The decades-long wait for a proper LEGO racing game is over, but you may have to wait a little longer for one that lives up to the high expectations that LEGO 2K drive created with its surprise announcement back in March.
There’s a lot to love LEGO 2K drive. It has an incredible wealth of potential from its impressive car creation package; offers a unique yet balanced mix of racing and platforming; the racing experience is solid; its visuals are smooth, colorful and joyful; as promised, there is no shortage of things to do.
However, LEGO 2K drive it can also be a bland, repetitive escapade – one that doesn’t quite deliver the surprises, silliness and satisfaction that the LEGO license usually has in abundance.
A strong start
From the moment you install it, LEGO 2K drive it seems to have all the hallmarks of a good game. Given its promises, the first shock is how small it is –LEGO 2K drive it comes in at just 9.3GB on the Xbox Series X.
Within minutes of booting up, the LEGO textbook self-aware humor is there in all its glory. LEGO 2K drive immediately establishes its “story”: you’re a rookie, taken under the wing of enigmatic ex-star Clutch Racington and STUD (your super-awesome drone), with the goal of defeating rivals in races across four countries before facing the cartoonish evil Shadow Z , who openly hates you for no reason other than the fact that you exist.
It’s a nice balance of world building and simplicity that clearly targets different age groups that may not be interested in anything but action. Early tutorials showcase the game’s intriguing and unique mix of abilities – you can drift, jump, spin, power up and transform into different vehicles to tackle asphalt, off-road and water. If you take damage, bricks fall from your ride. So far so good. At least that is until you get to the meat LEGO 2K drivebones.
Preparation for the races
LEGO 2K driveThe developers focused on making each race as competitive and close as possible. That’s both admirable and understandable, given the broad target audience, but this push for thrills puts the driving experience at the mercy of luck rather than skill. While any racing fan will struggle to finish outside the top three (I’ve yet to cross the line below second place), a typical pattern emerges after just two or three races.
From the start – even if you boost off-line using timing directly from Mario Kart 8– your rival will always gain a huge, incredible advantage over the rest of the field. Chances are you won’t get within striking distance of them until at least halfway through the contest.
Even as you progress, LEGO 2K drive has widespread rubber bands. Every time you gain significant distance from the other drivers – and even if you’re boosting all the time – you can see other racers make incredible gains on you via the minimap.
You’d think combat would be a good way to gain ground, but while guns are fun, destroying (“bricking”) enemies has no tangible effect on their performance – they respawn within seconds and, more often than not, retake the lead. I have destroyed the same driver three times in one lap and they will still be ahead on the line.
Shortcuts are usually a short-term solution; even big leads at the end of a race can be reduced to milliseconds in a matter of moments. Granted, it works both ways. If you make yourself a real clown in the corner – which is quite easy to do, given that drift can be limited in tight corners and the ability to turn quickly is ridiculously sharp, with no middle ground between the two – the opposition is kind enough to wait for you .
While your choice of car can complement your personal driving style, it doesn’t have a significant advantage over other racers. Instead, these bonuses seem to be limited to helping you succeed in the many, many challenges on the world map.
between races, LEGO 2K drive presents an open world for you to explore at your leisure. It’s great fun at first. Your car automatically transforms and adapts to the surface, and it’s a platformer at heart – nailing jumping over hills and between obstacles is intuitive, and the feeling is fantastic when you manage to grab a hard-to-reach item or save a huge detour by leaping over a cliff face.
Coming soon, it brings you an incredible number of story missions, quests, challenges and collectibles. From those first moments on your first map, Turbo Acres goes out of its way to encourage you to try your luck at everything you encounter. For the most part, the challenges are fun, ranging from the standard point-to-point races and searches to silly pranks (hitting a wall in less than three seconds) and stipulation-based challenges (don’t touch the water; don’t crash through the fences).
However, to get a gold medal, they can often be more brutal than they deserve, especially for casual or younger audiences. Completists will be challenged if they want that glorious 100% – something that, with other LEGO games, is more a reward for time and patience than luck or frustration.
LEGO 2K driveChallenges also come so thick and fast that they shower you, to the point where you might as well avoid them until you need them to move on. If you choose to stick with the core story, you’ll most likely have to complete them on your way to unlocking the third tranche of races – the first point in the game where progression isn’t just through racing, and you’ll be forced to grind your way to level 20.
Even when you get to this point, certain races remain locked behind story quests. This is fun to start with, but it follows the same patterns – destroy robots or save civilians, in the same way, but in a different location. Repetition can be funny if there’s a rhyme and reason, but these moments end up feeling like unnecessary filler, especially considering how LEGO 2K drive he sneers at his own storytelling and the fact that these missions are only fleeting.
However, there is one saving grace. In addition to these countless tasks and challenges are garages where you can be as creative as you want.
Although they are still limited by the odd selection of console inputs, LEGO 2K driveThe car building mechanics are much more intuitive than the interface lego stories. The only thing that limits you is your imagination.
Like many, I am one of those people who have been following LEGO instructions for years. As a result, my debut car, “The Abhorrence”, was a simple, trash-looking affair. However, all the tools were there to convert it from a suitcase on wheels to a suitcase on wheels with fancy fins and transparent glow-in-the-dark bats.
However, anyone with experience in the LEGO Speed Champions line will find the opportunity to create a half-decent look at the Porsche 911, Koenigsegg Jesko, Ferrari F50 or Audi Quattro S1. Special items can be unlocked to give your car abilities, while in-game Brickbux can be spent on a racing profile to add to your car.
Undoubtedly, some amazing creations will emerge LEGO 2K drive, though there doesn’t appear to be any way to share them – and it’s no surprise, given how the game is also supported by a surprisingly expensive cash and coin microtransaction system. I earned the best part of $7,000 by the third medal, but the cars that can be bought are $10,000 each, while the drivers are $4,000 as standard.
Speaking of which, the most confusing decision in the LEGO 2K drive is the inability to customize your driver after simply selecting a pre-build from a very limited list of uninspiring figures. You can’t even replace their clothes with palettes; it’s a real missed opportunity, but the cynics among us may see it as another opportunity to sell new drivers through Unkie’s Emporium.
Plenty to build on
Those whose itches scratch thoroughly LEGO 2K driveThe plethora of content will have more than enough to keep them entertained. The challenges are, well, challenging; collectibles are everywhere and harder to find; racing certainly has its problems, but it’s never short of excitement.
LEGO 2K drive is the kind of game you’ll enjoy, but maybe not one you’ll long to pick up when you don’t have a controller in your hands. There’s a lot to love, and it looks set to be one of the most family-friendly games of 2023, but it’s not often that a game with so much going for it feels a little empty.
A season pass is being prepared LEGO 2K drivefoundations can be built and refined – and its creators are certainly committed to adding and improving it in the coming months– but right now it’s missing those all-important LEGO characters. You can’t fault the passion that clearly went into it, but it needs to evolve to reach the heights that many players expect from him.
Forbes – Innovation