It’s spring break season across the country, but over here, it’s spring brick. *Crickets chirping*. Fuck you, LEGO City Undercover just came out for the Wii U and I couldn’t think of a good transition. Undercover is about an undercover cop chasing down criminals in Lego City, but instead of firefights and interrogations, crimes are solved and stopped in typical LEGO video game fashion: platforming, puzzle solving, and police brutality. Well not so much brutality, but breaking a criminal into pieces is pretty violent when you think about it. But this latest game in the series got me thinking about other LEGO games I’ve enjoyed in the past, going as far back as LEGO Island and LEGO Racers, and as recent as licensed series games like LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Lord of the Rings. And then I really got thinking about some LEGO games that would be cool to play in the future. So let’s brick out our thinking caps! Okay, I’ll stop, I promise.
LEGO Doctor Who
So I’m waaaaay behind on the whole Doctor Who thing, in two different ways. I was first late to the Time Lord party by starting the David Tennant series after the first Matt Smith series was already airing. And now I’m only just finishing the second Matt Smith series, and I think they’re halfway through his third right now. But despite lagging behind, I consider myself a fan, and I think that a LEGO Doctor Who game would be just brilliant. A LEGO Doctor Who game would fit perfectly with the formula for licensed series LEGO games. It’s a fantasy adventure, in which the characters need to use their wits to solve puzzles, and features a great deal of slapstick and silly comedy. A big aspect of LEGO games is the inclusion of a large amount of playable characters, and there are eleven Doctors to choose from, as well as a lot of long-term and short-term companions, and a wide range of villains. The game could recreate important or pivotal episodes, or LEGO could work with the show’s creators to create an entirely new story. And given how far-fetched and outlandish some plot elements can get in Doctor Who, the game would have to get pretty ridiculous to upset the Whovian fanbase. Let’s hope that one day soon we’ll get to play as the man in the big blue brick. And yes, it will be bigger on the inside.
Back in November, some of you may have read Games We Can Only Dream About, a piece I did in relation to the slew of November releases about to come out, about games that I’d love to play in the future. One of those was a LEGO Sports game. You can read the whole thing by clicking through the link above, but to recap, the LEGO Sports game I’d like to experience would emphasize silliness and fun in the typically competitive world of sports. To directly quote the piece, and to summarize what the game would look like, the game would be “a mash-up between the over-the-top gameplay style of games like NBA Street and NFL Blitz, and the silliness and power-ups from the Backyard Sports series from back in the day.” Since that article, I recently discovered that there has been a LEGO sports game in the past. LEGO Soccer Mania, which was released for PC, PS2, and Game Boy Advance in 2002. While the gameplay wasn’t exactly polished, you do have to give them a pass, as this was over a decade ago, but the concept was good. A silly plot that drives your team across the LEGO world, and a wide variety of teams with different themes ranging from pirates to knights to Martians. A new LEGO Sports game would feature more than just the one sport, some sleek new designs for teams and locations, new game modes, and the ridiculous celebrations we saw in Soccer Mania, as well as other over-the-top sports games.
A Legit LEGO RPG (i.e. KOTOR or Fallout)
If there’s one fault with recent LEGO games, it’s their linearity. Most levels involve areas that only give you one place to go. And if there are secret spots that lead to a side area, these aren’t areas that advance the plot at all, or open up new quests. All they feature are collectibles and easter eggs. LEGO has yet to make a successful open world game since LEGO Island, and if a successful open world game is a goal for LEGO, then a full-fledged RPG is the way to go. I’ve been playing a lot of Knights of the Old Republic lately (if that surprises you at all) and as I’ve been playing more and more, it’s given me ideas for how a LEGO RPG can work. LEGO is a creative toy, and how the player plays the game would be left entirely up to them. Apart from building their character, players would build vehicles, weapons, armor, and companions that suit their needs. And as the game progresses, you collect better pieces that give you feats or bonuses to advance your character. The variety in LEGO leaves the door open for a wide range of characters, classes, locations, enemies, and stories. A feature I thought of was that if you owned other recent LEGO games on the same console, and had saved games from those titles, you could import characters and vehicles from that game. A few things that would need to be resolved involve determining the combat style of the game; essentially, will it be an action-RPG or a turn-based one? And, as much as I love RPG’s that require tough decision-making, adding that to the story element is challenging in games that typically feature little dialogue.
Red Brick Redemption (and other third-person shooters)
Now RPG’s aren’t the only way LEGO video games can succeed in the open world. I have yet to see LEGO grow a pair of brick-ticles, and slap a mature rating on a LEGO shooter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of how unbelievably unrealistic the idea of a mature LEGO shooter would be, given LEGO’s obvious target audience. But there’s a good proportion of people who play LEGO games who also enjoy gritty shootin’ games. I’m talking about the demographic that grew up when LEGO’s were already a big, popular thing, and video games were slowly rising in popularity. Specifically, I’m talking about me. I want this game. And I assume many others do too. Imagine the possibilities! Red Brick Redemption! Bricks of War! Star Wars Brick-front! Seeing an enemy fall is one thing, but seeing one break apart into pieces is far more satisfying. Imagine the Bloody Mess perk from Fallout minus the bloody part.
Got LEGO game ideas of your own? Comment below.