The Lego Movie 2 Videogame Review – Uninspired

Equally fun and frustrating.

Posted By | On 06th, Mar. 2019 Under Article, Reviews


The Lego Movie 2 Videogame is the video game equivalent of grocery store sushi. It’s not ideal or even made well, but it somehow manages to hit the spot anyways. This is mostly due to the ability of Lego games to engage the collector in all of us. Throughout the long, exhaustive library of games in the overarching franchise, the primary goal has always been to collect characters, bits, bricks, items, and more. And if that’s what you’re seeking, you’re going to get it here in spades.

the lego movie 2 videogame

"The Lego Movie 2 Videogame is the video game equivalent of grocery store sushi. It’s not ideal or even made well, but it somehow manages to hit the spot anyways."

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame has adopted some new ways to dole out these collectible characters and items through in-game lootboxes called “relics”, but even they’re collected in treasure chests lying about the levels, thankfully avoiding any microtransactions. Even better, any duplicate items are turned to shards to help you purchase more boxes. While I don’t think randomized loot is ever a particularly fun mechanic, I still appreciate that I never felt like I was being taken advantage of by the system.

Essentially everything in the game can be summed up as such: Go here, collect these, build this, collect more. It should be downright infuriatingly monotonous, but it somehow manages to just feel game-y in an enjoyable way. One of the ways the game avoids that monotony and frustration is by consistently offering new and inventive ways to challenge the mind. I enjoyed looking at a quick roadblock in my progress and thinking through my options. Even when it was blatantly obvious, working it out and subsequently watching the outcome of my choices was always a treat.

While it’s clearly aimed at a younger crowd, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few scattered moments where trying to figure out what I needed to build to beat a boss or overcome a short puzzle took me a minute or two. This was often enjoyable, but sometimes what I needed to interact with would be so ambiguous that it actually felt like a shortcoming on behalf of the game than my own mental acuity. One moment the game holds your hand to a maddening degree, and then the next you’re expected to know exactly what to build at some random, unremarkable location during an active boss battle.

the lego movie 2 videogame

"Essentially everything in the game can be summed up as such: Go here, collect these, build this, collect more. It should be downright infuriatingly monotonous, but it somehow manages to just feel game-y in an enjoyable way."

The combat stands out as one of The Lego Movie 2’s worst aspects. As a matter of fact, in a title that handles exploration, collecting, and basic puzzle solving quite well, the infrequent addition of combat feels wholly unnecessary. It’s slow, stiff, and awkward to pull off at times, and the most irritating moments in my time with the game came from trying to simply break open random things around the levels or hit enemies as the horrible hit detection caused me to whiff right through them.

Additionally, I’m shocked that a game that is so graphically unaesthetic manages to run so poorly. Screen-tearing is abundant during both gameplay and cutscenes, the draw distance is abysmal, and the frame rate never stabilizes. The camera can swing around randomly from sluggishly player-controlled to awkward fixed-positioning, making these other optimization failures feel even more glaring. I battled with the camera and slowdown during the moderately tense sections far more than I ever did with any actual challenge.

Despite these shortcomings, however, The Lego Movie 2 is a game that never stops offering ways to discover new things. When I wasn’t battling with the camera, I found myself searching through the store to buy new items and characters to mess around with. The vast ensemble of playable characters never disappoints, and being able to customize them to create your own mix-matched player is an endless joy.

the lego movie 2 videogame

"The combat stands out as one of The Lego Movie 2’s worst aspects. As a matter of fact, in a title that handles exploration, collecting, and basic puzzle solving quite well, the infrequent addition of combat feels wholly unnecessary."

That said, I sometimes wished that the game hadn’t separated characters from items. Doing so means that characters are cosmetic-only, stealing away the unique and exciting feeling of unlocking someone new and getting to see their special abilities or combat options. Because of this, I designed a character I liked early on and rarely found any reason for swapping him out as I continued through the game, choosing to simply swap the items out on him instead. It gets the job done, but it certainly steals away one of the franchise’s most fun features and puts a bit of a damper on the experience of unlocking cool new characters.

While the character and item system is both exciting and disappointing in different ways, one of the more intriguing features in the game is a planet that sees you building a town of your own. Collecting new blueprints and items to build there throughout the journey gives the game an additional sense of purpose. Since you’re allowed to build the buildings more or less where you’d like, it’s unlikely for any two people to have the same town. In this sense, The Lego Movie 2 does exactly what Legos were designed to do: allow for creativity.

The remainder of the game is basically planets filled with pseudo-open world designs full of side quests and busywork. While there’s nothing overtly displeasing about the game’s planet designs, and levels like a giant asteroid are actually pretty interesting, there’s a relative lack of actual content in the more open-ended areas. Side quests begin to feel repetitive after a few hours, and even the game’s core gameplay loop of collecting can begin to slowly grow dull when scouring bland, uninspired open areas. But while I’d have preferred more linearity on some of the planets, tracking down the many extra and hidden items and bricks was nevertheless moderately fun even when I had to travel across barren places to get to them. If movement wasn’t so inherently slow and clunky to begin with, perhaps this wouldn’t have been such a damning problem for the game. As it stands, building vehicles in such segments is a must, and at least some of them are fairly fun to use.

the lego movie 2 videogame

"Side quests begin to feel repetitive after a few hours, and even the game’s core gameplay loop of collecting can begin to slowly grow dull when scouring bland, uninspired open areas."

Sadly, there’s just not much to The Lego Movie 2 Videogame that stands out as original. The core mechanics are mostly sound, but the rehashed movie story is told in a disjointed, unappealing fashion, and most of the things the game does well were done even better in previous games in the series.

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.

THE GOOD

Alluring collect-a-thon gameplay loop; Large ensemble of characters and items; Creative freedom.

THE BAD

Poorly-optimized; Inconsistent camera; Boring open-world segments; Cumbersome, unengaging combat.

Final Verdict

There’s just not much to The Lego Movie 2 Videogame that stands out as original. The core mechanics are mostly sound, but the rehashed movie story is told in a disjointed, unappealing fashion, and most of the things the game does well were done even better in previous games in the series.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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