The Incredibles was released 14 years ago, back in 2004, and it’s back on July 13th (for us in the UK) – so you know what that means… Time for the customary LEGO re-creation of the film for all the family to enjoy! However, we aren’t only given the story of the new sequel to play through, Traveller’s Tales have also included a LEGO-isation of the original 2004 film as well within LEGO The Incredibles. The only problem is that the overall game feels unfinished, unpolished, uninteresting, and rushed to completion to meet the deadline of the release date of the movie both stateside and here in the UK. It’s not a terrible game, it’s just not on ‘Parr’ with some of the other latest LEGO Games Traveller’s Tales have put out recently.
LEGO The Incredibles begins with the new movie, you are dropped right into the action as you begin to play out, what I presume, is the plot of the new movie (I haven’t seen it yet as the movie isn’t out over here). Obviously, I don’t want to go into the plot with too much detail as it will clearly ruin and spoil both the film and the game for you. Basically, all you need to know is that it’s your standard LEGO game, you have over 100 characters to find and unlock, many studs to collect, secret mini-kits to find and gold bricks to uncover throughout the games 12 levels.
That’s right, Lego The Incredibles only has 12 levels, and that’s including both the original movie and the sequel. Speaking of the original movie, Traveller’s Tales have rather annoyingly decided to put the original movie as the latter six chapters and the sequel as the first six chapters. That means you must play through the sequel and then you get the chance to play through the original movie. In some instances, I wouldn’t mind, but the sequel picks up right where the original left off – so why have they gone with this choice? I can only imagine it’s because the game was originally the second film only but they realised it was too short and decided to tack on the original movie at the end?
Also, the latter six levels, the original movie, are actually a lot more fun and interesting than the ones based on the new movie. The downside to this is because it’s only six 30-40 min long chapters, the story is over within around 3 hours per movie. I believe this is one of the shortest LEGO story-modes I’ve played since Jurassic World with games like LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 lasting around 12 hours per story. I digress, overall Lego The Incredibles is based on both movies in a compressed format with the meat of the game coming from its overworld gameplay, which I’ll come to later. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the game closer…
LEGO of the controller!
Everyone knows what a LEGO game is like – smash everything in sight and pick up the sparkly studs and LEGO bricks. LEGO The Incredibles doesn’t stray from this formula at all. In fact, there isn’t really many new mechanics within Lego The Incredibles which we haven’t seen before. One thing I will praise the game for though, which is something I haven’t seen before but it wasn’t kinda in the LEGO Ninjago game, is the selection of the characters you need. If you approach something like a computer terminal, in freeplay, and your character can’t perform the action (the shrugging shoulder moment), then if you hold down Triangle the character selection screen will appear but with everyone blacked out other than those with the skill you need. The cursor is also already on one of these characters, so a quick hold of Triangle then tap of Cross and you will instantly have the right person for the job.
I know that may seem like such a small thing, but it’s a massive step for LEGO games in my opinion as I always hated it when you had to either remember exactly who does what or do a trial and error approach finding the right character to bypass a certain problem. You can also open up the character selection screen and press Triangle or Square to scroll through the different abilities and watch the characters highlight as you go through each one. This is the one thing I would take from Lego The Incredibles and request it appears in every single LEGO game going forward.
Other than that, everything else is the same as in LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 – other than the driving. The driving is so bad within LEGO The Incredibles. Okay, so some cars drive okay and feel heavy, but most of the vehicles are so light and swerve all over the place which makes them unusable and I always just resorted to using Dash and running around the place as he was faster and easier to control (even though he is also a pain). Seriously though, I don’t know what they did to the driving within the game, but they seriously screwed it up as opposed to the above two games.
Okay, so for the most part, the levels are contained in their own little bubble. What I mean by that is that you encounter a mission marker on the map, you enter it, you play through the assigned story missions, and then you return back to the overworld map. A lot of the action and gameplay takes place in an instance which you can’t get too via the overworld map. This, again, is unlike LEGO Ninjago where a lot of the story missions actually took place on the overworld which you could return too outside of replaying the missions. That being said, the story missions themselves are pretty fun, with decent set designs, some clever puzzles, and tonnes of bricks to smash and collect. As stated above though, each story mission will last about 30-40 minutes on your first play and about the same on your second play once you have all the characters to unlock all the paths to find the missing mini-kits.
The overworld is the main part of Lego The Incredibles though, with its own ‘mini-game’ and plenty to see and do. In comparison, I spent about 6-7 hours playing through the story and about 17-20 hours on the overworld doing all the various tasks and finding all the items. The missions in the overworld aren’t that unique as they usually fell within the “find X for this character” or “beat up X amount of Y goons who are annoying this character”. However, these side-missions are used within the ‘Crime Wave’ mini-game only. Basically, each of the 12 districts has a crime boss which you must take down one after another. When a district is flashing red, you must enter the region, complete the various side-missions and then have a boss battle with the crime lord. Upon completion, the criminal is sent to jail, all the special brick and event locations for that location appear on your map, and the next district comes under attack.
Once you’ve put everyone behind bars, you can freely go to the jail and release as many of them as you want so that the assigned district comes under attack once more. I’m not sure why you would do that outside of obtaining one of the trophies, but if you feel you want to take them all on once again, you can do. However, with them all locked up, it doesn’t mean the streets won’t contain enemies, because they will – just not as many. Back to the overworld, you have events such as races, hidden gold bricks, hidden building bricks (which I’ll come to in a minute), and at least one hidden requirement per map segment – which isn’t on the map and is really annoying. Okay, so about the last point – when you defect the crime lord all events minus one appears on the map. This hidden event isn’t hard to find but it’s annoying to complete. One such event is to smash all propaganda posters, another is to destroy 12 underwater statues etc… none of which are on the map. Unless you have the red brick which makes them visible (which was the last brick I got as I had no idea it was a thing!
What (LEGO) Bricks are there?
So, as I mentioned above, you don’t just have your standard bricks this time around. You have gold bricks, red bricks, mini-kits, character blind bags, and building bricks. these are:
Gold Bricks: You obtain this like you would in previous games. You get one for completing story missions, getting over a certain amount of studs in a story mission, and finding all the mini-kits withing a story mission. You also have a few scattered around the world which you must either help people out or solve mini-puzzles to achieve. Unlike previous games, these are pretty useless as far as I can see as they aren’t used as currency to unlock or build anything.
Red Bricks: Just like in previous games, these unlock ‘cheats’ such as 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x stud multiplications, invincibility, and others. Although in LEGO The Incredibles, once you find the brick you can select it, you don’t have to pay to unlock the option after you find the brick, like in previous games
Mini-kits: These are found within the story missions only, as usual. There are 10 per mission and upon collecting them all, you get a gold brick and also access to a new vehicle in the overworld.
Character Blind Bags: I have no idea what the criteria for obtaining these are, I just know I had a whole bunch by the end of the game and it took about 30 mins to open them all. I know you get certain characters by finishing story missions, and some for helping people out in the overworld though. Basically, in previous games, you would ‘unlock’ characters and then pay to fully unlock them on the character select screen or via another menu. This time you are given a 50k/100k/150k stud blind bags and you don’t know who you have got until you open it – just like blind bags in real life. It’s a fun idea but not if you’re looking for a certain character or if you have a bunch of them, as each one took about 15-20 seconds to open.
Building Bricks: I stated above that the Gold Bricks are useless as they have no purpose, that’s because their use has been replaced by these Building Bricks. You find these on the overworld and within story missions with the sole purpose of being used to build various structures using a building mini-game. These are plentiful outside of missions, with me hoarding a huge amount and only using a small portion of them, but within a story mission, you will only find the required amount to trigger the required build mini-game…
So, what characters can you expect to find within LEGO The Incredibles? The film itself isn’t well known for its vast array of characters, unlike the Marvel universe or bigger franchises like Harry Potter and Batman. Because of this, you see a lot of slots taken by the same person in different clothes – which I’m actually a big fan of. There was nothing more annoying in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 game where you had to wait for the costume you wanted to flash up before you selected the character. Having them all separated makes it so much easier. However, this does show off how small the selection is, sure it’s over 100 characters, but a lot of them are your generic enemies and random one-hit-wonder superheroes from the films.
That is until you begin to use your Building Blocks. Remeber how I mentioned you have a building mini-game? Well, it consists of you bashing the Circle button as you alternate between Parr family members as they build a structure. This is one of the best things in Lego The Incredibles! No joke. As this is a Pixar based film/game, the structures you build are based upon previous movies such as UP, Wall-e, Finding Dora, Cars, etc… this means, you guessed it, you actually unlock playable characters such as Russel, Wall-e, Dora, Lightning McQueen, etc… Wall-e was the final one I unlocked and I love it, he is a lot bigger than he was in the movies, but his cube-like body fits the game perfectly. Oh, you can even unlock Junior (the Pixar Mascot) with one of the builds as well!
Okay, I can’t give this a fair review without talking about the things which I found rather unacceptable within the game, something which hasn’t been this apparent on any game this gen more than this – the pop-in. Now, if it was the odd item or person in the background then fair enough, I’m not a graphic-nazi and I don’t bash games for looking a little ‘dated’ if the gameplay is there, but this game’s pop-in, even on the PS4 Pro, is horrendous. It’s like the game is dealing with a thick fog, yet the fog is invisible. As you’re driving around the overworld, you’ll very occasionally see lamp posts, cars, people, studs, shadows, and even quest markers pop-in at around about 10-15 in-game feet in front of your character. For a LEGO game, that’s really unacceptable. Are you flying around looking for the ‘hidden’ quests in each district? Make sure you fly close to the ground as you won’t see anything if you are too high up. This was the first thing I noticed and it stuck with me throughout. This needs to be fixed – none of the other LEGO games recently have suffered from this issue.
That being said, the graphics are nothing special – it’s you basic LEGO game with the standard LEGO aesthetic. Although, Lego The Incredibles has opted for its realistic building and environments with the only things made out of LEGO being a few structures, the destructible objects, characters, and vehicles. This is what it used to be but every now and again we get a game made almost 100% out of LEGO – those are always the best games in my opinion. If you’ve not played a LEGO game before, the graphics are nice, they are well presented and everything (apart from some characters) looks just like they do in the films. I just have the few issues I stated above.
Soundwise I can’t fault Lego The Incredibles – especially if you like The Incredibles theme song – particularly the first few bars, as you will hear it an awful lot as you play through the missions. Outside of the soundtrack, all the characters are well voiced (with the majority being the original actors, with a few new people in place of actors they couldn’t get to voice the game) and I love the noises both Wall-e and Junior have.
10 minutes gameplay from a level based on the original movie:
LEGO The Incredibles is a fun family-friendly new addition to the ever-growing LEGO franchise. The game doesn’t really bring many new features and mechanics to the table, but it does expand on some which were present in previous games. The game is a lot shorter than recent titles, clocking in at around 6-7 hours for the main story, but once you add in all of the overworld activities and collectables, you easily hit around 30-40 hours worth of gameplay. I particularly love how they have built in a way to easily see which character have the ability you are looking for, a much-needed addition to the LEGO games. Unfortunately, the game is plagued with pop-in, a not very exciting rendition of both movies (played in reverse order for some reason), and probably the worst flying/swimming/driving mechanics to date in a LEGO game.
That being said, if you like the LEGO genre then you will love Lego The Incredibles as it’s more of the same. Similarly, if you like the movies, as I feel it’s very faithful to both movies – I’m just not a massive fan of the original film. The whole game has it’s customary local co-op but there are no multiplayer games this time around but you can play all of the missions and the overworld with two people locally. It’s not a bad game as such, it’s just a bit frustrating in parts, a bit boring in others, and overall feels like a rushed-to-meet-the-release-of-the-movie job if I’m being honest.
LEGO The Incredibles£49.99
- The new 'Crime Wave' events in the overworld are fun and original
- The addition of other Pixar movie characters like Wall-e are great to play as
- The Voice acting, music and sound-effects are spot on
- The new ability to see exactly who can do the task you want to do is the best upgrade I've seen in a LEGO game in years
- Two movies (although short and in the wrong order) in one package = lots of fun
- The pop-in whilst driving or running around the map is terrible
- The stories aren't very interesting and are over before you know it due to only having six chapters each
- The driving, flying, and swimming mechanics really need updating as the driving is terrible and flying/swimming really needs a refresh as it's been bad for years
- Some of the side-missions are repetetive and the puzzles aren't too challenging
- One of the shortest, and by far the easiest (due to almost everything being given to you for free and all bricks appearing on the map) LEGO games in a while.