Manufacturer: Warner Bros. Games & LEGO
RRP: From £89.99
Release Date: 29th September 2015
Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online
Review Posted: 19th October 2015
Now and again, a video game comes along that refreshes, rejuvenates and revolutionises the gaming industry. Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda, Doom, Goldeneye & Call Of Duty are just some of those who have done just that. In September of this year, Warner Bros. Games and LEGO released LEGO Dimensions; an interactive adventure and freeplay game that masterfully combines real world play with the digital gaming world. Such is the success of the mastery, LEGO Dimensions not only carves itself deeply into the annals of video game history, but it opens up whole new worlds of possibilities for the industry.
The basic premise of the game is that Lord Vortech (the big bad) plans to dominate the LEGO multiverse by using the foundational elements. He uses vortexes to open rifts between worlds, and using some of the baddies from the respective worlds to do his bidding (i.e; 'The Joker', 'Saruman', 'The Cybermen' e.t.c.). Through the various levels, players have to collect the 5 keystones which, in turn, unlock special modes in gameplay [Scale, Chroma, Elemental, Shift & Locate].
There are 14 levels in total for the story mode, with 14 worlds in freeplay mode, which you can access via any of the level and team packs. As a default, because you already get 'Batman' (and his Batmobile), 'Wyldstyle' and 'Gandalf' minifigures with the Starter Pack, DC Comics, The LEGO Movie and The Lord Of The Rings portals are all unlocked and playable. The portals are fully explorable worlds connected to the relevant franchises, full of mini tasks and missions, and accompanied by a host of familiar characters and features. Each world is accompanied with stunning visuals and music to immerse you further in the environment.
Current portal worlds are: DC Comics, The Lord Of The Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard Of Oz, The Simpsons, Ninjago, Doctor Who, Back To The Future, Portal 2, Ghostbusters, Midway Arcade, Scooby-Doo!, Jurassic World & Legends Of Chima.
Another huge appeal, (and where Warner Bros. Games & LEGO will no doubt see the pound / dollar signs), is the ability to purchase additional level, team and fun packs - each containing characters, vehicles and objects that unlock various elements within the game. For example 'Benny' from The LEGO Movie comes with a spaceship that allows you to fly around the levels and worlds, 'Scooby Doo' can dig in designated spots, and 'Gollum' can swim underwater. Level and Team packs retail at £29.99 each and Fun packs retail at £14.99. Arguably, it's a game that could end up costing you quite a bit, if you're a completist, but fortunately, in most cases, there is normally more than just 1 character that can unlock or perform a certain task. For example 'Gollum' isn't the only character that can swim - 'Aquaman', 'Slimer' and 'Superman' are just a few of the characters and vehicles that can also unlock the swimming ability. Also, £29.99 or £14.99 here and there for a Birthday or Christmas present can quickly unlock the majority of the portals you want to explore.
Gameplay itself is incredibly fun and immersive, and anyone who has played the LEGO Harry Potter, Star Wars or The Lord Of The Rings game, will feel right at home, here. The great thing is how simple it is to play; you need very little previous experience, as you can movie around in unlock things and upgrade vehicles. Switching between characters is easy, too; you can seamlessly change from Gandalf to Wyldstyle (or whoever you prefer) simply by pressing 'X'. This makes solving tasks much faster, as you can simply switch to the character that has the required skill set.
Particularly of interest to our followers, will be the Doctor Who level and portal world. During the seventh level of the game, as the 3 main characters travel through the portal's vortex, a familiar wheezing, groaning sound cranks up as The 12th Doctor emerges from the TARDIS doors mid-flight. It was fantastic to hear Peter Capaldi has voiced the linking segments, and seeing them in all their LEGOfication, was amazing - not to mention a long time coming! As you play out the level you are thrown into the cyber headquarters where you have to solve various tasks, and chase a detached cyber head through dark corridors, a graveyard filled with Weeping Angels, and onto a showdown with the Dalek Emperor himself. In some ways, it's the Doctor Who game we've always wanted, and throw in Murray Gold's score and the voice talents of Nicholas Briggs as The Cybermen and The Daleks, and you have a real winner!
As for the Doctor Who portal world, you won't actually be able to access this until the 6th November with the release of the Level Pack, which includes 'The 12th Doctor', 'The TARDIS' and 'K-9'. The pack also comes with a bonus Doctor Who level which you will have to play to unlock the build instructions for 'The TARDIS' & 'K-9'. On 22nd January 2016, the Doctor Who Fun Pack will be released, which includes as 'Cyberman' and a 'Dalek'. DWO will be reviewing each of these packs as and when they are released.
The real star of the game is the LEGO Toy Pad - a base plate comprised of 3 segments; 2 of which each hold up to 3 characters / vehicles / objects, and a central segment which holds just 1. Behind the main play areas of the Toy Pad is the main portal, which you build at the very start of the game. There are 5 clips, which, after completing various levels, allow you to place the 5 keystones. The Toy Pad is centric to your gameplay as it interacts with the action on screen, changing colours, and requiring you to swap characters around to complete tasks and unlock things. For parents worrying that all their kids do is sit in front of a computer, fear not, your child (or self) will be getting up quite regularly if they (or you) want to progress in the game :)
To say we were impressed with LEGO Dimensions would be a huge understatement. Not only has it delivered a thoroughly entertaining game to play either by yourself or with another family member or friend, but it has reignited a love for video games that we lost quite some time ago.
Watch DWO's Product Spotlight video for LEGO Dimensions in the player, below:
Watch the official trailer for Doctor Who LEGO Dimensions in the player, below:
+ Buy LEGO Dimensions now from just £89.99 at the LEGO Shop!
+ Buy a Gaming Console and games from our friends over at Grainger Games!
[Sources: DWO; LEGO Dimensions; Warner Bros.]