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Preview: Lego Dimensions Year Two


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Lego Dimensions has taken the Lego Video games to new heights. The massively popular toys-to-life genre is a perfect home for Lego mini-figures, and the game also has the rights to what seems to be every popular franchise.

From Dr Who to Back to the Future, The Simpsons to Lord of the Rings, Batman to Ghostbusters, Lego Dimensions weaves them all into one universe spanning narrative.

When you buy a particular figure you put it on the Dimensions pad and the character then appears in-game; through this you can create a party of characters tailored to your liking. Year 2 has introduced some new characters, including Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible, Batman, Sonic the Hedgehog and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) from the new Ghostbusters. Each character is fully voiced with the actors' dialogue being pulled from movies.

If you have played one Lego game you know what to expect. Smash the environment to help you solve puzzles, which will help you navigate the level, plus a couple of action sections thrown in. The new twist in Dimensions is actually using the pad to complete levels, which has two sections acting as different dimensions. To go through a portal you have to switch a character from left to right, for example. Once this occurs you can carry out the task on the other side before switching back to another one of the party to help get back through the portal. It's quite novel, but works well.

It's clear that new locations in the game hold a lot of promise. There's a new Hogwarts Hub world, a mini-open world that contains most of the famous locations from the Harry Potter world that can be fully explored - complete with a Ralph Fiennes voiced Voldemort and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, as well as the classic John Williams score.

Lego games have always had great reverence for the franchises they portray. Probably the biggest new feature is competitive multiplayer. Against bots or a 4-player split screen, the new modes see each person compete with the others for objectives from capture the flag to more complex modes. It's a fun place to test out characters' abilities against others and the idea of bringing round one of your figures to play against your friends is interesting.

While Lego Dimensions adds some new features and settings, it's still a Lego game at its core, for better or worse. It's universal target audience may leave some gamers wanting more complexity but that being said, any fanboy of film and TV will definitely see the appeal in Homer Simpson visiting Hogwarts, or Dr Who fighting ghosts with the Ghostbusters. The overall fan service and quality of the presentation will make playing your favourite franchises fun, even if it's only for a little while.

LEGO Dimensions new Wave 6 packs go on sale 30 September, with Wave 7 following on 18 November.

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