Review: LEGO Jurassic World (PS4)

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Title: LEGO Jurassic World
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (14 GB)
Release Date: June 12, 2015
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developer: TT Games
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
LEGO Jurassic World is also available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.
The PlayStation 4 disc version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 429 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
Make no mistake, even though the title says LEGO Jurassic World this game fully encompasses all four movies in the franchise. You actually start out in the desert dig from the beginning of the first movie. Once you complete that level and land on the island you’re given a choice: go left from the helipad to Jurassic Park or go right to Jurassic World.

Completing the story mode for the original Jurassic Park gives you access to The Lost World: Jurassic Park while completing The Lost World will give you access to Jurassic Park III. I know it makes sense from a logical standpoint, but think about it, you have to play more to gain access to the worst movies in the franchise. Your guide when selecting the help icons is, of course, Mr. DNA from the first movie and it’s little touches like this that really make the game work as a whole.

Gameplay will, as always in LEGO games, be completely familiar to anyone who has ever played a LEGO videogame. Additions have been made that are unique to the franchise of course including abilities and tools for solving puzzles. The movies situations also lend themselves to some cool gameplay like the dinosaur chase scenes and the trailer hanging off the cliff in The Lost World. The more interesting addition however is the ability to play as the dinosaurs. You’ll have the chance to unlock up to twenty along the way.

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The dinosaurs come in handy in a variety of ways, with some being able to break apart larger structures and others being able to track things by scent. The raptors can also jump higher and grab objects opening up new and unique puzzles. One really fun idea added to the mix is the ability to play as the bigger dinosaurs briefly during some of the iconic fight scenes from the four films. They’re added to gameplay through specific story moments or by bring them in to the Free Play sections on dinosaur pads. It’s actually a fun change of pace when you get to use them and it adds to the variety in the game.

… walk up to every single wandering character …
Unlocking the other one hundred characters is mostly a matter of playing through the stories. Once unlocked you’ll be able to purchase most of them directly from the massive character screen. Purchasing the rest becomes a bit of an ugly chore as you’ll have to find them somewhere in the park or strewn about the free play areas of the game. This essentially forces you to explore everywhere and walk up to every single wandering character to see if you can buy them.

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All that exploration should be right up my alley right? Not so much. I enjoy exploring when and how I want, not because I’m forced to do so if I want to find and purchase all the characters that I’ve already unlocked. With a dinosaur lab set up in one of the buildings where you can purchase and actually mix and match parts to make entirely new dinosaurs, I fully expected something similar for standard characters. There are computers everywhere in the park. It only makes sense that one of them could/should be used to browse and purchase collectibles as in past LEGO games.

… a raptor with a pile of fruit on its head …
Each of the characters has their own unique set of abilities allowing them to solve different puzzles including digging, putting together bones, delivering an electric shock with a cattle prod, jumping higher, even digging through dino poop. Yup, there’s LEGO dino poop in the game and a few characters can find some hidden gems in them.

You’ll also find thirty-four vehicles to unlock while playing the game and purchasing directly from the vehicle screen. These can be brought into the game a specified story points or through vehicle pads in Free Play mode. A number of races open up in Free Play and you can pretty much go with anything you’ve unlocked.

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Since the LEGO games are aimed at all audiences, a lot of the more tense or frightening moments from the films have been lightened up with the signature LEGO humor. Seeing a raptor with a pile of fruit on its head à la Carmen Miranda never gets old.

… one of the weaker points of the game is found in the audio …
Visuals:
Almost every signature moment from all four movies is faithfully recreated here. The outlier tends to be Jurassic World which often sees locations laid out much differently than the movie. I’m guessing that this would be because of timing and that the developers may not have had access to the final set designs when making the game. Either way, it all looks great. The lighting is beautiful and the hub set in Jurassic World’s park is huge and full of variety.

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Audio:
Surprisingly, one of the weaker points of the game is found in the audio. Audio clips for almost all the main characters were pulled directly from the movies. Unfortunately, the quality of the clips runs the gamut from crystal clear perfection to a lo-fi mess. Often times lines pulled from the exact same scene with two characters speaking directly to each other can see a vast difference in clips. It really detracts from an otherwise fantastic presentation.

The music is all pulled from the movies and despite the repetition in a lot of it, hearing John Williams’ iconic score never really got old for me. The dinosaurs and other sounds effects are all pretty fantastic as well.

… they even turned the credits into a gameplay mode …
Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

Conclusion:
This is another great LEGO game packed with four full movies of adventures. Even if you’re only a fan of the original and most recent in the franchise, there’s enough content here to more than justify the price.

The dialogue quality issues do tend to put a bit of a damper on things, but overall this is an excellent package that’ll keep you busy for quite some time even after you finish the full story mode for all four movies. That alone took me sixteen hours and I’m barely halfway through the game’s content with all the bonus missions and extra stuff to do in Free Play mode. Heck, they even turned the credits into a gameplay mode.

And without spoiling anything, there’s a really cool easter egg after the end credits of the final Story mode.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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