Everyone knows it’s tough to make a film version of a video game, but I’d venture it’s also pretty difficult the other way around. You have to take a 90-minute movie with a three-act plot and stretch it into a 20-hour game without too much filler? Rather you than me. I remember Capcom’s Aladdin on the SNES – designed by a pre-Resident Evil Shinji Mikami – and its lengthy platforming sections set within Genie’s lamp that I’m pretty certain do not occur at any point within Disney canon. And if Mikami had enjoyed making that, I suspect, we would never have got Dino Crisis.
The Lego Movie 2 Video Game has a couple of answers to all that. Firstly, that each of the film’s locations is its own hub world – the Genie’s lamp of modern movie tie-ins. Starting in the Mad Max-inspired Apocalypseburg, you’ll follow the film’s story through each particular planet locale then be given free reign to explore much further, pick up side-quests spun off jokes from the movie script, mine Lego bricks for resources and hunt down collectibles. I got to go hands-on with this at an event this week, but if you’ve played Lego Dimensions – where each pack unlocked its own little hub bubble – you’ll know pretty well how it all works.
Like the bricks themselves, Lego video games have long used an amalgam of ideas laid down in slightly different configurations before – and so it is with The Lego Movie 2 Video Game’s other big feature, a sandbox style area to play around with and customise as you please. If it sounds inspired by TT Games’ Minecraft-alike Lego Worlds, then it is – although you won’t be painstakingly placing down items brick by brick.