As the toys to life genre has blossomed over the years with games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, I've grown a little weary. I don't like the idea of having to spend hundreds of dollars on toys that will eventually end up in a box next to my plastic guitar controllers and my old Ninja Turtle figures. However, after playing through Lego Dimension's latest build at this year's PAX, I discovered several reasons to drop some of my hard earned cash on these adorable little buildable sets.
- Dimensions taps into the same worlds collide appeal of games like Smash Bros. I love seeing characters and locations interacting from franchises as diverse as Scooby-Doo, Dr. Who, Portal, DC Comics, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and Lord of the Rings.
- The game is hilarious. When Batman enters the world of Wizard of Oz he shudders at how colorful everything is.
- I drove the Ghostbuster's Ecto 1 with Scoobie Doo, and he looked terrified the whole time, shielding his eyes with his paws.
- The story has you bouncing around between worlds, collecting popular artifacts from each franchise. For example, in the Wizard of OZ you're looking for the ruby slippers. In the Lord of the Rings area, you're looking for the one ring. In Portal's world you're looking for that elusive cake.
- The game's toys to life gateway actually has some creative uses. I moved characters from one side of the gateway to the other in order to change their size and solve puzzles. In another areas, I moved them to different sides of the gateway to imbue them with special elemental properties.
- When the Wicked Witch of the West locked Batman in a spell, I was able to break him out of it by moving his Lego Minifig from one area of the gateway to another.
- Homer Simpson drove the Batmobile.
- You can fit up to seven different characters or vehicles on the character gateway at any given time, and it's awesome to see this crazy "who's who" of nerd culture on one screen at any given time.
- I used Chell's portal gun in the Portal levels to create actual portals that I could walk through to open up an entirely new areas that other characters couldn't access otherwise.
- Did I mention the game is funny? During the Portal levels, Wheatley asked if I knew what pi was. "Is it 3 something?"
- When Dr. Who dies he respawns as one of his 12 different incarnations from the show, and the interior of the Tardis changes based on which doctor is piloting it.
- In-game instructions show you how to rebuild each character's vehicles in real life for a variety of different uses.
- The game features of the voice-over work of actors like Chris Pratt and Christopher Lloyd as well as other people not named Chris, such as Will Arnett who reprises his role as Batman from the Lego Movie and Stephen Merchant who voices Portal's Wheatley.
- Peter Capaldi has done the voice work for the 12th Dr. Who, but all dialogue for Doctors 1 through 11 is pulled from the TV series
- Marty McFly comes with a DeLorean and a hoverboard.
- It sounds like a bit of a longshot, but Warner Bros. told me it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that we could still see Disney licenses like Star Wars and Marvel make their way over to Lego Dimensions, so cross your fingers.
Lego Dimensions is headed to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on September 27. Watch the game in action in the recent Scooby Doo trailer.