I used to be on board with Lego 2K Drive the second I realized we have been getting an open-world Lego racing sport, full with the flexibility to construct your personal autos. And having performed almost 12 hours thus far, I’m nonetheless having loads of enjoyable with the sport. But it surely’s not possible to disregard a nagging feeling that it actually needs me to spend cash in its in-game retailer.
Introduced in March, Lego 2K Drive is the primary sport to come back from a deal struck between 2K and Lego again in 2022. The 2 firms apparently determined to connect their names collectively and add “drive” to the tip to create what is perhaps probably the most boring online game title of 2023. Fortunately, the online game itself is far, far more enjoyable than its drab title, which sounds much less like a wacky open-world racer full of cool power-ups and extra like a nasty sports activities sport that includes a sport I’ve by no means heard of however which is nonetheless well-liked.
Bland identify, however enjoyable Lego racing
Get previous the tasteless identify and Lego 2K Drive comes proper out of the gate firing on all cylinders with an thrilling CG cutscene and a reasonably quick however enjoyable tutorial. It makes an excellent first impression. And the second the sport gave me full management, I used to be in awe of what I noticed. Lego 2K Drive is ready in a brick-built world full of facet missions, mini-games, collectibles, and so, so many Lego autos. It’s very colourful and lovely. And big! The open world of 2K Drive is cut up into a couple of completely different biomes, every with its personal theme, characters, missions, and autos. Enjoying this sport is like attending to play within the basement of the wealthy child you knew in elementary college who had each Lego set. Fortunate bastard. However now I, Zack, have all of the bricks and funky units to play with!
The fundamental setup behind the primary story mode is that an evil racer hates you—for causes the sport jokingly doesn’t elaborate on—and you need to win the large trophy to show your self the higher driver. To get an opportunity at that large win you’ll need to earn a bunch of flags by beating rivals, leveling as much as unlock new races, rank up, and finally acquire entry to the large closing event. There’s not a lot to the precise story, however the writing is just like the latest Lego motion pictures, sometimes making me smile and barely annoying. And I feel youngsters will benefit from the zanier moments.
However to win the large trophy and show your self to your evil rival, you’ll must do greater than race Lego-built automobiles round varied tracks, as piloting boats and mastering off-road autos are in your agenda, too. And just like the automobiles, all of those are brick-built. Nevertheless, you don’t actively select between every sort of auto. As an alternative, as you race round, the sport auto-swaps between both your automotive, boat, or off-road journey of alternative. This streamlines what may have been an annoying a part of 2K Drive, and in addition means which you can discover your complete Lego-filled world of Bricklandia as you please.
Driving actual quick and attain a river? Hold driving and also you’ll simply flip into a ship! Take a pointy flip off a paved street and onto some dunes? Don’t fear, the sport will swap your automotive out for a jeep with out lacking a beat. It takes the open-world driving of Forza Horizon and makes it much more arcadey and thrilling as you possibly can actually go anyplace at any time.
All of the bricks and funky stuff on the planet can’t save a racing sport with dangerous driving physics or poor controls, and fortunately, Lego 2K Drive avoids these pitfalls and is a blast to play. As soon as I mastered the drifting and leaping controls, I used to be masterfully swooping, swinging, and gliding all over the world like a Lego professional. And on Xbox Collection X efficiency was easy as butter, making it straightforward to take pleasure in all of the high-speed motion.
Lego 2K Drive
“Nearly as enjoyable as actual Lego bricks, however at a fraction of the associated fee”
TYPE OF GAME
Open-world racing sport
Colourful worlds to discover, in-depth Lego constructing choices, remodeling autos, good efficiency
In-game retailer, costly microtransactions, lack of mission selection
Round 12 hours of story mode and a few on-line multiplayer
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Collection X/S (Performed), Change, PC
Lego 2K Drive’s disappointing microtransactions
The second bricks begin to fall off this creation is if you begin to dig across the menus, the place you’ll encounter a retailer full with a season move. Whereas the sport does characteristic a tremendous, in-depth, and easy-to-use automobile builder—letting you make almost something you possibly can think about—it additionally options some disappointing microtransactions.
Technically, you possibly can simply drive round, have some enjoyable, unlock some automobiles, construct your personal creations, and by no means actually work together with the in-game retailer. However, when you don’t wish to (or can’t) construct one thing like an ambulance or a large hamburger automotive, the shop gives official Lego builds which you can purchase and use in-game. Nevertheless, all of those automobiles price $10,000 Lego Bux. And after enjoying for 12 hours I’ve solely reached round $8,000.
That is the half the place 2K Video games would, whereas twirling its mustache, seemingly say: Don’t fear, you should purchase some Bux if you wish to. That is true, positive, however it’s so misplaced on this in any other case colourful romp of creativity and wackiness.
And the way in which the financial system is balanced, it actually feels such as you’ll must fork over some money if you wish to purchase a couple of of those pre-made automobiles with out grinding for hours. It’s additionally unhappy that the in-game retailer incorporates Lego half packs on the market. These are cheaper than the automobiles (fortunately) and the builder in-game does include loads of components obtainable totally free (and also you earn extra by finishing missions), however the truth that some bricks and bits are locked behind a paywall—even one which you can bypass through grinding—is irritating.
The opposite large a part of Lego 2K Drive is multiplayer, which I’ve solely barely poked as there weren’t many different gamers on-line whereas I performed the sport earlier than launch. The net races play equally to the single-player races, however with the added wrinkle that your opponents may need spent hours determining construct the best, good race automotive. Or a large dick. Or perhaps they only spent some actual money and acquired a automotive utilizing Bux. Till the sport is out within the wild, will probably be laborious to say how multiplayer will shake out, however I’ve some issues.
It’s actually a disgrace that such a beautiful and enjoyable open-world sandbox is tied to stuff like a season move, premium currencies, and costly in-game purchases. Maybe 2K will tweak some levers to make it simpler to earn and unlock new automobiles—which might be good—however till then the specter of greed will all the time be there, nagging at me as I construct, smash, and race.