For years, the LEGO Group has been working together with publishers like WB Games, Disney, and Thunderful Publishing to release dozens of games focused on the worldwide toy phenomenon. On Thursday, LEGO announced a new partnership with publisher 2K Games, one that will span multiple titles. The first of these is a new open-world driving adventure game called LEGO 2K Drive, developed by the team at Visual Concepts. To learn more about it, Shacknews got behind the wheel and gave it a test drive.
LEGO 2K Drive puts players in the colorful world of Bricklandia. The idea is to explore the world and challenge racers from across the land. After proving themselves against the world's best drivers, players can prepare for one final series of races with the Sky Cup Trophy at stake.
One interesting aspect of LEGO 2K Drive is that it's possible to drive on just about any surface and the player's vehicle will instantly transform to accommodate the conditions. There's the standard vehicle for the world's many open roads, an off-road vehicle for when drivers go off the beaten path, and a hovercraft for motoring across water.
Vehicles can be upgraded over the course of the game, but players will also find an ample amount of cosmetics. In fact, customization is a key component of the LEGO 2K Drive experience. There's an entire mode dedicated to building custom vehicles. Here, players can improvise and put something together or they can base their build on preset instructions. Throughout the adventure, players can pick up new vehicles by defeating rival racers. Those can also be customized to suit the player's taste.
As an open-world adventure, players will find plenty of activities to engage with. As part of the main story, the object is to challenge rivals across each biome. After defeating them in a series of races, they'll win vehicles and get one step closer to challenging for the Sky Cup Trophy. However, some rivals will require racers to level up first. Fortunately, there are some fun activities to find across every biome, whether it be an impromptu time trial or a side quest that requires running over an army of invading robots. Once those are done, it's possible to drive up to a fresh biome to find new activities and fresh collectibles, though fast travel options open up over time.
While there's fun to be had solo, LEGO 2K Drive is also hopeful that friends will come along for the ride. The game will feature two-player local split-screen play or online co-op for up to six players. While playing co-op, initiating an activity will start it up for all players. Of course, if players want to go straight to the racing without the open world element, a dedicated racing mode is available from the main menu.
Speaking of racing, LEGO 2K Drive features some intense action. Power-ups are scattered across every track and include homing missiles, spider webs to slow opposing racers down, or rockets to help offer an extra speed boost. Each vehicle has a dedicated boost meter to give them a push. Players are then pushed to drive accurately, as towing the border between the track and the off-road terrain can quickly replenish that boost meter. Tracks vary in length and verticality, as some courses will take players across the skies and into nearby riverbeds.
As is always the case with a LEGO title, look for the franchise's signature humor style to be prevalent throughout. Those looking for a family-friendly open-world adventure will likely find what they're looking for with LEGO 2K Drive. While there will be a full game shipped at launch, 2K Games hopes to support the game well beyond its release date, promising a Year 1 Drive Pass filled with content that includes a new biome and customization pieces.
LEGO 2K Drive is coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch on Friday, May 19 for $59.99 USD, though PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will sell for $10 more. Those who pick up the Awesome and Awesome Rivals Editions will not only receive the Year 1 Drive Pass, but they'll also be able to start the game three days early and hit the road on May 16.
This preview is based on a Steam code provided at an off-site event held by 2K Games. Travel and lodging was provided by 2K Games.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, LEGO 2K Drive hits the open road and the open world in May