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Lego 2K Drive is a racing game based on Lego and first developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K. The title was released on May 19, 2023 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Before getting into the crux of the review, we would like to say that it is usable in excellent written and spoken Italian, with translation options Well chosen. The example of the name of the game world – Brickia – which perfectly displays not only the brick-built nature of the open world, but also the “madness factor” that animates the entire production. LEGO 2K Drive can also boast of a plot, which is another point in favor of the production. Sure, you can obviously select other, more immediate modes, like uninterrupted track laps, cups, and everything a normal racing game can offer. But the developers clearly insisted on the main narrative, which brings all of these elements together into a reasonable and challenging progression. Story mode puts players in the plastic shoes of a nameless freshman who has just arrived in Matunya, a world where everything revolves around racing. You are then taken under the protective wing of Clutch Fulminton, an old racing legend who instantly recognizes the protagonist’s talent, and offers him his invaluable guidance and advice to win the Astrocoppa tournament, the city’s premier competition. However, in order to qualify, you will first need to explore the four main regions of Matunia by defeating the local racers and earning their precious flags. The plot is simple and linear, but it is seasoned as always with the humor typical of LEGO games and over the bright characters. However, the real protagonist of the production is Matunya itself, which with its four biomes offers a veritable playground where you can immerse yourself in your racing car. Scenarios vary from classic green wilds to barren deserts, to dark regions where it is always night and creatures like vampires and skeletons get used to it. The macro areas are quite extensive and full of activities to be dedicated to in addition to the races, such as time trials, golf matches and research expeditions, even more specific areas such as thwarting the invasion of aliens by running them over with drifts or saving as many citizens as possible from a herd of robotic clowns. In short, in terms of versatility, LEGO2K Drive has nothing to envy compared to the most famous exponents of the racing world.
LEGO 2K Drive is presented as a full open world experience, but it’s a little more delicate. In fact, we shouldn’t think of the endless open worlds of action titles, because the extension of the title in question is pretty good, but it’s not surprising. It is, in fact, a vast map that contains, as already mentioned, four different thematic areas, each of which is marked by a specific biome: but it will not be possible to travel from one to the other at any time, it will gradually unlock as real and special levels moreover , even within the individual maps, you will always be connected in some way to an exploration whose freedom was dictated from above by the idea of the developers. It all makes sense and works, with some reservations. The first is this: LEGO 2K Drive would like to offer absolute freedom to newcomers, but in fact it has committed itself to a series of particularly boring secondary activities. The progression system is tied to the player’s level: for example, you can’t get to level 4 races without first reaching that specific level. And to achieve this, you will have to play to the bitter end, completing secondary missions, which are rarely related to the actual race. Some of the side missions require you to complete improbable feats – fun, for heaven’s sake, but closer to the aforementioned “LEGO madness” than the racing game formula. Bringing blue pigs back into the barn isn’t even the strangest request that can happen: for example, during our testing we had to drive a giant egg into an equally massive frying pan, and it was a pain to have neither of those things. He intended to cooperate. In LEGO 2K Drive, of course, it’s not just about exploring and completing crazy side missions, even if those aspects make up a huge part of the whole experience. What matters, in the end, is the on- and off-road racing. The idea of alternating between three different types of vehicles that change instantly based on the terrain was a great idea: You could go from a hamburger car (asphalt), to a quad (dirt) and finally to a motor boat (on the water) seamlessly. On the other hand, the driving system could have been improved because it maintains a clear arcade inspiration, and offers all the capabilities of any Mario Kart, but without the same subtlety. Drifts allow you to bulk up the turbo, but using it also means losing control of the vehicle, and then track upgrades create complete chaos, between cobwebs blocking enemies, self-guided missiles and energy shields. Winning is not impossible, on the contrary; But often everything is associated more with chance than with skill. Building enthusiasts themselves will be delighted to discover how each LEGO 2K Drive vehicle can be assembled from scratch, complete with on-screen instructions, by going into your garage. Sure, the system isn’t as practical as it actually is, but it works; Moreover, the title really contains several models that can then be equipped and used in exploring the open world and on the track. We’ve enjoyed hamburgers, but there are endless possibilities right away. To avoid general confusion, it is advisable to take into account the parameters of individual vehicles: some are heavier, others are more maneuverable, etc .; They are not aspects that really make the difference, at least not in the story mode, but it is still desirable to know that they are there and above all that they can carry a certain weight.
As for the actual driving, once the vehicles are selected, the races take place in the most classic schemes of the genre, or with tracks full of hairpin bends that put drifting ability and power-ups to the test such as homing missiles, mines, and nets to incapacitate opponents or teleporters to get back in the lead from recent positions. Furthermore, crashing or taking too many hits will make it easy to see your car lose pieces (literally) until it explodes completely, but by destroying scenarios or opponents you can recover bricks to heal yourself and at the same time charge your turbo bar, which is essential To be able to win. The entire adventure can be played out with a friend in split screen locally and online, and up to 6 players can challenge each other in decidedly adrenaline-pumping multiplayer races. From a technical point of view, LEGO 2K Drive on Xbox Series X (tested version) is rendered at fairly stable 4K and 60fps, albeit with a slight drop in chaotic situations with various explosions and flying pieces. The overview is excellent, and the colorful world makes the fun atmosphere of the LEGO titles perfect. In short, Visual Concepts Productions is a colorful, fun and light title, as well as a pleasant surprise. It’s not a perfect game or a game with big competitive ambitions, but it allows you to spend many carefree hours exploring Matonia and its many activities, enjoying some adrenaline-pumping races to the last overtake or relaxing with the garage where you can create the most ridiculous games. vehicles. Having both local and online players gives the title an edge. Our advice? Try and experience it not as a driving simulator, but as an opportunity to have fun in the craziest ways imaginable.
Final score: 8.5
Francesco Pellegrino Lys
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