Brick Road? What sets Lego Dimensions apart from other portal-reliant toys-to-life games, however, is its incorporation of the toy pad in the actual gameplay. Traveler’s Tales has made the portal a central component of the game, something players will have to interact with in their living rooms to solve puzzles and overcome diabolical setbacks. This usually involves nothing more than moving a character from one section of the toy pad to another, but depending on the scenario that same action has a variety of creative, smile-inducing effects.
Even more engaging is the interactive Lego upgrade and customization system. As you complete levels and collect bricks, you can unlock upgrades and alterations for your in-game vehicles, which can all be reflected by your own physical Lego blocks after some reconfiguring. Unlocking a new vehicle form comes with its own set of digital building instructions, which players can follow step-by-step to create their own versions of their characters’ new ride. It’s all completely optional, of course, but building along with your characters makes you feel like a real Master Builder. After you’re done building, you simply have to write the new data onto the toy tag in the base of the vehicle to save your changes and continue on with the adventure. The process is quick, easy, and tons of fun, and helps players feel like they’re playing right alongside their favorite heroes.
Though the demo contained only a slice of what players can expect in the final package, Lego Dimensions‘ gleeful humor and intelligent utilization of its licensed properties was perpetually evident. It’s abundantly clear that Traveler’s Tales had a ton of fun thinking up unique ways to integrate the toy pad, and with over fourteen different levels based on different brands and IP, Lego Dimensions is looking to be the definitive Lego gaming experience.