Gaming

Unlikely you'll run into a brick wall in Lego Worlds

Now available on PS4 and Xbox One, Lego Worlds could also be making its way to the Nintendo Switch platform.
Now available on PS4 and Xbox One, Lego Worlds could also be making its way to the Nintendo Switch platform.PHOTO: WARNER BROS INTERACTIVE

Lego Worlds started off as a beta on Steam in mid-2015 and is now available on the Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is also reported to be making its way to the Nintendo Switch platform.

The backstory is simple - you are an astronaut travelling between locations in a space rocket, trying to collect all things Lego. The tutorial does well in introducing the game's tools and mechanics.

However, it is up to you to discover their potential.

Your first device is a Discovery tool, which is used to scan and capture almost everything you see. It allows you to replicate them at will by spending studs, which are small circular Lego pieces that act as in-game currency. This is a common mechanic in past Lego video game titles.

You will also gain access to Landscape, Build, Paint and Copy tools, which let you alter terrains, add or remove items, duplicate structures and change their colour.

  • 7/10

    RATING

    PRICE: $39.90 (PS4, version tested; Xbox One; PC); Nintendo Switch in future

    GENRE: Sandbox builder

The ultimate goal is to collect as many items and parts for the Free Build mode. This is where you can craft your inspiration using stuff in your collection.

To expand your choices, you will need to scour around a lot. In the beginning, you have access to a couple of locations.

But, to visit new areas, you will need to collect more Gold bricks, which are earned by completing quests and tasks given by various Lego characters.

Some Gold bricks can also be obtained by saving Lego characters from hostile creatures but this requires speedy responses. For example, while using the Discovery tool to scan objects, you might spot another Lego character nearby with a Gold brick and running from two hostile characters.

Within seconds, you have to quickly switch to a weapon and stop both characters. If the defenceless character becomes broken, that Gold brick disappears and you have to wait until a similar incident occurs.

Not all tasks are easy. Some require obtaining specific items by revisiting past locations or finding new ones. The quest-givers do not give hints on the exact locations, so you have to rely on keen observation and memory. It may appear adventurous at first, but it will become painfully dreary later on.

However, your dedication will be rewarded when you manage to amass a decent collection of Lego bricks, characters, vehicles, animals and objects.

I'm sure your imagination will go wild playing the game as the child in you starts giving you ideas.

Lego Worlds also has a local cooperative mode so you can play together with someone sitting next to you.

You can also open your game world to online players.

Despite being in beta for some time, Lego Worlds is still far from polished. While the user interface is intuitive, it can get chaotic when you need to switch between items and interaction options on the fly. There's also an issue with the game's camera, which disrupted my orientation on many occasions.

For instance, one way to earn special Lego bricks is to hunt down a goblin-like creature, which appears randomly.

Often, while I was chasing this creature, the camera would switch its view to a nearby unfinished quest. This broke my focus and, by the time I realigned my view, the character had escaped. I hope this quirk can be rectified with a patch.

If, like me, you were a kid in the 1980s when Lego was hugely popular, Lego Worlds is a godsend. I remember pouring my Lego collection all over the floor and noisily sifting through the Lego bricks for the desired pieces. Now, I can simply launch the game to a TV screen and, within seconds, start a build without worrying about missing parts or creating a mess.

Lego video games have come a long way.

I have played many of the earlier titles and, while they are individually unique and enjoyable, none of them rekindle my imagination the way Lego Worlds does.

• Verdict: Lego Worlds is another example of a virtual playground, perhaps suitable for parent-child bonding sessions.

• Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Unlikely you'll run into a brick wall in Lego Worlds'. Print Edition | Subscribe