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The family-friendly, good-humoured Lego games have fallen into an unfortunate pattern since the film franchise series started way back in 2005: some titles definitely feel like B movies to the main attractions. While the likes of Lego Star Wars, Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Lego Lord of the Rings are jammed with wonderful characterisations and detailed level design features, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean felt rather less … loved. Lego The Incredibles wobbles and falls into the latter category. With a storyline that merges both Incredibles movies into one rather tortured narrative, this is very much Lego by numbers (or Lego by instruction booklet).
Controlling each member of the Parr family, employing abilities from Mr Incredible’s brute strength to Elastigirl’s rubber limbs, you solve puzzles, beat up enemies and destroy the scenery to earn studs, which can be spent on unlocking new additions to the cast. It’s a formula that developer Traveller’s Tales has rarely strayed from and when it works, it works. When playing co-op with another person in the same room, learning how to combine characters’ powers is a lot of fun – especially if the other person is a child figuring out how to solve video game conundrums for the first time. There are also new group-build sections, where players need to work together to construct giant Lego buzz saws and fire extinguishers. It’s a very modest gameplay addition, though, and does little to broaden the familiar experience.
Other characters from the Incredibles and wider Pixar universe gives fans of the films more to look forward to – you can even unlock Dory from Finding Nemo, who floats surreally in a little ball of water. This is also a good interpretation of the Incredibles visual style. The luxury yachts, TV studios and tropical islands you explore are lushly coloured and have a 1960s comic-book vibe that mimics the aesthetics of the Pixar films. The central city of Municiberg has a retro-futuristic vibe, and provides a place for players to explore and get involved with mini-quests and crimefighting diversions – though it doesn’t compare with what you’ll find in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
Everything about Lego The Incredibles feels a little second-division. The narrative, which deals with the second movie first before going back to the original, is slapdash and disorientating; there are noticeable visual bugs and glitches throughout. However, like almost every Lego title, there are enough funny cinematics, cool little features, and engrossing puzzle-solving moments to keep children playing. The combination of knockabout humour and object-smashing action still works, even though the whole Lego game model is starting to creak at the foundations.
It’ll take quite a masterwork to truly revive the golden days of Lego Star Wars – but for now, the Lego production line is still doing just enough to appease fans who know what they want and don’t mind not getting much more.
- Lego The Incredibles is out on 13 July; £41.99.
Source: The Guardian
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