Everything is the same. TT Games takes cinematic material, strips out the most iconic scenes, then piles on the typical Lego humour. A well-known recipe and one that, several years and many tie-ins later, we find we're losing the taste for. And yet, again, we find our tastebuds becoming curious as soon as the latest offering is dished out onto our console plate.
It's likely down to the licence and how it's been handled. Unlike say, Lego Hobbit - which like its celluloid counterpart, felt like too much filler - Lego Jurassic World keeps things tight by splitting its twenty level structure evenly between all four films. That means only the best beats from the flicks make the cut, making for some great stages.
One downside is that you'll have a harder time recognising the majority of the 100+ characters that are available for unlocking here; park staff and bystanders joining your ever-growing roster hasn't the same thrill as, say, unlocking the extended cast of characters from Lego Star Wars. There's other games in the Lego family that rely on the richness of the roster to drive replayability, but this just isn't the case with Jurassic World.
When it comes to the main characters, the ones you'll definitely recognise, the studio's to be commended for working out everyone's special abilities and keeping them both interesting and tied to the source material. Lex's screams in the first flick were irritating to the ears. Here they literally shatter glass. For the main these abilities are used to collect additional Lego bricks, but they are also often crucial to your progress, a howl distracting a dino at the right time, or a jump allowing access to a lofty platform.
TT Games takes a slightly different approach to the source material this time round, stitching original dialogue pulled from the films together with new voice work and then spinning the scenes towards humour. The result is authentic, entertaining and amusing. The humour's simple but not flat. Take the raptor kitchen scene from Jurassic Park; one of the dinos sports a hairnet of cherries after an investigation of one cupboard. Absurd, but funny. Given that the franchise managed to make dinosaurs eating people family-friendly viewing, the blend here fits in nicely with the tone in a suitably quirky way.
And yes, let's not forget the dinosaurs. The big difference between this game and its brethren is the ability to play as twenty different creatures found within the game, each with their own unique ability. Early on, for example, we're nursing a triceratops back to health, and then controlling the three-horned lizard and smashing through barriers into new areas. We can even splice together our own creations - perhaps as a nod to the events of Jurassic World - and drop these oddball breeds into the game proper.
As with the human characters, you need certain dinos to unlock certain parts of the park, or certain areas within levels. It's this that causes the same irk that we have with other Lego games; sure replayability is a huge factor in these titles, but we're all too aware of the artificially extended play time, and we just stare at locked areas in frustration the first time we play through a level.
The studio's still yet to perfect its Help system. While last time there were points we became stuck because we didn't know what to do next, here we're told exactly what to do during critical moments in the action, making this feel more like a interactive film at times. Maybe they'll get it right for the next game, but it's an element of the game that needs rebalancing for future releases.
Visually it's fine and it really shines when the new weather system kicks in. The mix of new and old voice over works, and there's some lovely referential humour in there, just as you'd expect. Even the scariest moments of the film have been made fit for all the family, so even the youngest gamers can get playing without fear of nightmare moments. Lego Jurassic World is yet another entry in the Lego series that's perfect for some family co-op, and while part of us might be starting to get lethargic thanks to the constant stream of releases, for some reason we can't stop playing.
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