By Adele Chapline Smith
Whether for veteran fans of Lego or young children just getting started, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame (Warner Bros, Interactive Entertainment) is a wholesome pleasure to play.
While the game has its defects, its creativity and simple mechanics make it entertaining as well suitable for players of all ages.
At the end of the previous title in the series, an alien Duplo army invaded, and destroyed, the game’s setting, the city of Bricksburg. Years later, nothing is awesome – the urban space is still in ruins and has been redubbed Apocalypseburg.
Worse is to come, however. The enemy forces return and the evil General Mayhem (voice of Stephanie Beatriz) kidnaps Batman (voice of Wil Arnett), Benny (voice of Charlie Day), MetalBeard (voice of Nick Offerman), and UniKitty (voice of Jessica DiCicco).
Everyman construction worker Emmet (voice of AJ Locascio) and his beloved Lucy (voice of Jessica DiCicco) remain free and must find and rescue their captive friends.
The game features an open-world style, allowing players to progress at their own pace and make their own choices. Unlike previous titles, which featured linear paths, this development makes the game feel much larger and allows for more content to be explored.
Using “Master Builder” skills, players can scan, construct or paint different Lego items in order to overcome obstacles in their way. Over 100 different characters can be unlocked and played as Emmet and Lucy explore locations from the two feature films, including The Old West, the Systarian Jungle and Middle Zealand. Side missions are also available.
The most endearing feature of the game – and of Lego itself – is its ability to foster creative engineering within the player’s imagination. While there are prefabricated tools that gamers can build, there’s also the option to craft completely unique content in order to aid the Master Builders on their journey. Additionally, game mechanics encourage quick, strategic thinking.
The more discerning will note that game-play tends to become repetitive and that loading screens take an excessively long time. Camerawork can also be clumsy in tight spaces, a technical disappointment that can also diminish enjoyment.
Another downside is that much of the voice acting seems to have been pulled from the movie instead of original recordings. The game can feel rushed and poorly developed in comparison to the film.
Violence within the game is mild and minimal, with objects and enemies breaking apart into individual Lego pieces once they’re destroyed. There is a decent amount of this type of harmless chaos, though, as nearly everything within reach can be smashed to literal bits.
Playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The game contains cartoonish violence and destruction.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-I – general patronage. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rating is E-10+ – for ages 10 and up.