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PC Game Review

LEGO Universe


Format: PC
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
5 702014 728998
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 22 October 2010

Many moons ago a team of minifigures completed their quest to find the essence of imagination, which allowed them to create anything. However, one of their party had evil in his heart and he created a giant mechanical spider, who attacked the party, its eventual defeat corrupted the essence and created the Maelstrom and the destruction of the essence created new world. The survivors created the Nexus Force, but as they could not agree how this should be best accomplished the Nexus split into three factions which from their base strove to push back the darkness...

LEGO Universe is a new massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) developed by NetDevil, building on the success of the various stand alone LEGO games.

Okay, I’ve played and reviewed a lot of MMOG games. Most, their theme excluded, are very much of a muchness. Few live up to stand alone games, probably because it’s difficult to get both the game and the level of graphics required, even through a broadband connection. So what makes LEGO Universe any different from its competition? For a start it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play, not something that can be said of many of the MMOG’s, without losing a great deal of the visual style from the previous games.

You get to play a raw recruit in the fight against the Maelstrom and the creatures it creates. In tune with other games you get some option in designing your character, but these are relatively restricted at this point. One of the things I did like was that you get to choose your name from a collection of available option, this has the twin benefits of circumventing the usual time taken to type in a name only to find that its already been taken, it also keeps the names child friendly as the game is suitable for those seven and above.

The first world you visit is The Venture Explorer, which is in the process of crashing; your escape acts as a tutorial for the game's controls. Having built your rocket, you land in Avant Gardens, which is the first place you get to fight. This world allows you to equip your character before you move into the game proper. The game does contain violence, but as this is represented by LEGO creatures, which never stay dead, it is doubtful whether anyone is going to be offended, especially if they have played the previous games.

In the main game you get to join one of the faction’s before you go to explore worlds inhabited by pirates, ninja’s and pets for you to train. More worlds are promised, with even a hint that those contained in previous games may eventually appear.

The game is easy to control. One of the things which will impress, apart from the graphics, is the score which is expansive making the experience all the more pleasurable. As well as exploring and getting pets the game also allows you to build your own racing car which you can then take for a spin. There is the usual in-game option to talk to other players, who all seemed very open and friendly; these will be useful for later in the game where players have to cooperate to complete some tasks, these contacts are also useful for trading.

To get you going the first month of play is free, which is more than fair, though I suspect that if you play it for this period you’ll be getting your credit card out for a monthly subscription, I can see the game becoming the next big thing in MMOG’s especially if they can incorporate games such as Harry Potter and Batman.


Charles Packer

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