LEGO Universe
Developer: NETDEVIL Ltd.
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
Players: MMO RPG
Words By:

Iím going to do this review as a Ďfew days in the life ofí style. As the Lego Universe is so large I couldnít possibly tell you about every aspect of the game!

After setting up your account you get to make your first character. There are lots of faces and hairstyles to choose from. I went for the classic Lego man, with the plain smile and eyes and the slick to the side hair style. Right away you can tell itís got the same atmosphere and style as recent Lego games like Lego Star Wars and Harry Potterówhich is a good thing in my opinion as it has its own kind of charm and is very appealing to a wide range of age groups.

On with the adventure. Youíll be battling the evil Maelstrom forces who are trying to rid the world of imagination! But first youíll have to pass the obligatory tutorial level that starts off most MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games. This one is quite well done and teaches you the basics of collecting building Ďquick buildí models (which turn into jump pads, turrets and other context sensitive things.) Itís also taught me to build things for which Iím going to need Ďimaginationí (small sparkly orbs found by killing enemies or smashing objects in the environment.) At the end of the tutorial section which took about 10 minutes I can build my first creation (well itís a Lego game I wanna be building stuff!) and itís a rocket! The rocket is needed to jump from world to world so itís quite important.

At the beginning youíll only have the basic parts that you collected on a basic fetch quest. So Iíve just launched to the first proper world, Iím in the wild as it were. I spoke to a nearby character who gave me a sword and taught me basic attack controls, simply click on anything I want to hit. Handily a few basic enemies are near by so I attacked them! I also found a guy who gave me a quest to dispatch a number of the Maelstrom forces and to also destroy a few of the bigger enemies and then build turrets out of the pieces of the destroyed enemies. After a little traversal Iíve come across a few more quest givers. One taught me how to buy a shield from a nearby vendor. Also with the shield comes with a handy new ability that creates a shield around me to absorb damage. Iím breaking every environment object I can find to get the goodies inside, oh and Iíve found some bricksóI wonder what I can use these for?

I then traveled through a tunnel and met a member of The Assembly faction who gave me a quest to climb a huge Lego game carved out of rock. When I reach the top it turns out I can build a finishing line and turn that quest into a race which then adds all the best times to a leaderboard, which is kinda cool. A little further on is a small shop area and some more launch pads, Iím keen to explore at this point so I think Iíll get the rocket out of my backpack and pop it onto a launch pad. Oh wow! Itís a property zone, turns out I can get my own space to build whatever I want! So thatís what all those bricks are for! I started to make a house but I havenít got enough bricks. I had to go find more! All I wanted to do was build a house! I found a vendor and purchased a hundred 4 by 2 Lego bricks, a door and a couple windows. It was like being a kid again, building a basic house out of Lego. Unfortunately I found the building mechanics slightly cumbersome but itís certainly a powerful enough tool.

Then I visited a few public spaces. The first one I visited was a huge Japanese-style dojo! Whatís more impressive is that you can make signs and even small quests within your space. I stepped into the dojo and was suddenly attacked by CPU samurai! Very cool. Itís given me inspiration to try and build something more complex than a basic house. But I decided to continue on with the main adventure. Iíve come across a new zone which has a member of each of the 4 factions. I have to choose; The Assembly who focus on building and creativity, Sentinel who are your high tech fighters, Paradox who are all about using the Maelstrom energy against the Maelstrom forces, and lastly we have The Venture League who are about exploration. I went with the Sentinels because I like to get stuck in. I got to choose a specialization, either knight or samurai. I went for samurai and got a cool sword and helmet!

Wherever I go I keep seeing half-buried treasure chests, turns out I can get a pet to dig them out for me. So I headed to Pet Cove and got taught how to tame pets (which are everywhere.) I tamed a dog. I carried on exploring and found a race track. How cool I can build my own car out of model pieces then race against other places! This is where my adventure ends for the time being...

I had a good time with my first few days, constantly learning the mechanics of the game and the various skills, and collecting bricks to use for my own creations. Iíll be jumping back in to see if this basic yet exceedingly well realized MMO can suck me in like other games of the genre have in the past, unlike so many other MMOs it certainly makes a good first impression. That said I can see kids having a great time with this and adults will enjoy reliving childhood memories. The Ďone month freeí subscription is very handy if youíre keen to check the game out. You never know, you might get hooked just by the building aspect or you may find the exploration worth your time, thereís a lot to see and do.

Best Bits

- Very simple, teaching you new things all the time.
- Building your own creations out of EVERY type of Lego brick.
Worst Bits

- Too simple maybe?
- Building can be fiddly.

by: SteMacD

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