Released alongside the new movie, LEGO The Incredibles sees the LEGO action adventure franchise return to a Disney property once more. Out on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo’s Switch, we tested the PS4 version of Traveler’s Tales latest.
I was a little shocked to learn that it’s already been 14 years since the first Incredibles movie, and to realize it predates many of the recent Marvel/DC superhero antics we’ve seen. We’ve been watching and playing Spiderman and Batman for decades, but The Incredibles really brought the superhero team approach into the family domain with humor and references that adults can appreciate while entertaining the kids at the same time.
LEGO The Incredibles isn’t the first game based on the franchise, but I have to admit I never played the original games that came out back in the PS2/Xbox era – and even had Gamecube releases! I’ve been a fan of the LEGO franchise for a long time though, as they always seem to provide good, solid fun – even if they’re a little lacking in innovation.
The fact that it took this long for an Incredibles entry in the LEGO series has everything to do with the new movie – the game features tons of content from both movies and the TT’s LEGO games generally cover franchises rather than individual movies. Somewhat surprisingly though, the game doesn’t go over the movie content in chronological order. Instead, it starts off with content from the new movie (in an action-packed scene that’s one of the highlights of the game) and then jumps back to the events of the first game. With 14 years between the movies, I suppose it make sense to start with what’s fresh to draw you in and then go back and get a refresher course in how it all started.
The Parr family has always been a great candidate for a LEGO game, when you consider their diverse abilities and the ways they might use them to solve dilemmas either solo or together. To a degree this is exactly what the game delivers (especially in multiplayer coop), though most of the game isn’t especially challenging. LEGO The Incredibles is clearly aimed at a wide age range, wanting to please rather than frustrate younger gamers as well. As such, it’s a lot easier and more streamlined than, for instance, the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes games.
Besides story missions, that become unlocked for free play after you complete them, there is also a lot to do in the game’s hub world(s). Gathering (special) bricks can be done both in story levels and in the hub, with some exceptions – like special unlockables that you’ll only encounter in the hub sections. There, you’ll also run into Crimewaves, little side missions that can keep you busy for a while and will also yield rewards like special build sites – some of which are related to other Pixar characters and franchises. These are nice little surprises for the fans, though they’re also a reminder than some Pixar favorites haven’t gotten a game adaptation yet. Can I have LEGO Toy Story next year, please?
Team work is best emphasized in the game when you encounter “family build sites” that require different members of the Parr family to work on them. Switching between characters in single player mode can start to feel time-consuming though, and these are a lot more fun when playing together. In that, the game definitely echoes the “things go better when you do them together” vibe from the movies.
Audiovisually, LEGO The Incredibles looks great – TT has really made a leap forward with The Force Awakens and this game continues that trend. The game could have use more cinematic set pieces like we see in its opening sequence, but perhaps time and budget constraints didn’t help in that regard. In that same way, it’s a shame that the developers didn’t have access to the original voice actors either, which would have added more charm and authenticity to the game as well.
If you’re a The Incredibles fan and enjoy the LEGO games, then you know just what to expect and will definitely have fun with this new game in the series. It definitely doesn’t do exciting new things with the formula and could have been polished a bit more, but it delivers solid fun and it’s the most kid-friendly LEGO game in a while.