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Review

LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters (2016) Story Pack Review

Who ya gonna build?

The new Ghostbusters movie came in for an unholy amount of criticism prior to and after its release, mainly from cretins whose were unable to see that an all-female rendition of Ghostbusters didn’t signal the end of human civilisation. Sadly, despite being an amusing and well put together take on the mythology, it still struggled to gain a huge amount of traction with viewers, and though it made over $220 million at the worldwide box office, chances of a sequel are looking slim.

However, with the release of the first wave of new packs for the second year of LEGO Dimensions, the Ghostbusters rise again, as the new central story pack. It allows you to play through the entirety of the 2016 movie in adorable Lego form. Taking the key moments and crafting six levels around them, this is the most substantial add-on to the Dimensions platform yet, bringing with it a new kit for your portal, as well as a fresh new Melissa McCarthy Lego figurine and her Ecto 1.

Later in the year, we’re also getting a larger tie-in pack for Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, and the key question will be just how much value these packs provide for their £30+ asking price, and whether we should be disappointed in losing out on another full-length narrative from a true Dimensions sequel.

As in the movie things start with reports of paranormal activity at the Aldridge Manor in New York, which in turn draws the new team to investigate, throwing former friends Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin (Kristen Wiig) together with off-the-wall engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), while subway operative Patty (Leslie Jones) completes the group later on. Sadly it seems as though the pack’s budget didn’t stretch to the original voice-cast, and you’re mostly left with sound-a-like voice work which is, let’s say, variable in quality.

While there’s only an Abby mini-figure in the pack – and it’s an immense shame there isn’t the full cast – you can control all of the Ghostbusters through the course of the story, with each of them sporting the various abilities we’ve seen doled out across the Dimensions’ roster before. You don’t actually need any other characters at all to make it through, though as with the original game there are tons of areas and collectibles you won’t be able to access without a specific figure, or by going through the rent-a-hero option for a chunk of your studs.

It still remains a pleasure to throw all of your characters together – placing new addition BA Baracus and his van into a Ghostbusters game is a demented 80s child’s dream – but it does detract a little from the set narrative you’re playing through here.

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Straight off the bat, we see new functions for the Dimensions portal, with Rip allowing you to jump between different dimensions in order to solve puzzles. You have a yellow and a purple portion of the light-up Toy Pad panel, while the central white panel returns you to where you started.

In this first instance, the yellow dimension houses a disco dimension with a glitter ball that gets sucked back to your dimension, while the purple one contains a somewhat less interesting “box-opening robot”. Solving the extra areas sees the bricks you need appear through a portal to the real world, and it’s here that you can see the fiction really supports the technology. Unfortunately there aren’t really the same level of portal-based conundrums that the original game had, making progress relatively straightforward.

Soon enough you get to one of the highlights of LEGO Dimensions – a build – and in this case it’s up there with last season’s DeLorean, as you’re making a tiny LEGO version of the new Ghostbusters’ Ecto 1. My son Noah and I have had a lot of fun with Dimensions over the last year, including actually just playing with the vehicles in the real world, and on the whole the tiny models really stand up to physical play with this new one being no different.

This is swiftly followed by the new portal build – Zhu’s Chinese Restaurant – which is nice and substantial, if a little flimsy, and took us both a good hour to put together. It looks great all lit up, though clearly it lacks the same visual and nostalgic impact as the classic films’ fire station would have had. It’s a shame that you’re treated to a rather rubbish ‘follow the estate agent’ section beforehand.

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There are some disappointing technical faults with the Ghostbusters pack, with occasional slowdown during cut-scenes, serious pop-in in open areas, and a central world hub that feels empty and only has a draw distance of about five buildings. The connecting area is – much like the Ghostbusters’ new Chinese restaurant home – a bit low-rent, and that’s a shame when the production values elsewhere live up to Dimensions’ legacy.

There are the age-old LEGO game problems here too, including the indefinite platforming, annoying team AI, and character-switching annoyances that simply won’t go away. The blame for those can’t be laid-bare at the feet of Ghostbusters, but they continue to detract from the experience.

What’s Good:

  • New physical builds are great
  • The Ghostbusters world makes for a perfect fit
  • The trademark LEGO-game humour is in full effect

What’s Bad:

  • Poor quality open-world
  • A few technical hitches
  • Some dull moments
  • Limited appeal compared to some of the other Dimensions franchises

This Ghostbusters Story Pack is a great addition to both franchises – with a couple of caveats. Interest in the narrative itself, and the included portal, figure and vehicle, are going to be limited by your take on the new film, and while I had a good time with it, I know others who would have preferred a full-on Lego game for the original movies. Equally, just as in the new film, there are occasional moments here that possibly aren’t that suitable for younger children. Overall though this is a worthy and substantial addition to Dimensions that fans of both franchises should greatly enjoy.

Score: 8/10

Version Tested: PS4

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7 Comments
  1. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    insert lame joke about people saying reviewer is an sjw for not giving it a 0/10. ^_^

    i’ve resisted these types of games so far, though i did buy the Infinity Quorra when tesco had it for a fiver, but i think when i see the Dimensions starter set going cheap, i might have to finally give in.
    i’d love that starter set with Supergirl.

    it’s Lego, it’s got so many classic franchises included, like Ghostbusters, Knight rider, the DC universe, LOTR, the A Team, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Back To The Future, and many more.

    and i can’t see this being abandoned like Infinity.

    then of course there’s the classic Lego gameplay.

    Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 14:17.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      The review is a Spicy Jammy Whelk? Man, that raises a lot of questions. How do they type? Why are they reviewing games when they could make a lot of cash by being the world’s most intelligent whelk? Do they eat seafood? If so, is it cannablism?

      Seriously, why do people hate Spicy Jammy Whelks? They have feelings too!

      Wait, ignore that, I just ate a bunch. Nevermind.

      Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 14:46.
      • hazelam
        Member
        Since: Feb 2009

        i can’t speak for anybody else, but i can’t stand seafood that comes out of shells.
        don’t know why, i just don’t like them.

        i love a bit of fish though.
        ^_^

        Comment posted on 11/10/2016 at 10:22.
  2. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    But it must be crap because it features teh womenz! and girlz suckz! Why are not hiss suckz? TSA R biased!

    Right, that’s that joke out of the way, i keep forgetting this exists. Do hope none of the crap associated with rebootbusters cames back as that was disgusting. Just because it has an all female cast doesn’t meant it is crap. If it is crap, it’s because of the scripts. Not seen it, failed to grab my attention due to the CGI, the big plot twist being given away in the trailer and well, the trailers failing to interest me beyond “Oh ffs, there’s a reboot? Come on!”. I kinda have a thing against reboots.

    But for the game?

    Good to see it get the game it deserves. Unlike that crappy game that was out a few months ago.

    Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 14:49.
  3. monkeyspoon
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Any chance of reviewing both the Mission Impossible and Adventure Time packs. I played them both on the weekend and found them really enjoyable. The MI one was surprisingly long.

    Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 15:04.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      We’re going to be doing a Season 2 round-up this week so keep an eye out!

      Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 22:38.
  4. coxy1701
    Member
    Since: Apr 2014

    I will be getting this at some stage. My son is going through a ghostbusters phase and it’s Lego. Still waiting for the sonic pack to come out. As for the movie it was very enjoyable and it didn’t bother me that it was all females.

    Comment posted on 10/10/2016 at 21:24.
LEGO Dimensions
  • Developer:Traveller's Tales
  • Publisher:Warner Bros.
  • Platforms:PS4, XBO, PS3, X360, Wii U
  • Release Date:29/09/15
19 hours ago
2

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