Yesterday witnessed two events in LEGO video games. We first say farewell to Legends of Chima Online, which closed down yesterday, making it the second LEGO MMO to shut down.
Also yesterday, appearing out of the brick-built blue sky, was a new LEGO video game: LEGO® Worlds.
EXPLORE. DISCOVER. CREATE.
In a galaxy of procedural worlds made entirely from LEGO bricks, will you… EXPLORE environments filled with adventure, then alter them? DISCOVER secrets and treasures, then play with them? CREATE your own models, then make a world your own?
LEGO Worlds is a new sandbox, open-world video game developed by TT Games, set to launch in 2016. Unlike TT’s other offerings, LEGO Worlds focuses heavily on building with LEGO instead of adventuring, although it certainly contains some of that too.
In a surprising turn of events, TT Games is offering the public a chance to beta test their game through the Steam store’s Early Access for a rather low price of $15 USD. That means from now until launch, TT Games will be adding new features and listening and responding to your feedback! Additionally, this game practically came out of the blue with no prior announcement at all. In fact, leaks of its existence only came out one week ago (May 26). As I said, this is rather odd for TT Games, but that is just how it happened.
Since LEGO Worlds is only a beta, a lot more content will be released leading up to the 2016 launch. It is really hard to explain this game without showing it to you, so check out this gameplay footage and the official FAQ for some more details about LEGO Worlds, Early Access, and upcoming features, and I will give some thoughts on the game after the break. 😉
Why Early Access?
“LEGO Worlds will be a fully open-world, creativity-driven game so we want to ensure that we provide it with the utmost care and attention as we expand on our ideas. So much of this game will be about building and sharing and by sharing our plans with the community, we hope to incorporate their feedback and build an experience together that fans of LEGO and this genre of video games can enjoy.”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“The current plan for LEGO Worlds is to be in Early Access through 2015 at which point we hope to have our full list of features in place. We’ll evaluate a release candidate in early 2016, but we won’t consider the game complete and ready for release until we believe our community feels we have delivered a great game.”
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“We’ll be actively monitoring the Community Hub here on STEAM and look forward to feedback and suggestions for the game. We’ll also be offering people a chance to experience the Development of a LEGO title for the first time, and several members of the team will be providing some interesting dev diaries over the coming months.”
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“Yes, the game will be available at a reduced price during Early Access”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“We plan to add the following features through a series of regular updates:
- Like/Dislike system for tailoring World Generation
- Procedurally Generated Underground Cave Networks
- LEGO ID integration to allow for sharing and uploading of in-game builds
- Additional Biomes
- Painting Themes
- Pre-Generated Towns/Villages/Settlements relevant to the Biome
- Updated AI Behaviors to provide organic feeling to free-roaming creatures and characters
- Red Brick Extras
- Full liquid behaviors
- Additional Minifigure Characters and Creatures
- Additional Vehicles and Pre-Built Models
- Additional Weapons
- Cut/Copy/Paste chunks of landscape
- Underwater Gameplay (including Vehicles, Creatures and additional sea life)
- Character Customizer
- Online Multiplayer”
LEGO Worlds can almost be described as the love-child of the 1998 LEGO Creator video game and the uber-popular Minecraft. As I said, although it is currently focusing on building with LEGO (building with LEGO in a LEGO game, what a novel idea!), they will be improving both the adventure and building parts. I bought LEGO Worlds yesterday and ended up spending my whole day playing it. This is pretty much the LEGO video game we have wanted for years now. Everything about it, from the graphically gorgeous looks to gameplay to building matches the hype and praise it is getting. While some may say it is just “LEGO Minecraft”, LEGO Worlds is kinda of a different beast than Minecraft, and from day 1 has captured more of my attention then Minecraft ever has. Yes, there are currently bugs and rough areas in the game, but they will be fixed in due time. However, for all the good in it right now, it is only going to get better from here. To pull a few notable planned features from the list above, I think I am most looking forward to the online multiplayer.
We all know how LEGO Universe was The LEGO Group’s first attempt at an online game, and we all know how that ended up. One of the reasons LEGO Universe closed was due to the massive amounts of moderation put into the game in order to make it the most child-friendly online game. While nothing is confirmed at this time, it appears TT Games is taking what was learned from LU and will be allowing us to host our own LEGO Worlds servers, thereby removing the burden of moderation and freeing them to focus on improving the game. This to me sounds like a great idea (though it again makes Worlds sound more Minecraft-ish). Once online multiplayer and builds sharing are implemented, I expect Worlds’ to explode like no other LEGO game.
Speaking of popularity, despite LEGO Worlds’ sudden entrance into the non-LEGO world, it has been immensely popular. As of this writing, there are currently 4,651 people playing LEGO Worlds. It is a day one success.
I personally am excited about LEGO Worlds and the future it will have. Although currently a beta and limited in abilities, it is an amazing game with loads more to be added. I really cannot begin to express how great it is. If you have $15, I highly recommend you buy this game (just be sure to check the system requirements first).
LEGO Worlds is currently only available for Windows, but more platforms will be coming as development progress. You can purchase LEGO Worlds from Steam Early Access here!