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Lego Jurassic World review: Better than Jurassic Park III

Hayden Dingman | July 8, 2015
I'll be honest: Lego Jurassic World is the first Lego game I've finished in quite a while now. Probably since 2012's Lego Lord of the Rings. And that's because in broad swathes all of these games are exactly the same--take a beloved series, convert the characters (and some of the scenery) into Lego bricks, then punch things apart and pick up about a million different collectibles.

And then you can make the dinosaurs fight.

Truth be told, that's really the standout feature/gimmick in Lego Jurassic World--but it's a good one. The range of dinosaurs is pretty astounding too. You can play as the miniscule Compsognathus, which is about the size of a chicken. On the other hand you can play as an Brachiosaurus, which is literally so big that it breaks the game's (pitiful) draw distance.

Aside from that, it's a pretty standard Lego game. The hub world this time is in fact four separate hub worlds, one for each game. Of the four, it's clear that the most time went into designing Lego Jurassic World--probably not a huge surprise, given the title. It's the only one that feels lively though, with the other three hubs feeling...well, like deserted jungle islands. Shocker.

The game is also remarkably short for a Lego game, considering it covers all four films. I clocked about twelve hours, and that included quite a significant amount of messing around in the hub. Of course, we can attribute some of that to the fact that hardly anything happens in the second and third films. Especially the third film, where it seems like Traveller's Tales really had to stretch to make a dismal plot into a semi-coherent game.

That being said, I laughed a fair few times. Jeff Goldblum is especially hilarious, with Traveller's Tales taking quite a few shots at the "unique" Dr. Malcolm. The infamous Jurassic Park laugh/giggle/purr even makes an appearance in the title screen, which is great.

I also developed a soft spot for Mr. DNA, who steps in for the game's tutorials and provides random dinosaur facts in the loading screens. It's a great use of the source material.

Less great: The dialogue is occasionally terrible--and I don't just mean the writing itself. Lego Jurassic World continues the Lego trend of lifting lines directly from the films. The good? It sounds just like Jurassic Park. The bad? Sometimes those lines are of iffy audio fidelity. I've noticed the same in Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego The Hobbit, and the like, but it's doubly noticeable in Lego Jurassic World where every line is seemingly accompanied by leaves rustling and dinosaurs growling.

And even less great: Traveller's Tales continues to pump out some of the most middling PC ports of the modern era. I'm starting to wonder how much of this I can ascribe to the developers and how much I should ascribe to WB, considering it's the same flaw that afflicted Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat X.

Whatever the case, it's frustrating. Aside from the dismal draw distance I mentioned above, we get goodies like "The game still doesn't work properly with the default Windows 7 Aero themes so it freaks out and converts to Basic on launch," and "The game's menus don't function with a mouse," and "The default resolution/refresh rate is absurdly low."

 

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