Coming along 14 years after the first film, The Incredibles 2 released in theaters to rave reviews and record-breaking box-office numbers. Released on the same day, LEGO The Incredibles is a movie tie-in that recaps the new movie, plus gives fans the ability to play through the original film, all in LEGO form. While there is much to love, a lot is holding back this entry from genuinely being super.
If you’ve played a LEGO game before, whether it was Star Wars, Marvel Superheroes, or any of the other movie tie-ins, you’ve played most of what LEGO The Incredibles has to offer. You’ll spend your time playing through a LEGOfied version of a story, beat up waves of enemies, solve simple puzzles, and find new characters to play as. New to this version is Family Builds. Family Builds are a mini-game of mashing the circle button with teams of either three or four characters to build situational monuments to help progress you through the story. For example, in one of the missions, you have to put a raging fire out, and the only way to do this is to build a way to extinguish the flames. TT Games adds some spice to the formula by making you find a certain number of special build bricks before you can perform the build, but after completing Family Builds in each of the game’s missions, I found this feature repetitive.
Over the course of the game’s 12 missions, you’ll recap many of the biggest moments from each movie. I’m not going to spoil either movie’s story, but know that this game will, so if you play it with someone— like a young child— make sure they’ve seen the movies beforehand. Luckily, LEGO The Incredibles captures the funniest moments and dialogue. Some moments are padded out for gameplay reasons— such as when Elastigirl saves the Ambassador during a helicopter chase— but unfortunately, these extended scenes don’t have much more meaning than to add to the game clock. In true LEGO fashion, there are plenty of sight gags that add to the humor that had me laughing more than I’d like to admit. Be aware of the long load times that occur while starting and exiting a mission though.
Combat hasn’t seen much of an upgrade here but is still a fun button mashing experience. Just like the superheroes of your youth, each character has a super move that is unleashed after you build your combo meter up. Characters like Mr. Incredible crash into the ground with a thunderous impact, sending shockwaves to stop criminals in their tracks, while Dash speeds around the arena to attack enemies and Violet uses her powers to forcefully push enemies away.
Speaking of criminals, LEGO The Incredibles lets criminals loose on the towns of Municiberg and New Urbem with Crime Waves. These towns are broken into districts that, when under attack, start a series of side missions for you to complete. These missions break down to go here, beat this wave of enemies up, and return to whomever you were talking to. Occasionally, you’ll be forced to fight a boss such as The Underminer or Syndrome. Boss fights are a typical three-phase showdown, where they can only take damage after performing a certain pattern. Young kids may have a challenge with these fights, but seasoned gamers will not. After clearing a crime wave, you’ll uncover icons on the map (to find gold bricks and other secrets) as well as another type of Family Build, the Pixar Build. These are unique builds that unlock Pixar specific characters.
The character selection makes or breaks the LEGO games, and this one is no different. With over 100 characters and dozens of vehicles to unlock, there is no shortage for collectors to obsess over. Unfortunately, the character selection runs thin quick. I enjoyed earning another version of the Incredible family, such as Bob Parr in suit and tie. I also loved the Pixar builds. Imagine my surprise to find out that Dory, from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, is an unlockable character. Yes, fighting crime as her is as hilarious as you could imagine, but unlocking a Security Guard or Reflux isn’t nearly as incredible (pun intended) as you’d like. You’ll come across dozens of superheroes, many of whom haven’t been in either film so you won’t have the attachment to them as you may as Spider-Man or Han Solo. Unlocking Pixar characters made me wish TT Games would have spent their time on a full Pixar game instead of a hyper-focused IP.
Similar to past LEGO games, LEGO The Incredibles is simple to pick up, but hard to put down. Throughout my 15 hours of play, I enjoyed punching enemies and breaking LEGO models while watching my stud counter gradually grow, all in co-op with my fiance. Fans of the dozens of LEGO games will not be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a LEGO game that breaks the mold, you may have to wait until the next title in the long-running franchise.