Monday October 23rd 2017 saw a fairly inauspicious tweet from the official @LegoDimensions account that finally put all the rumours to rest and announced the premature end of their grand three year plan a year early. Of course, this led to a lot of people being understandably upset as it has been one hell of a game. In a bizarre twist I’m not one of them despite the fact I personally believe this is the finest Lego game TT have ever produced. This is no lazy accolade, I’ve a lot of experience of the entire Lego series going back nearly two decades and the sense of humour and level of invention along with some solid game mechanics on this particular title far outstrip anything prior, but it’s better to burn out than fade away…
Dimensions was first announced in April 2015 for a September 27th release date. The announcement trailer looked intriguing, characters from the recent Lego Movie along with Lord Of The Rings were obvious choices to be in there along with Lego Chima and Ninjago, but then two surprises popped up, The Wizard Of Oz and Back To The Future. Now these are surely a little left field as choices as how much of the target audience actually have any knowledge of either of these properties? A couple of months passed and then there was a second trailer that made me drop everything and hit the pre-order button along with probably thousands of others. Doctor Who. Not just the current incumbent Peter Capaldi, but all thirteen incarnations were also in the mix. Now it started to make sense and the idea of skipping around all the different dimensions became much more appealing and explainable. The choice of sets continued to mystify me through the two year run, Knight Rider, A-Team, Gremlins (which was a 15 certificate until 2012) who were they aiming this game at?
Me. A forty-eight year old father of a child that is fairly au fait with most of the franchises it covers (I don’t know much about Power Puff Girls or Teen Titans Go!, but she can fill in the gaps).
The pricing of Dimensions has always been a sticking point and probably instrumental in its downfall. If you were the poor unfortunate that bought every pack on launch day at full RRP, this complete collection would now stand at £1,324.40 / $1739.91! Of course no one has to buy every set and the core game can be completed with the base set, but then where’s the fun in that? Although that’s where it becomes problematic for parents everywhere. The pricing of sets does look insane until you take a step back and look at this in the bigger scheme of things. Lego is an expensive product and always has been. Most of these sets are unique and many utilise pieces that aren’t available from Lego in anything else meaning high production costs for a limited run and also there’s a strong chance of these becoming highly sought after in the future…
There were always rumours of year three bringing back the antagonist from the first year, Lord Vortech, to tie up everything and bring together all the worlds that had sprung up based on the second years Shard and it’s a shame that it’s not going to happen, but there was a satisfying enough conclusion on the base game and the way that all the sets from both years integrate perfectly across all thirty separate properties is quite something. It does beg one question though. Knowing how long these games take to produce, had Gary Oldman already got back behind the mic to reprise his role?
With every new wave of sets, new dimensions would be added to the Vorton hub world in the first and to The Shard in the second year which meant the amount of Gold Bricks that could be collected expanded to a dizzying one thousand and nineteen compared to the average two hundred and fifty in standard Lego games which means that even after over two years of dipping in and out of this splendid omniverse of light relief, I’m still only a third of the way through them. Meanwhile my daughter’s interest and gaming abilities grow. When these are coupled with the ongoing server support, the prospect of starting “Save File 2” look stronger by the day…
Cevin Moore @cevinmoore