Lego Jurassic World: 5 Things It Got Right About The Movies (& 5 Things It Got Wrong)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Taking inspiration from the films, Lego Jurassic World tries to recreate the magic of the dinosaur theme park, getting a few things right and wrong.

After bringing the big-screen adventures of Star WarsIndiana Jones, and Harry Potter into playable Lego form, TT cooked up Lego Jurassic World to coincide with the release of the 2015 reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. In addition to adapting the 2015 reboot, the game depicts the original three movies, with five levels being dedicated to each installment.

It’s not a perfect game, but re-enacting all the dino-infested set pieces from the movies is plenty of fun for Jurassic Park fans. Ultimately, Lego Jurassic World is a mixed bag, with both flaws and redeeming qualities.

10 - Right: The Open World

The hub in Lego Jurassic World is an open world in which players can get a helicopter onto Isla Nublar or Isla Sorna, or even take a boat to San Diego (because The Lost World’s third act takes a weird detour into Godzilla homage).

Rather than being confined to a single location like Dex’s Diner or Mos Eisley Cantina from the original Lego Star Wars games, players are free to roam around and explore the titular theme park.

9 - Wrong: Finding Levels

Long gone are the days of simple Lego games like Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones, which had a door for each movie and easy access to every level. Now, Lego games like the hide their levels, so that finding the level becomes a level in itself. There’s a trail of translucent studs to follow, but there are always a bunch of annoying obstacles along the way.

Trying to find the next level in an open world based on a movie with vaguely defined geography like Jurassic Park III can quickly become an endless existential nightmare.

8 - Right: Playable Dinosaurs

Ultimately, the main draw of the Jurassic Park franchise is the dinosaurs. Well-developed human characters like Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm and philosophical musings on the dangers of playing God are the icing on the cake. What moviegoers really come for is the dinosaurs.

In Lego Jurassic World, players don’t just get to fend off dinosaur attacks; they get to actually play as dinosaurs. Having Sattler and Malcolm and Alan Grant and John Hammond and Robert Muldoon as playable characters was cool enough, but the playable dinosaurs were a nice touch.

7 - Wrong: Repetitive Gameplay

The gameplay in Lego Jurassic World starts to get repetitive after a while as players are required to do the same things over and over again. Approximately once a level, players are asked to collect three items to heal a sick dinosaur, because Ellie Sattler healed one sick dinosaur in one movie.

The game is filled with these kinds of tedious activities being repeated over and over again. It would be nice to mix it up every once in a while.

6 - Right: John Williams’ Sweeping Score

After filling the Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones games with John Williams’ iconic music, TT did the same with Lego Jurassic World. All throughout the game, players are treated to Williams’ sweeping Jurassic Park theme (and will spend the next few days humming it uncontrollably).

There’s not as much of Williams’ music in this game as those previous ones, as he only scored the first two Jurassic Park movies, but there’s still plenty to enjoy.

5 - Wrong: Dodgy Dialogue Clips

Unlike the early Lego games whose characters spoke in indiscriminate grumbles, the characters of Lego Jurassic World have spoken dialogue taken from the actors in the movies themselves.

Some actors from Jurassic World, including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, recorded new lines for the game, but all the dialogue for the legacy characters was ripped straight out of the films and some of the audio quality is dodgy, which stands out when it’s played opposite newly recorded material.

4 - Right: Vibrant Graphics

The graphics in Lego Jurassic World are vibrant. Every level is bursting with color. Taking cues from the breathtaking production design of the movies themselves, Lego Jurassic World recaptures the sense of wonder and adventure from the original movies.

The jungle environments and hordes of dinosaurs are really brought to life by the bright palette. Even when Lego Jurassic World becomes frustrating, it’s beautiful to look at.

3 - Wrong: Lack Of Tension

What made the original Jurassic Park movie such a timeless masterpiece that has sustained a franchise for five movies is its palpable tension. Much like he’d done two decades earlier with Jaws, Spielberg used Hitchcockian suspense-building techniques to elevate Jurassic Park above its monster movie premise.

But all the most suspenseful sequences, like the T. Rex’s escape, lost the tension they had in the movie when they were translated to the game, because there’s no sense of danger. The players have as long as they want to defeat the T. Rex, because it poses no real threat.

2 - Right: Raptors In The Kitchen

While a lot of the Jurassic franchise’s tensest set pieces lost that tension in their Lego game adaptation, the scene with the velociraptors in the kitchen makes for one of the game’s best levels.

Keeping out of the raptors’ way is a real challenge, unlike a lot of Lego Jurassic World’s gameplay, and when they attack, it’s a genuine fright.

1 - Wrong: Glitches

Like most Lego games that appear to have been rushed to market to coincide with the release of a popular movie, like Lego Marvel’s Avengers and Lego Star Wars: The Force AwakensLego Jurassic World is riddled with glitches.

At any point in a level, the game could get stuck in an irreversible glitch, forcing the player to manually shut down the console, turn it back on, and restart the level. And to add insult to injury, the so-called “checkpoints” are meaningless, so the player is sent back to the very beginning. They’re not difficult levels to overcome, but it is frustrating.