gamescom 2017

A Brick-By-Brick Look At Gamescom’s Lego Lineup

by Jeff Cork on Aug 24, 2017 at 01:30 PM

If you visited Warner Interactive’s booth at Gamescom, you probably noticed that Lego continues to fill a big role within the publisher’s repertoire of games. There were four Lego games on deck at this year’s show, including Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, the Nintendo Switch version of Lego Worlds, and Lego Dimensions. While they all share a few things in common, such as bricks, studs, and minifigs, they’re also branching out in different directions.

Here’s a quick rundown on what’s ahead for Lego fans in the gaming world.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
The hands-on demo of this upcoming sequel highlighted a boss battle against Surtur, a fiery demon who doesn’t seem to be pleased that Thor, Ms. Marvel, Captain America, and his friends have bothered him. The battle’s scale is reminiscent of the Mr. Sandman fight in the first Lego Marvel Super Heroes game, where you take on a huge enemy who is often rooted in one position. The various phases are also familiar, and they involve a variety of character swaps to ensure that each hero has his or her moment to shine. Cap’s shield is used to activate a hastily built water blaster, and Thor (or Jane Foster) summons a lightning storm to power on a water-tank-dispensing machine. Surtur shrinks down to size a few times during the skirmish, bringing the fight directly to the heroes.

One subtle but significant changes in the new entry is that boss health isn’t represented with the traditional heart meters. Instead, it’s a health bar, which allows Surtur to take more incremental damage – something he’s probably not too into. Eventually, he falls, thanks in large part to a cameo from Gwenpool, a fourth-wall-breaking hybrid between Deadpool and Gwen Stacy. 

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on November 14.

The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game
The upcoming Ninjago movie is a bit of a brand reboot from the TV series, with new storyline and voice cast that includes Jackie Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, and more. TT Fusion’s game adaptation tells an expanded version of that story, though it has some nods for the old-school Ninjago fans. Ninjago’s characters are adept fighters – they’re ninjas, after all – so combat is a bigger focus in this entry than in other Lego games. Characters learn new fighting abilities as the story progresses, such as Kai’s “floating butterfly” attack, which allows him to leap into the air and attack one enemy after another without setting foot on the ground.

Players are rewarded for keeping their combo chains longer with more studs, the familiar currency that players use to unlock new characters and other goodies. In addition to those scripted upgrades, players have a little freedom in upgrading their heroes with the use of ingenuity tokens. These are doled out in the story as well, but players can choose how to spend them – such as increasing the strength of a character’s attack, the effective range of an AoE blitz, and more. If you want to focus on one character, you can do that, but there are enough tokens to ultimately upgrade them all.

The hands-on demo was set in Ninjago City, a colorful take on a modern city in Asia with cheerful billboards plastered on the sides of skyscrapers. It opens with a flight section featuring Lloyd and Cole, before shifting over to an on-the-ground fighting sequence with Kai and Cole. Each of the game’s hub areas features a dojo, which is a wave-based fighting arena designed to test player skill. It also includes multiplayer battles and other arcade-style diversions. That’s where TT Fusion says they were able to include some fan-favorite characters and other goodies that may not have been featured in the movie.

The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on September 22.

Lego Worlds on Nintendo Switch
If you’re a player who prefers to surround yourself in piles of bricks and let your imagination run wild, you  may want to look into Lego Worlds – if you aren’t already playing it. The game came out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in March. Not long ago, Warner announced that it was coming to Nintendo Switch, too, and TT Games had a playable version of it at the show. There’s not much to say about is, which is actually great news.

The reason for that is it’s a remarkably faithful adaptation of what’s already been released. The only real compromise is that draw distance had to be pulled in a little bit when the system isn’t docked. Other than that, it’s been designed to be in full parity with the other releases.The game is impressively smooth, and it looks great on Switch. Players can build their own creations or populate their worlds with models built from templates. More than 300 brick types have been added since the game was originally in early access on PC, so a lot has changed.

Lego Worlds hits the Nintendo Switch on September 5.

Lego Dimensions
The Lego Dimensions demo starred The Powerpuff Girls, Beetlejuice, and a few Teen Titans Go! characters, which are part of the game’s ninth wave of add-ons. I checked out part of the Powerpuff Girls’ world, which featured a mission where I had to help Professor Utonium troubleshoot a problematic formula in his lab. Buttercup was able to save the day, along with Beetlejuice and Lord Voldemort. It was an unlikely group, but it worked. I didn’t see anything particularly new in this short section, aside from the presence of those characters. Of course, with Lego Dimensions that’s kind of the point, since they’re designed to be seamlessly integrated into each player’s collection and in Lego Dimensions itself.

Lego Dimensions’ ninth wave will be coming September 12.