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E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)

E3 2015: LEGO Dimensions – Toys To Life Redefined

by William Schwartz

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LEGO Dimensions has had many fans excited since their announcement of including different LEGO universes and IP’s that are all either affiliated with either Warner Bros or LEGO in some way. It’s great that you can allow LEGO Batman, to fight alongside LEGO Chell from Portal. I have been curious since the very beginning how it would all work. After seeing it in action and touching it with my own hands, I’m rather excited as well as shocked at how LEGO Dimensions has managed to redefine the toys to life genre.

LEGO Dimensions has stiff competition this year, as a new IP to launch alongside the powerful and long trusted name of Skylanders and the equally menacing Disney Infinity. I am willing to go out on a short limb and say that Dimensions will be able to find a foothold, as their unique take is what sets them apart. Instead of having to buy individual figures which are limited by either game version or playset, Dimensions really throws all limitations out the window. Sure the starter pack comes with Batman, Wildstyle, Gandalf and a Batmobile, but if you want to beat the main game with Marty McFly, Homer Simpson, Wonder Woman and The Mystery Machine you could. The ‘no strings attached’ approach really makes you want to own the other packs, be it level, team or fun packs. Just so you could get a new experience by playing through the story with the new characters or vehicles.

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The Gateway, which acts as the ‘portal’ for all the characters in the game to travel to the different worlds, like everything else requires the player to build it. Once it is put together you can place six characters or vehicles on two separate areas, as well as another on the main platform below the gateway for a total of seven figures. You can switch them manually by moving them to the center or switch through them via holding a button and choosing one or by flipping through them like other Lego titles. There are many ways to go about choosing the right character for every scenario.

Not only does The Gateway act as means for transportation for your favorite Lego characters into the game, but it is also utilized as a means to solve puzzles. For instance, we went through a Portal themed level where a character who was in the Gateway’s green lit area, but then was frozen and in order to unfreeze them we had to move them from the green to the red, or anywhere else on the Gateway that wasn’t that color. It was a pretty cool mechanic and just one example of many that will have families interacting with their figures more than any other toys to life title.

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Vehicles are interesting in LEGO Dimensions in that what you see is not always what you get. Each vehicle has more than one variation. In the demo we were shown, the Batmobile comes with schematics to build and snap onto a LEGO Dimensions sensor plate, which is on the bottom of every figure or vehicle. These sensor plates are rewriteable so if you lose one, you can switch them out or in this case, it can read which vehicle you built. Through progression of the game, you unlock a second variant of the Batmobile via schematics. It will require the player to take the piece, break it down and rebuild it to create a brand new Batman themed vehicle. It really engages the player, not only on screen but in the real world as well which I felt was kind of neat.

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LEGO Dimensions has a lot of potential and with new packs releasing in waves I don’t think fans will have enough money to keep up with what could be the next big craze in the toys to life market. Families will enjoy the amount of interaction the game will have, and collector’s will enjoy the ability to take them off the sensor pad and display them. LEGO Dimensions might just have something for everyone when it releases on September 27th.

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