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Review

Review: LEGO 2K Drive

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The driving adventure LEGO 2K Drive is available now. Let’s check out the game’s single and multiplayer content.

LEGO 2K Drive was announced less than two weeks ago and as of today it’s available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC (Epic Games Store, Steam).

In story mode, your task is to win the Sky Cup. To do this, you must first master the Grand Brick Arenas of the three game worlds in Bricklandia. To unlock these arenas you need to collect a certain number of checkered flags by winning races. Bricklandia invites you to explore. In the first world alone, Big Butte County, there is a city peppered with maticulous attention to detail, a dinosaur park and much more. The garages distributed in the game world serve as fast travel locations and as a starting point to build your own LEGO car in the powerful vehicle editor. In the course of the campaign you will unlock new parts and vehicles, alternatively you can also buy them for real money in the in-game shop. This is why LEGO 2K Drive is criticized a lot these days. The parts and vehicles can be bought, but also earned during gameplay. Most cars cost around 10,000 Brickbux in the shop. At the end of the 5-6 hour campaign we had pretty much this exact amount of money and we completed all the races, most of the challenges and missions. The criticism is therefore quite appropriate, since unlocking the parts and vehicles can take a long time. However, do you need these parts and vehicles to enjoy the game in single or multiplayer? Not at all. You don’t have to spend a dime on top of the purchase price to have loads of fun with LEGO 2K Drive.

Until we confront the game’s main antagonist Shadow Z, we collect a total of 24 checkered flags. The races are very varied and demand a lot from you, especially towards the end, after all the tracks are becoming more and more complex and so are your rivals, of which there is one per track. They are introduced in short cutscenes in typical LEGO slap stick style. You shouldn’t expect a particularly gripping story or even great freedom of choice, but that’s not the focus of a racing game like this. However, the cutscenes elicited a few chuckles from us. The game always gives you a handful of races that you can tackle in any order and have to win in order to progress.

LEGO 2K Drive is an arcade racing game and so Mario Kart fans will get their money’s worth. The game distinguishes between classic circuits and sprint races. The courses are constantly changing between the three surfaces road, terrain and water. You have your own vehicle for each underground, to which the game switches automatically. When you land in the water, your ride will automatically transform into a speedboat, and as soon as you get back on the track, the boat will transform into a racing car – the same applies to off-road passages. The choice of vehicles is huge and the vehicles differ in values 鈥嬧媠uch as acceleration, top speed, handling and stability. Each vehicle has advantages and disadvantages, only the starting bodies are balanced. While the Pizza Express, for example, has a miserable acceleration, it can withstand a lot and clears away rows of opponents on the narrow city circuits. The formula racing car, on the other hand, is super fast, but quickly breaks apart into its individual parts. Similar to Mario Kart, you can collect various power-ups to defend yourself, such as a homing missile, two spiked balls, a bolt of lightning that spins your opponent’s tires, or a spider’s web that your opponent. briefly blinds your adversary. Most of these weapons are actually already known from Nintendo’s kart racer, but LEGO 2K Drive also has some unique selling points. So you can jump at any time and avoid enemy missiles, take shortcuts or reach higher platforms or even power-ups. Especially the Brick Arenas and the Sky Cup offer several interesting levels and routes. If you don’t boost, you lose. You can increase your boost by drifting and power-ups, which is essential later in the game. The races are the heart of LEGO 2K Drive and are a lot of fun thanks to the well-designed racing courses, challenging artificial intelligence and interesting power-ups.

It often happens, however, that the rival has other worries, for example when the bats have gone missing in the haunted world. Then you have to complete short missions to start the race. These missions are quite varied and are entertaining. In the second game world, characterized by raging rivers and dense forests, which represents a nice contrast to the desert world, we steal gold from dolphins, get UFOs from the sky elsewhere and bring the stolen cows back to the farm or keep hunting for smuggler Sally with our squad car. In addition to these missions, there are also many in-between events in which we complete short checkpoint races or long jump events. There are also challenges in which we have to protect buildings from three waves of aliens, for example.

Each race can be contested in license classes C, B and A. The Class A races are really tough, but you also get significantly more rewards for a race win in this discipline. Each license class unlocks different skills, one of which you can equip per class, including boosting base stats like acceleration and top speed, or converting energy into boost. Here you can further customize your playstyle without gaining an unfair advantage in multiplayer races.

LEGO 2K Drive supports up to four endings in local split-screen and up to six endings in private lobbies in online mode, which is not included in the Switch version. There is also a matchmaking mode to compete alone against random players from all platforms. We haven’t tested the latter yet, but we did play the “Play with friends” mode, see below. videos. Here you can play together across platforms once you have connected your 2K account to the game and added your friends. The divided world, the cup series and individual races are available. As in the single player mode, you can tackle each race in the game individually without having to spend a lot of time unlocking it in the open game world. In the cup series you can drive a series of races in a row, similar to the cups in Mario Kart. In the divided world, which we have played extensively, you can move freely through Bricklandia with six people. The loading times for fast travel are a bit longer than in single player mode, but that’s bearable because the mode works really well. We can beat each other’s best times in in-between events (unfortunately, no ranking is shown here and we have to vote accordingly via voice chat), play each circuit from the start (the remaining spots are filled by AI cars), or just play Bricklandia for free Explore trains, roar through the different biotopes and marvel at the numerous LEGO works of art. Your progress will be integrated into the main game in terms of collectibles. You have to play the races independently in story mode.

LEGO 2K Drive is not free from bugs. So, mind you, before the game was released, we experienced a few crashes on both the PlayStation 5 and the PC, but mostly in unusual situations, such as when we’re playing with the graphics settings while a fellow player is blowing up our vehicle in the shared world. At times, the game will also drop your vehicle inside buildings, requiring more respawns. On the other hand, the repeated errors in an event in which you have to save LEGO figures from a pack of skeletons weigh more heavily. Here some characters got stuck again and again and we absolutely could not achieve the required points and therefore could not progress in the story. Several restarts of the game fixed this problem. Note that this error occurred after the release of the Early Access for owners of the Awesome (Rivals) Editions on May 16th. Apart from that, however, we did not notice any major errors or crashes, and above all the great technical optimization on the PC is convincing and surprising in view of the many technically flawed home computer versions recently. It may not work on a 286 after all. On the PlayStation 5, we noticed drops in the frame rate in some places where a lot of clamping blocks are displayed. You can race to your heart’s content without many performance issues on consoles as well.

Conclusion

LEGO 2K Drive is a decent arcade racing game with a beautiful brick look, a powerful vehicle editor, many included vehicles, varied tracks and easy-to-understand controls. The child-friendly design and the charming characters, who also crack jokes for older semesters, set the game apart from many rivals in this genre. Unfortunately, the high prices in the in-game shop leave a bitter aftertaste. Apart from that, the base game already offers a lot of vehicles, tracks and parts to be entertained for many hours by LEGO 2K Drive. There are also new drivers, stickers, flairs, sounds and a completely new biome that will be added free of charge as part of the Drive Pass. In addition, 2K offers a Premium Drive Pass in four seasons, the content of which will be playable without time constraints.

The publisher provided us with access to the PC and PlayStation 5 version. We captured screenshots and video on PC.