These days, if a brand finds itself considered pop-culture then there are two eventualities that are almost a certainty. Firstly, the inevitable onslaught of Funko Pop Vinyl figurines that casts every single character in cute and irritatingly adorable plastic models. Secondly, a LEGO game, incidentally involving irritatingly adorable plastic models. The Jurassic Park franchise, it would seem, has not escaped the clutches of the Danish toy manufacturer and developer TT Games – although it's yet to get Funko'd, unfortunately.
LEGO Jurassic World brings together all four members of the franchise, allowing players to experience all of the iconic scenes from each as they play through the storylines. Memorable moments like the T-Rex chasing after the Jeep or the velociraptor squad in the kitchen are all playable in the charismatic brick fashion coined by the LEGO games. Sample sounds from the movies themselves help to retain the thrilling essence of the films among the jovial, child-friendly jokes leaving it appealing to purists and casuals alike.
Break stuff. That's the aim of almost all other LEGO games and certainly the case with this one. Shatter the lives of everything and anything to gain shiny studs and amass wealth beyond your imagination to spunk on unlocking new playable characters and vehicles – of which there are more than enough. All the characters have their own special abilities – like Dr Grant's fossil building capabilities – helping you to reach new areas within levels by switching between them. Co-operative play remains a simple button push away and, like all LEGO games, is built to be played with a friend. Saying that, if you lack any dinosaur enthusiasts in your friendship circles, then playing alone is just as fun.
Nesting alongside the levels that echo the silver screen, LEGO Jurassic World also deploys four large open-world environments – one representing each movie – that can be explored once you complete the specific levels. These act as playground areas where you can access 'Free Play' mode and toy around with any and all of your unlocked characters and vehicles at your leisure. Also within these areas are a handful of side missions that deliver special collectibles upon completion. When you combine these with the core storyline you're left with one of the largest LEGO titles yet, clocking in at around 15-20 hours for 100 per cent.
TT Games has got rendering the brick-based world to down to... Well, a T – and as such the island of Isla Nublar looks positively fantastic. It's not a game that'll really test the limits of the PS4's intricate architecture, but it certainly makes use of at least some of the grunt force available, producing one of the most vibrant games we've seen for a while.
Meanwhile, the soundtrack to this escapade generally follows the course of the films during the main storyline, but can often find itself on an irritating loop during open-world exploration; thankfully it's droned out by the roars of dinosaurs as you punch them square in the face – something that you'll find yourself doing more than you'd care to admit.
In reality, most of the aforementioned traits are available in basically all LEGO games. What really sets LEGO Jurassic World apart from the others is the ability to play as a dinosaur. They cleverly play out like normal characters, possessing their own abilities to help level navigation and are also widely customisable. Players can fiddle around with their giant lizard's colour scheme, scale patterns, and features enabling them to romp around with a bespoke dino.
It's not all smiles and roars however, as playing as these oversized creatures also brings to light many of the bugs that reside within this LEGO endeavour. Many of the LEGO games certainly have their issues but Jurassic World seems to have more than usual. The game seems to struggle with the larger nature of the dinosaur characters and we were faced with them falling through the floor or getting trapped in the environment on a handful of occasions, often having to restart our beloved PS4 to escape its clutches. Obviously these issues can be simply patched and don't come close to the issues many other games have been having at launch of late – we're all looking at you, Assassin's Creed Unity – but it's been a long time since we've had to reboot because of a bug and it certainly robs some of the fun out of what should be the most enjoyable aspect of this LEGO title.
The dinosaur bugs really are the only flaw of note here, leaving LEGO Jurassic World a whole heap of fun for the most part. Being able to play as the iconic characters as you recreate iconic scenes from the flicks offers a huge hit of nostalgia, and tearing the place up as a dinosaur is something that really sets it apart. At its core, though, this is ultimately just another LEGO game. There's lots of enjoyment to be had here, but it's also cruel reminder that the LEGO franchise needs something new to break out of its now conveyer-belt approach.