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LEGO Jurassic World

Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Family/ Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

LEGO Jurassic World takes what Traveller's Tales got right about the past few LEGO games and applies them to the four-movie franchise that started with 1993's Jurassic Park. As a result, while the game does offer a few new interesting mechanics, it has a very similar feel to LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

As expected, LEGO Jurassic World does a great job of making the plastic minifigs and playsets come to life. Characters that have appeared in playsets, like Owen Grady, have the same markings and look as their real world counterparts, and even new characters that haven't come out in playsets yet look enough like their movie version to be recognizable. On a similar note, the game's LEGO dinosaurs are impressive and also look like the toys they are modeled after.

Audio is a bit of a mixed bag though. Most of the game's dialogue is lifted from the films, and quite frankly, those sound clips feel out of place a lot of the time. There is a notable difference between the game's audio that plays while you run around, and the audio that comes clipped out of a movie. While I've noticed this before, specifically with the LEGO The Lord of the Rings games, it is much more noticeable when you get into the Jurassic World levels that have new dialogue recorded for the game alongside the pulled clips.

On the opposite side of the dialogue issues, though, is the game's music. From beginning to end, your ears are treated with Jurassic Park's theme music, or variations of the classic tunes, and it is as easy to get stuck in your head now as it was all those years ago.


Again, like past titles in this franchise, LEGO Jurassic World is a mix of open world exploration and set levels. Similar to the style introduced in LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Batman, but refined more over the years, you are thrown into an area that is explorable, but with locked areas. As you progress through the four stories, more characters and their special abilities will be unlocked and you will gain more freedom of movement.

Of course, just making it through the game's stories is about half of the overall content. With each Story Mode level completed, a Free Play Mode becomes available. In these run throughs, you aren't restricted to the specific characters that the game dictates. Instead, you have access to all of the ones that you've unlocked. This means that areas you could see but not get to during your first run through can be attempted, provided you have the right skills on hand, of course.

These skills range from Allen Grant's ability to dig and assemble dinosaur bones, to Ellie Sattler's botany skills and strange lack of compunction against digging in dino droppings. Other characters like Robert Muldoon and Owen can act like hunters and trackers, while Paul Kirby has a handy grappling hook, Tim Murphy has night vision goggles and his sister Lex can hack computers and scream so loud that she breaks glass.

Fans of the LEGO games might think that a lot of these skills sound familiar, and quite frankly, they are. There isn't really anything new offered here, especially when you consider the huge array of skills developed for the DC Heroes and Marvel Heroes games. Where LEGO Jurassic World does provide a new skillset is that you get the chance to play as dinosaurs.

While these moments are few and far between during Story Mode, as you unlock dinos, you can switch to them during the Free Play and open world parts of the game, and quite frankly, there are a lot of little things scattered around the world for you to unlock and uncover as a dinosaur. These skills include being able to dash and break through objects, bite through large obstacles or even climb up particularly high platforms as a Velociraptor. To add a bit more fun to the dinosaur play time, you can go to a couple of locations in the game and fiddle with the genetics of your giant lizards. With one set of controls, you can customize the color and patterns of specific species, while another lets you roll the genetic dice and mix-and-match different aspects of the dinos to create your own special park attraction. It's basically the same feature that has been available for customizing minifigs, but given that it's dinosaurs, it just feels bigger than simply swapping out which tools, clothes, head and hats a character uses.

While a vast majority of LEGO Jurassic World felt like the past titles with a new skin (which I still enjoyed, mind you), the chance to charge around as a Pachycephalosaurus or hunt down a scent trail as a Raptor really adds a uniquely Jurassic Park feel to the game.


LEGO Jurassic World seems to have some pacing issues when it comes to difficulty. I found myself able to blaze through much of the game with little risk to my minifigs' lives, only to occasionally come up against a scene that was annoyingly tough to get through.

The result was a Story Mode that I felt like I blazed through faster than most LEGO games. Typically, my desire to get all I can in the Story Mode run of a level means I spend a ridiculous amount of time in each area before moving on. This time though, I felt like I was making fast progress while still collecting everything I could with the limited characters available in that initial playthrough. While the Free Play runs took a little longer, I still found myself able to grab all or most of the items I had left to collect without much effort or time.

Game Mechanics:

There have been a lot of LEGO games released over the past few years, and each one tries to hone in and refine the experience just a little bit more. Each game also tries to bring a new feature to the experience. As a result, it might be hard for fans, like myself, to see the gradual changes that accumulate from each title to the next.

With the many LEGO games that come out, fans of the series might be hard pressed to play every title that gets released, especially if they don't like a particular license. And, while each game does bring more refinement and some new gimmicks to the mix, it can be hard to see those gradual changes. So, while it seems to be easy to ding LEGO Jurassic World about how little has changed between this game and the last title, it is easy to see the strides the series has made between this title and ones released a year or two ago.

LEGO Jurassic World's open world is a much more refined system than what was first introduced in the LEGO Harry Potter games. Where those felt more like directionless wanderings through the halls of Hogwarts with unpredictable levels, anyone familiar with the JP movies has a good idea of what major events will switch you from open world to levels, and you can't get lost either. What was once a small hub area as seen in early LEGO Star Wars games, have become open worlds that are as much of the story and experience as the levels themselves, and as a result, the game as a whole feels a lot fuller than those older releases.

So, while I commented several times about how the game feels like only a small step beyond the previous titles, that really only has a bearing if you've had the privilege of playing through every LEGO title to come out. Those players that pick and choose their licenses or haven't tried the series in a while will want to see the progress made since the last time they delved into the interactive brick world. For those dedicated enough to have picked up every previous title, then chances are, you are already planning on picking up this one, and you should expect only an incremental evolution to the LEGO series.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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