It feels like we get a new LEGO game from Traveller’s Tales and Warner Brothers almost every month. This year saw the release of LEGO World on Nintendo Switch and LEGO City Undercover on multiple platforms. This month, The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game has released for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC and unlike LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens, this movie tie in game is actually good.
Both TT and Warner Brothers are no strangers to LEGO games based on movies. Out of the recent ones, The LEGO Movie Video Game is easily my favourite just because I love the movie itself so the game is a nice complement to it. With the LEGO Ninjago Movie, I wasn’t actually familiar with the IP outside of a few of the LEGO sets themselves. Thankfully the game has done a great job of being entertaining even with almost no knowledge of the source material. There are quite a few cutscenes from the movie in between gameplay as well. As with the other games, there’s a lot of well written dialogue and a generous serving of humour throughout. I quite enjoyed the story with Lloyd, his ninja companions, and master as they try and take on Garmadon.
Gameplay is basically as it has been for a while. You play in third person and can switch characters as you take on Garmadon’s minions. There’s one nice difference here though. The combat has been improved and feels fantastic. There’s also an RPG-lite upgrade system adding a bit more depth while still making it accessible for the target audience. There’s a lot of parkour, puzzles involving breaking the various objects in the environment, and then building things.
The core LEGO game loop is still here but it feels nicely enhanced thanks to the combat and upgrades. A lot of the enemy types even require use of certain moves which is welcome addition. There are even Challenge Dojos to test your combat skills as an addition if you fancy spending more time here. The set piece like segments where you fly on the back of a dragon are a great addition. There’s even a 2 player coop mode if you’d like to play this with a friend.
Visually, this is no doubt the best looking LEGO game. It feels like one built for the current gen and not one that just runs and plays a bit better than previous consoles. Environments look excellent and all the cutscenes and character interactions look fantastic. I played this on a standard PS4 so cannot comment on the PS4 Pro support it has. There weren’t any major performance hiccups either outside of the long load times when you just load a file.
On the audio side of things, there’s a lot to like. Voice acting is very well done and music complements the great sound effects design very well. It is good to see Traveller’s Tales go the extra mile with production on this release.
If you are a fan of LEGO Ninjago, this will be a great experience. If you just enjoy the LEGO games, I’d suggest picking up LEGO City Undercover first but aside from that, The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is a fun experience that is only hindered by an initial load time.