LEGO Jurassic Park preview: clever interpretation

At first, the idea of the "all ages" LEGO franchise and the decidedly PG-13 world of Jurassic Park don't sound all that compatible. So what makes the two concepts work? Shacknews got a look at the game to find out.


LEGO Jurassic World. When the game was first announced in late January, there was a small sense of confusion. Oh yeah, the Jurassic Park movies were all "ooh and ahh." That's how they always started, but later there was running and screaming. For a family-friendly idea like LEGO, it was curious to hear that Warner Bros. and TT Games would go with the somewhat-scary film quadrilogy for their next brick-based platformer. Then the answers all became clear at this year's Game Developers Conference.

"Kids want to play as dinosaurs."

It was the simplest explanation, yet the one that made the most sense. Kids love dinosaurs. So that's how LEGO Jurassic World was born. It's a game that will bring together many of the key scenes across all four Jurassic Park films. While any and all content surrounding the upcoming Jurassic World was kept tightly under wraps, Shacknews did have the chance to check out some of the scenes from the first movie to see just how TT Games is reconciling the sometimes-frightening atmosphere for a younger audience.

The first scene re-visited the instance from the first Jurassic Park movie that saw the crew approach a sick triceratops. The LEGO game will see players looking for ingredients to get the dino up and running again. This is where the specific character traits came into play, with LEGO Ellie Sadler displaying the ability to literally jump into dinosaur droppings in search for items. Switching between characters would help move things forward. In this instance, players would switch between Ellie and Jerry, who would use his sharpshooting skills to hit distant targets.

The scene quickly switched to the first appearance of the T-Rex, an iconic moment from Jurassic Park. The LEGO take on this scene started off similar to the movie, with the T-Rex approaching the overturned Jeep and threatening the kids inside. This is where things started to differ a bit to aim more towards a younger audience. Players would direct Grant to find the supplies needed to build a distraction for the menacing dinosaur. After gathering the supplies he needed, Grant built a massive jack-in-the-box that would see a giant squeaky toy pop up. With the T-Rex busy playing with the squeaky toy, that left Grant to pick up Lex and unlock her sonic scream ability.

The final scene re-enacted the suspenseful chase scene from the first movie, with players controlling the Jeep and trying to avoid the T-Rex behind them. The chase unfolds similar to vehicle chases in other LEGO games, with players aiming to keep the T-Rex off their back and gather collectibles on the ground. As the game goes on, players will be able to unlock the chase from other perspectives. They'll be able to unlock a raptor and gallimimus to run with and even unlock the T-Rex itself.

LEGO Jurassic World is looking to pay homage to all four movies, but judging by what I saw, it looks like it'll carry a far lighter tone. Not only are the scarier bits scaled down, but the characters are as funny as any of the previous LEGO characters to grace these games. LEGO Ian Malcolm, specifically, is a hoot, mugging for the camera and embracing the over-the-top nature of the original Jeff Goldblum dialogue. The unlockables also look to be plentiful, with collectible amber pieces allowing players to unlock up to 20 playable dinosaurs. And with this being a LEGO game, the dinosaurs all come with interchangeable parts, meaning players can potentially create Doctor Moreau-style mutant dinos.

LEGO Jurassic World is set to arrive on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Vita, and 3DS this summer.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola