LEGO Worlds Preview
Donât you just love it when people compare a game you like with some other, much more popular, vaguely-similar-but-only-on-first-glance title? This is whatâs happening with LEGO Worlds now, and I guess it was to be expected for it to garner Minecraft comparisons, but from the time Iâve spent with it, itâs a wholly different game altogether.
Climbing is quite useful for when you want to orient yourself. Standing on your helmet, however, is not.
Firstly, one has to understand that LEGO Worlds is in a very early stage of development, and every part of the game, every feature and piece of content may very well get revamped further down the line. As far as most of the game goes, itâs a necessary evil, sadly, but if itâs content youâre concerned about, donât be. Of all Early Access games Iâve ever played, very few have had such a massive amount of content at launch as LEGO Worlds does. Yes, this is LEGO weâre talking about, so itâs quite easy to build a new house, pop it in and call it an update, but the sheer amount of playable characters, vehicles, mounts (oh god, those mounts) and other assorted content is flabbergasting.
As you randomly generate worlds to ride your ostrich in, youâll come across all kinds of cars, tractors, planes, plants, animals and more to add to your ever-growing collection of LEGO pieces. This is currently the main goal of the game â keep finding new stuff and unlocking it with your collected LEGO currency. It all works quite similar to the rest of the LEGO games (including Jurassic Park), so those whoâve had any experience with previous games should be right at home here. This is a fun process in and of itself, but itâs bound to get boring after a while. There isnât an unlimited amount of stuff in there, and it all stops being exciting eventually. The time necessary for this to happen, for me, amounted to three hours. Now, Iâm certainly going to keep returning to the game every couple of days or so, but I feel as if Iâve found most of the stuff that interested me and donât really have an impulse to be creative in LEGO Worlds.
Now, this is where I begin my critique of the game. It might seem overbearingly negative, but not because I hate it or dislike it. The truth is quite the contrary: itâs because I see immense potential in it and want to provide as much public feedback as I possibly can to help make it the LEGO game both the developers and gamers hope it to be. Also, Iâll begrudgingly compare it to Minecraft simply because most people coming in will do so too, and the game has to be up to par to the sandbox giant if it hopes to survive out in the wild.
The vampireâs face mimics mine perfectly in this situation.
What LEGO Worlds needs the most is a proper, streamlined building mechanic thatâs as simple and effective while building block-by-block as it is when modifying large patches of terrain. Thereâs no way in hell people will opt to build all kinds of marvels in LEGO Worlds if it stays as complex and rigid as it currently is in that regard. A first-person creative mode might be an option for the developers to consider, but Iâm sure they could come up with something better too. It has to be unobtrusive, accessible and inviting â to a young gamer as well as to the old one. As it currently stands, building a massive fortress in Worlds is a task Iâd never take up due to its imprecise block-by-block building feature. Also important, is to enhance the tools we currently have, so that they allow immediate and smooth terraforming at the press of a button. The implementation of keyboard shortcuts is here, at least, but the UI needs to be toned down while using these tools. It takes up way too much screen space in the current build. This is what, I believe, TT Games should try to improve on first, before adding more content or working on other features. Once the building mechanics are nailed down, people will begin flocking and start having fun properly. This is the single most important feature of any such game, and itâs paramount for the developers to figure it out as early as possible. Minecraft did this from the get-go and garnered a massive following even though content-wise it had about 3% of what LEGO Worlds has now. People need to feel comfortable when building stuff. Otherwise it all falls apart.
Once thatâs done, the camera and controls need to be looked at because theyâre the second most frustrating thing about this game. If you ask me, LEGO Worlds definitely needs a proper zooming mechanic. As fun as flying might currently be, itâs horrid that I canât see anything down below if I donât hold right mouse button and keep moving the pointer down. The system would work if Worlds wasnât an as dynamic game as it is. Therefore, what we need is a precise mouse-controlled camera where left-click allows an attack, right-click aiming and âEâ interaction. The rest of the controls can be spread about the keyboard, but the game definitely lacks the precision necessary for combat. With the bows, rifles and such already available, it would be a shame not to improve on this front â especially once multiplayer becomes a viable gameplay option. A GTA-like (bear with me) camera mode would do wonders for LEGO Worldsâ environment interaction and exploration, simply by making it all a much more enjoyable experience. Minecraft handles this in a direct and immediate manner by being a first-person game, therefore Worlds has to either do the same or employ a similar approach that would be a more natural fit, which is what I propose.
The final piece of the puzzle, I feel, is to improve the vehicle controls across the board. Why do cars, bulldozers and whatnot use the horrid driving mechanics that they do? This is a sandbox building game, and precision is extremely important. Controls should not be dependent on the direction camera is pointing but relative to the vehicle in question! When a player presses âWâ, he or she expects the vehicle to move forward â nothing else. When pressing âAâ or âDâ, it should turn and again, nothing else.
LEGO Worlds need to be intuitive, first-hand and, most of all, simple. All the pieces of the puzzle are already there. TT Games have already implemented an abundance of content, but itâs the basic gameplay mechanics that need to be looked at first. Interestingly, setting the performance issues aside, Worlds is a very pretty game. The animations especially stand out, and itâs a real marvel of exploration as long as you keep finding new stuff to toy with. Thereâs an immense amount of potential in this title, and it will be a damn shame if it isnât capitalized on. So whatever you do, developers, make LEGO Worlds the game we all want to play.