The toys-to-life market needs a better name, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a billion dollar business. This year LEGO joins the fray with their toy video-game hybrid product, LEGO Dimensions. The biggest difference to strike the consumer about LEGO’s approach to the genre will likely be its higher price. Coming in at £89 and £99 for older and new consoles respectively is a hurdle to overcome for the Billund based brick company.
Assessing value for these games is about more than on screen action of course. Here LEGO has a trump card with a genuine smart toy that integrates seamlessly with their other brick sets. Unlike the static plastic figurines of competitors Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the smarty LEGO Dimension mini-figures are possible and can be removed from heir base to play with on the sitting room floor. The Starter Pack also comes with a USB reader peripheral. This must be assembled out of LEGO before connecting to the console and reading in the different characters. Each character players own grants them access to control in the game. The Starter Pack comes with Gandalf, Wyld Style and Batman. Playing as these three characters enables you to progress through the games seven hour or so story split across 14 different franchises.
Unlike Disney Infinity, you don’t have to make additional purchases to visit all of the franchise adventures in the game. The list of these worlds is also impressive: Midway Arcade, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who,The Wizard of Oz,Scooby-Doo (Theme),The Simpsons,Back to the Future,Portal 2,DC Comics,Ninjago,The LEGO Movie,Jurassic World,The Lord of the Rings,Legends of Chima *breathe*
Additional packs are required to play as characters from the above brands though, these come in the form of Team, Fun and Level packs. The distinction between these is important to understand as each one unlocks content differently. Team and Fun packs provide characters and vehicles from a particular franchise. This enables you to play as these characters and drive these vehicles in the main adventure element of the game. #wecanhardlywait
Owning any mini figure for a particular brand also opens that franchise’s Open World portion of the game. These are expansive explorable spaces with iconic locations from the related property, and hold many of the prized Gold Bricks to be found. The Level packs have the singular advantage of adding an additional level to the main adventure as well as adding the Open World and character control like the Team and Fun packs. Taken as a whole, LEGO Dimensions has a lot to offer players. The sheer amount of content on offer even before expansions are purchased and the tried and tested Lego video-game format make this a strong contender in the Toys to Life race this Christmas.