Press the gas pedal to the floor and do not let it go until the finish line. If you want to defeat all opponents, you need speed… and rockets. In Bricklandia, you don’t compete in gloves, and opponents must be mercilessly neutralized. The winner then takes it all: money, fame, vehicles, and above all, the glittering Sky Cup. But beware, the road to it is long and full of turns. Only the best checkerboard flag collector will get it.
Expecting anything more than arcade fun from Lego 2K Drive would be foolish. After the recent announcement, which came like a bolt from the blue, it was immediately compared to Forzy Horizon or The Crew 2 mixed with Mario Kart, and after a few hours of test drives, I can confirm these claims. However, the developers tried to make the game something more than just another variation of crazy go-kart racing or an open-world open-world racing sandbox. Their goal was to combine these two aspects. But no matter how hard they tried, the question kept gnawing at me, do these pieces even fit together? At least that’s how the developers talk about it.
The same unfortunately applies to the story mode, available for up to two players in co-op, which should be the main attraction. While the premise of trying to get a shiny trophy in the clouds while defeating a bad guy and his cronies hints at something interesting, the whole execution ends up being just another Lego story with infantile humor. It used to seem to me that the screenwriters primarily aimed their jokes at a younger audience, but they also tried to entertain older viewers. I saw a balance in it and I did not agree too much with the claims that these are just games or films for children. Lately, though, I feel like the scales are really tipping more towards the children’s side, and the authors are just relying on tried-and-true methods without trying to bring anything truly new to the narrative.
On the wave of repetitiveness
The development of the storyline is then closely linked to racing, and if you want to reach the end of the game, you have to complete twenty-five circuits and recurring mini-game missions in which, for example, you eliminate robots to prevent the destruction of transmitters, or rescue bed rests from evil robot cowboys, clowns and the like. It’s probably obvious by now that the gameplay is very repetitive, and unfortunately I have to confirm this. In addition, in some stages of the game you have to reach the required level, which further deepens the stereotype, because for this it is necessary to go to a higher or lower difficulty of previously completed races. To do this, you have to complete missions, such as collecting cows or dolphins, or searching for people, and some time-limited challenges like drifting or fast bike capture, scattered around a semi-open world, but also very similar in content, so it seems as if the developers just they wanted to cross off a mandatory item from the list. All the events on the map are aimed at breaking records, which is not for everyone, and there is no idea that would enrich the gameplay for players who might just want to relax at a simple arcade.
On the plus side, objects created from cubes are completely destructible, and thanks to this you can repair a damaged vehicle
You can’t speak too positively about the design of the world either, because it is divided into four islands with specific biomes: greenery, desert, mountains and haunted swamps. But they are not very different from each other, especially the desert and mountainous biotopes seemed to me like identical maps only in different colors. And speaking of the colors, they are very saturated by the way, which suits Lego, as well as the combination of typically checkered graphics with realistic rendering of roads, rivers and landscapes, as was the case in last year’s Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. However, the plus point is that the objects created from the cubes are completely destructible, and thanks to this you can repair your damaged vehicle. However, driving around and destroying everything possible gets tired after a while, because the player does not receive any rewards for it, similar to, for example, in Forza Horizon. You only get experience points and money when you discover one of the playable events during exploration, a garage used for fast travel and creating your own car, or collectibles, which, on the other hand, are blessed.
Give me a ride
However, the main thing here is the races. These are in most cases composed of three types of terrain, i.e. road, off-road and water surface, to air out all your types of vehicles destined to the appropriate places. The tracks are always different, which works well as a contrast to the game’s otherwise stereotypical content. The driving model is all about holding the throttle and skidding, and using fairly spaced power ups that bring an element of randomness to the game that can both help and hurt you, for example just before the finish line. I can’t say anything bad about the races, because I actually enjoyed them, and I honestly wouldn’t need anything else in the game. Sure, they don’t reach the same level of fun as, say, driving through the Mario Kart series, but I dare say that in this case, the authors of the game seriously tried to get as close to the arcade gem as possible, and they succeeded. The developers also borrowed from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed the automatic transformation of vehicles when entering a different type of landscape, so when you drive the racer from the road to the river, the car automatically transforms into a vessel, and then perhaps into an SUV. Just a simple but effective mechanism that many drivers would appreciate in real life.
There are more than enough vehicles by themselves, and the player chooses according to his own preferences. The only thing it really tracks is the weight of the machine, then maximum speed, acceleration, handling and endurance. It cannot be argued that heavy vehicles lose significantly to light speedboats, so a great variability of racing styles is really offered. You can win with just about anything. Literally, because the game also includes a car editor, where you can customize pre-made racers to your liking, or put together a brand new car. I found out that assembling Lego blocks with a gamepad is not for me, so I created a complete flight consisting of only the chassis and wheels, which I could place on the race track and wow, I won. But the fact is that it is possible in the garage you potted toy cars, and thereby modify the aforementioned properties, but I will leave this option to real toys.
When you’re not doing well and you’re in the bottom half of the leaderboard, you may notice all the vehicles in front of you slow down,
But in general, I don’t think it’s necessary to pay too much attention to the vehicle statistics, and not even to the available perks that improve and worsen some bonuses, because the generally lower difficulty of racing, mainly influenced by artificial intelligence, helps you to win. It simply cheats, but in a way that tries not to let the player experience the feeling of disappointment from a bad ride. So when you’re not doing well and you’re in the bottom half of the leaderboard, you might notice all the vehicles in front of you slow down and suddenly you’re fighting for first place. At first it’s nice that you feel like Sergio Pérez at the Bahrain Grand Prix three years ago, but later this giving up wins becomes a bit annoying. Again, this only confirmed to me that Lego games are increasingly falling into the children’s department.
In the end, I got a shock when the difficulty bar was raised by two hundred percent during the cup race, and I successfully completed the roughly four-minute round trip after about two hours of play. Quite an incomprehensible decision by the authors, and I still puzzle over why they first push users for several hours to an easy victory, only to puncture all their tires just before the finish line.
Since you get vehicles by defeating opponents, you quickly expand your garage, and therefore you can completely ignore the available in-game shop, in which additional cars can be bought with in-game currency earned during the campaign or with real money. Yes, another game aimed mainly at kids that features microtransactions. Fortunately, with Lego 2K Drive there’s absolutely no need to reach for a debit card, and you’ll play the entire game without spending a single penny.
Those who don’t like to play alone will certainly appreciate the possibility of cooperative and competitive mode. You can complete the campaign with two people in split screen, but don’t expect that the difficulty will increase because of this, or that you will get more rewards. Progression is shared, and although you can drive around the map as you please, all activities, except time challenges, must be done together. So when one of the players starts a race, for example, or moves to another island, the other player will automatically move with him. In a way, one user is always the driver and the other the passenger. However, even here, a simple rule applies: the more people you have, the more fun you’ll have.
This is also authoritative in other multiplayer modes. You can also race on a split screen directly in championship, single race or mini-game modes. The online closed section for friends works similarly. Since there is support for cross-play playing with the help of a registered 2K account, you can really play with any game owner on anything. And you can do it even without friends, because there are also online races with random people. But sometimes it takes a while to find enough players to create an online section, and a few times I didn’t even make it. But when it works, you will be surprised at first that you are thrown into the middle of an ongoing race. It’s a bit strange to start the game on a hot circuit, which you can still mix up the order, but it’s actually an understandable step if the creators want to avoid a long wait when creating an online championship. Racing with other players is quite a massacre, and the level of difficulty and fun is understandably higher. If you’re tempted to buy Lego 2K Drive just for the multiplayer options, you won’t regret it. Even so, I would recommend waiting for a discount.
They say you don’t pay anything for the exam…don’t believe it!
In searching for an answer to the initial question, I have come to the conclusion that the road built by Visual Concepts and 2K is bumpy. But I believe that sometime next time the idea could be followed, especially in terms of gameplay, which will create a really great mix of addictive mechanisms. Greater inspiration from other video game ventures would not be a problem if the title also showed original elements. However, relying only on building vehicles from the world-famous brand of cubes and free movement around the maps is not enough.
Although it sounds from the first half of the review that Lego 2K Drive is not a good game, I wouldn’t say the same about it in the final. It’s just a slightly above-average piece that won’t offend anyone, and might get a little excited for all the big fans of Danish kits. An unbiased player who likes to put together some physical cubes from time to time will mainly enjoy racing, but since the price tag reaches 60 euros, he can immediately reach for the new Forza Horizon or Mario Kart, where he will experience much more fun. I can’t judge how much it will entertain the smallest audience. but it’s certainly nice that parents can sit down with their children for the title and complete the journey to victory together.
#Recenze #LEGO #Drive #Vortex