Fans of Lego Worlds will have no doubt played the game already on Steam Early Access, where it has been since June 2015, but for those who aren't aware, Lego Worlds aims to take the Lego style of gameplay and merge it with a sandbox game, with big open worlds and more creative options. After this lengthy period of time in Early Access, the game is finally ready to hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 7, with a Nintendo Switch version coming later, and we took the chance to try the game out on PS4 at a London location this week.
Before we got set free in the colourful Lego world, we got a 20 minute introduction by Chris Rose, Associate Producer at TT Games, and he told us all the ins and outs of the game. He started, however, with a key point he wanted to get across, and that's what Lego Worlds is about. Allegedly players have been asking what the point of Lego Worlds is, presumably because it may seem, to the unacquainted eye, that it's a sandbox game, much like Minecraft. The answer comes in the form of questing: "this is our answer, this is the point of Lego Worlds, the idea that you're on this adventure to become a Master Builder," Rose explained.
The level he showed us was the same as we got to play ourselves. Basically, you start as an astronaut outside of your ship, which promptly gets battered by a series of meteors, leaving you wondering what to do. You then enter a customisation option where you can personalise the appearance of your spaceman (the options are limited at first), before skydiving into the first world: a pirate island.
In this first world your ship is busted and need three golden bricks to operate again, and these are scattered around the small island. Soon after you come to this realisation, another comet drops from the sky, delivering to you a Discovery tool, and this is the most important tool in the game. This allows you to identify items in the world, from badgers to bushes, which then allows you to reproduce them for a one-time fee of studs you collect in the worlds.
As you progress, unlocking more bricks to travel to different locations, more and more tools are revealed to you, all of which are accessed via a radial menu by holding triangle (on PS4). These include the Copy tool; the Paint tool; the Landscape tool; and a few more. When each of these are discovered, a short video tutorial is shown, and then to get gold bricks to advance you'll need to use them to complete tasks, so they're introduced in a gentle, but not too boring way - suitable for all ages.
We got to see a couple of levels after the first one, and these included an island sprinkled with volcanoes, bones, and cavemen and women. There was also a candy-themed island with houses and workmen (for some reason), and a desert island filled with monkeys, so we can presume this level of creativity and randomness will persist into the full game.
We found it pretty simple to grasp what was going on for the first few worlds. You land, need to find a certain amount of bricks to progress, and rinse and repeat, however, past the third world things seemed to get pretty unclear. We got ten gold bricks, but the next world needed 25 to unlock, we then clicked on a button prompt (unlocked by 10 gold bricks) which prompted us to unlock a random world, this being the one populated by monkeys. In this world there didn't seem to be anything of use, however, and we didn't have enough time to figure out where we'd go from there, especially since we'd unlocked all the tools by that point.
Going back to how these tools feel to use, it can be a tad fiddly to operate the radial menu, and a quick swap option might have been a bit more comfortable, but overall it's pretty easy to use. With all tools it's pretty much a case of pointing at what you want to interact with and doing so. Even when you enter construction mode and start fiddling around with altering the environment or building structures, this is easy enough to use as well.