Lego 2K Drive on PS5
Despite the flexibility of the Lego brand, to date, it has really only been used for media adaptations. There are a few original game concepts in there, but it never feels enough. I played Lego Racers for the N64 in 1999, and I remember loving it as the bricky cars and the fun power-ups made racing enjoyable. I was excited about a new Lego racing game, and the open-world aspect was interesting. While any Lego game is certainly geared toward kids, there is something here for all ages.
Lego 2K Drive starts the player being trained by the great Clutch Racington to take on the fearsome Shadow Z in the Sky Cup Grand Prix. After the tutorial, progression is mostly through getting first place in races against unique rivals to earn checkered flags. However, there are stints in between when you have to raise your level to continue to the next class (C to B to A), where it feels like the game stalls.
While you can’t customize your character, the vehicle creation and customization tools are pretty neat. Not only can you build your own from scratch, but there are certain vehicles that offer instructions so you can learn to build them yourself as you would from a real Lego kit. If you ever need a break from the driving craziness, it’s a really nice relaxing experience. I’m awful at visualizing and building things in games like this, but the instructions option was nice.
There are three types of cars that you have equipped at all times, and whichever you are currently driving depends entirely on the terrain. There are street, off-road, and water vehicles, and it will automatically swap whenever you veer from a road to dirt or down into a river.
Races are a mix of Forza Horizon, Need for Speed, and Mario Kart. That’s also pretty much how I would describe just about all of the game to anyone who asked me, though. All cars have a permanent boost gauge, so that means just about every possible powerup is offensive-based. You’re constantly having to dodge mines, homing rainbow bullets, and homing rockets. Cars have an actual health stat, so rockets aren’t guaranteed to wreck you on the first hit.
However, most of the starting races are off-road, so while I felt I had a good street car, I couldn’t use it. While this meant I got quite good with my off-road car, I was hoping for a little more variety. While vehicle handling is a stat that changes from car to car, I never tried to drive something that felt unusable. This let me experiment, even though I always gravitated toward a higher top-speed stat.
In between races, players can drive around four islands that are unlocked as they progress. Due to this, it’s technically open-zone rather than open-world, but they are decently big maps. Everything (aside from buildings) is destructible, which makes taking shortcuts much easier.
Racing isn’t the only activity to be found across the four islands. There are contained, non-repeatable Quests that involve either collecting a handful of things or chasing down a car. World Challenges are small little games meant for a few players. More than once, these were something like trying to knock a large round object toward a goal. However, there’s no way to lock onto the object like in Rocket League, so they proved to be more frustrating than fun as you’re constantly overshooting making contact.
Finally, the On-the-Go challenges offer a little on-map challenge. This is smaller stuff, such as getting the furthest distance off a ramp jump or making it up a hill filled with landmines in a certain amount of time. They are something you can just do while driving by and continue on your way after.
Quests provide the biggest money and XP rewards, but the fact that they can’t be repeated is honestly annoying. However, they all offer nearly identical objectives, such as having to round up a group of animals. This makes them feel like a large, unavoidable chore as the rest of the side activities give very middling rewards.
I will say the game has a fun sense of humor between dialogue and character names (Parker Carr, Frida Floorit). A great beginning joke has the main antagonist arriving just to say, “I’m gonna smash you good for being a no-name nobody who’s suddenly a threat to me for no apparent reason!”
Lego 2K Drive is set up as a live-service game. It is unclear how successful it might be, but there will definitely be seasons. The one problem I had is that the game obviously wants you to spend real money for the game’s Bux currency. A regular car costs roughly 10,000, and that’s a pretty hefty asking price considering the limited number of quests give something like 500 each.
You can earn vehicles through quests and races, but they aren’t always as good as the shop’s offerings. I don’t know what kind of reward the “DRIVEPASS” might offer in the full release, but it seems like there’s a rather heavy emphasis on microtransactions. Considering my skill levels (or lack thereof) with car creation, it’s also possible each of these can just be made yourself if you understand the parts that might go into it.
Lego 2K Drive is a neat little racing game with quite possibly the coolest car creation tools I have ever encountered. While I find myself unable to make anything besides the most rudimentary vehicle, there will be some astonishing creations in the game before long. Despite some issues with side activities, this is still a decent game if you want to ditch the realistic racing games for bricks on wheels.
- Amazing vehicle creator.
- Swap between three vehicle types at any point based on terrain.
- All vehicles feel nice to drive.
- Destructible objects make exploring even easier.
- Vehicle instructions feel like assembling an actual Lego kit.
- Repetitive quest objectives.
- Low rewards from non-quest activities.
- Feels like the game favors microtransactions.
March 19, 2024
Visual Concepts Entertainment
PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC