AS RELIABLY omnipresent as a Happy Meal tie-in, the developers of the Lego series churn out yet another nipper-friendly crossover with this summer’s dino blockbuster.
The formula has been well preserved in amber after umpteen predecessors, showing little sign of a willingness to escape its history. But why should it, when successive titles continue to sell adequately? Yet they’re becoming as disposable as the merchandising that accompanies each tween-targeted animation flick rolling off the factory production line into the cinemas.
Jurassic World lacks iconic characters such as Indiana Jones or Batman who anchored some of the best instalments. While the adventure spans four movies, from Spielberg’s 1993 thrilling original to the lumpen 2015 effort starring Chris Pratt, Jurassic World doesn’t capture the imagination so readily.
Soundbites lifted from the original movie’s dialogue at least bring the likes of Jeff Goldblum and Bob Peck back to life but the more modern voice cast isn’t so engaging.
Instead, it’s predictably left to the dinos to pick up the slack. With surprisingly scant combat – a mainstay of the series – to entertain, allowing the player to control some of the dinosaurs injects some life into an otherwise routine Lego outing.
The foundation of the gameplay remains the pillars of smashing up bricks, collecting studs for currency and building helper objects. Weirdly, even the velociraptors can construct objects while under your control.
Younger gamers will be impressed with the build-a-dino mode that permits a mix-and-match approach to DNA, enabling the creation of some wildly improbably monsters.
But to jaded players, the only fresh fun comes from lumbering around as a T-rex or triceratops. The scenes and possibilities are limited and short-lived but there’s an undeniable little jolt of pleasure from slipping into the skin of a giant lizard and going on the rampage.
It’s surprising too at this stage of the long-running franchise to be confronted by the frequent technical glitches that undermine a sporadically amusing but ultimately uninspired entry in the Lego series.