We know that TT Games has a knack for delivering quality Lego versions of popular franchises. Just look at not only the vast array of Lego Dimensions kits available but the huge list of movie tie-ins as well. And now, for the first time, the studio is delving into the huge back-catalogue of work from Disney Pixar Studios, famous for many movies including Toy Story, Finding Nemo and, of course, The Incredibles…
To coincide with the release of Incredibles 2 at cinemas in the UK on July 13, Lego The Incredibles will come out on the same day so as not to spoil any of the film’s story. That said, the movie and game have already been released in the US as of June 18, hence why we’ve been able to play it for review ahead of its planned UK release.
As you can probably guess, the game follows the story of the movie, introducing us to a large cast of superheroes and villains, all taken from the new film. Each chapter takes different events from the storyline (no spoilers here) and lays them out in the all-too-familiar world of Lego bricks. Unlike the larger Lego games such as the Marvel Super Heroes and Star Wars series, Lego The Incredibles follows the newer path set out by Lego Ninjago The Movie Video Game, with two smaller hub worlds linked together and a much shorter narrative.
The story mode is initially quite small, taking only a few hours to complete the six or so chapters, each with its own boss battle to contend with, but thankfully not only are there the hub worlds to play in, which are littered with mini objectives to complete, but there’s also a secondary story to play through. Yep, that’s right, after completing the story of the second film you can play that of the first! Continuity aside, we actually prefer the storyline that was served up second, partly because it’s a classic that we’ve seen many times, but because it also felt an altogether tighter part of the game.
Not only is the hub world setup borrowed, but the combat is also derived from last year’s Ninjago game. Each character has, along with their individual abilities, a set of combo moves and a special combat super that can be charged. This is done by landing consecutive hits and is then released during some button-bashing mayhem – very handy for taking out waves of goons and collecting the Lego currency of choice, studs!
On top of the new combat mechanics there’s also a new build feature, aptly named the Incredibuild. This new system is implemented in the boss battles at the end of chapters and consists of locating Incredibricks around the area, usually by using certain abilities to uncover them. Once the required amount has been found you can activate the large Incredibles Pad in the centre of the room. Each available character then enters a QTE where they are required to button bash to increase their build bar. You can independently switch between them and the build then takes place once all bars are active. Take too long though and the bars will start decreasing, requiring you to keep switching between characters to fully fill them all.
Throughout the levels and hub worlds, there are lots of mystery bags to collect, very much like the ones introduced in Lego Ninjago. These ones, however, come in new rarities and each one gifts you a new playable character. With 113 available to unlock it was a worry that the roster would be filled with goons and bit-part heroes, but thankfully TT Games has bolstered the line-up with a whole host of well-known Pixar characters. Dory, Merida, Flick and even Lightning McQueen are all here to liven up Free Play and the hub worlds.
In addition to the new mystery bags are the new crime waves. Each of the cities is broken up into districts in which crimes are taking place. Players have to stop them by completing mini-missions to unlock their secrets (such as Incredibuilds, Redbricks and new characters).
The Incredible family is, of course, your primary collection of playable characters and each has their own set of abilities that mirror those from the movies. Mr Incredible is gifted with strength, Dash with speed, and Violet with a force field and power blasts, but it’s Elastigirl, Frozone and Baby Jack-Jack who steal the show. Elastigirl’s rubber body is very similar to that of Mr Fantastic from Lego Marvel Super Heroes and her moves come in quite handy as you traverse the levels, especially when using her stretchy body to bridge gaps, make ladders, and reach through small grates to activate switches. Frozone, who also has some of the funniest lines in the game, is a delight to play with as well. His ability lets him shoot huge ice blasts and he can surf across the levels on a wave of ice, giving him an impressive presence on screen. Lastly, there is baby Jack-Jack, who is loaded with just about every ability; he can shoot laser beams, teleport, burst into flames, turn into a monster, and he can multiply. Along with his mother he’s one of the most versatile characters in the game.
Graphically it looks and feels as good as any of the previous Lego games, but there’s no real upgrade in the visuals department. The music though is excellent, obviously borrowed from the movies with its classic jazz vibe playing throughout, making it feel exactly like the superhero movie game it should be. The voice acting, however, is one area that we found to be a little off, and while some parts seem to have been lifted straight from the films there are certain extra sections of dialogue that sound like they’ve been recorded by different actors, making them sound a little strange. Then again, this doesn’t distract from the witty writing and excellent story.
While this latest Lego game may not be as appealing to fans of the Marvel and DC Lego series, this is a hugely fun game with plenty to do outside of the short story mode. The inclusion of the extra Disney Pixar characters was a welcome addition and helped add to the fun. The refined format shows that TT is willing to experiment and change things to keep its new games from going stale, and Lego The Incredibles is another decent entry in the studio’s growing catalogue of block-filled adventures.