June 23, 2018

Lego The Incredibles - Review

When it was announced that the Incredibles were getting a new video game, based in Lego, I was both a little excited and disappointed, now having played the game I find myself still in the same vain.

Lego The Incredibles tells the story of both movies and then some, giving you the most complete Incredibles experience around, the problem is, looking past the loose adaptation of both movies, it tells things out of order and it makes no sense. I can understand focusing on the new movie first, as the game released at the same time, but six months later or a year later, the game will be out of order, without focus and it will stand out quite a lot and rather than give you the option to jump into the first movie’s story or not, you can’t do it until you complete the sequels story. But the loose adaptations of the movie’s stories is not all you will get, you can also explore a fully open city, complete with missions, crime waves and of course, Lego collectables.

This is where the story comes together more, villains like Bomb Voyage will roam the city and cause chaos, letting you jump in and save the day, there are even scores of bandits just causing mischief around town. There are also left-over pieces of the Omni-droid from the end of the first movie, just strewn about the place, which again highlights the odd order of the story, but the biggest addition to the game, are the Incredible builds that you can do. Located around the world are giant pads, featuring the Incredible’s logo, when you find them, if you have enough bricks, you can begin a family build, which will use two, three or four members of the Parr family to construct something massive.

In addition to the family builds, there are also a few Pixar builds laying about, but you will only find those, once you clear each district of the crime wave, what makes them special is that when you complete one, a scene from a classic Pixar movie is constructed and then a character from that movie is unlocked. The unlocked characters are fun, being able to swim beneath the waves as Dory or take down enemies with a well-placed arrow as Merida, never gets old, however the customer character is where the real fun lies. A lot of the game requires you to have a character with the right set of powers, in order to access an area, containing a gold brick or one of the building bricks, but with the custom character, almost right from the outset, you can by pass a lot of that, but after you have completed both stories, the number of parts you can select from, means that your character could look and play like a few characters combined.

Jumping into the mission, that take you out of the city, is a mixed bag, there are some that are just mostly running from left to right, bashing people up and then there is that one vehicle part. The problem with the vehicle part is that you have to constantly swap between the bike and the robot that flies with you, if you want to survive, so you either miss items or take a lot of damage. The rest of them, are your basic Lego style mission, move around, bash the world apart, collect studs, build something crazy to progress and then rinse and repeat. The addition of super powers is nothing new, thanks to the DC and Marvel games over the years, but again, that combination of abilities does vary things enough, to stop you from getting frustrated at the thought of replaying an entire level, because you need one specific skill to collect one item.

Sadly, on Switch the performance is where things start to fall apart, the game looks decent, though the draw distance, when in the city is quite horrid, so you get a lot of fog in the distance; seeing as Lego City had no issues with this, I can’t imagine why it was a problem here. The other thing are the load times, when going into missions, they are not too bad, they can max out around 25-30 seconds, which is still high, but when you load into the city, the loading times can reach upwards of 2 minutes, which is crazy. If that was the only performance issue, you might be ok to overlook it, but the game also keeps loading screens on at times, even when a cinematic is playing behind it, meaning you miss out on things, because the game is not sure it’s done loading yet.

Presentation wise, things are ok, the visuals look decent, you can clearly see where things had to be scaled back on switch, the eyes and mouths for one, but the sheer number of jaggies you will see, they are everywhere. What hurts the game the most is the vocal performances and that is a shame, there are characters like Void, Winston and Evelyn Deavor and a few others, that are voiced by their movie counterparts, but Bob and Helen Parr are not. You might think, well that is ok, as other big names may not have returned, but Jason Lee is back as Syndrome, John Goodman is back as Sulley, Owen Wilson is back as Lightning McQueen and even Incredibles director Brad Bird as Edna Mode. So, having a veritable whose who of actors reprising roles but not having the two main members of the Incredibles is just weird, the worst part is, the voices flick between sounding somewhat familiar and nowhere near right.

Lego The Incredibles is a great game, there is tons to do in the city, plenty of characters and bricks to discover and with a second player, fun is sure to be had. However, the games load times and overall performance issues on Switch are nothing short of a pain and the confusing way the story is presented feels wrong, but overlook those issues and you are in for a treat.

Review code supplied by Warner Bros Games

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