Lego has announced a new and fascinating game that will meld a variety of diverse properties into one Lego game. Lego Dimensions will feature not only the classic building block, but also the worlds’ of Scooby Doo, Back to the Future, Jurassic World and DC Comics (to name a few). Additionally the game will feature a toys-to-life element.
But perhaps the most exciting to fans will be the inclusion of the BBC classic television series Doctor Who.
This is not the first time that the Doctor has featured in a video game. The show, which dates back to 1963 and continues till this day, has had 13 different video game adaptations. While they have run the gamut from Top Trumps: Doctor Who (based on the card game) to more classic PC adventures like Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctors, this is one of the first times that the Doctor has appeared within a different franchise game.
Lego has a history of adapting previous IP’s to suit their playful, toy style. In the past they’ve worked with powerhouse Warner Bro’s IP’s like Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings. This isn’t even the first time that a Lego/Doctor Who collaboration has been hinted at, with a Lego Ideas post from earlier this year confirming that a Doctor Who and companion set is coming soon to physical retailers (no release date hinted). But this will be the first time that Lego has combined their powerhouse video game series with the British doctor.
What can fans of Doctor Who expect from Lego Dimensions? While this won’t be a Lego Doctor Who game, (not exactly) the game will feature the voice talents of Peter Capaldi (the 12th Doctor) Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) and Michelle Gomez (Missy), all from the newest series of the BBC show. However, if your character dies as the 12th doctor you’ll be “re-incarnated” as the 1st doctor, then the second and so on. Fans of the television show can certainly hope that they make the transition as exciting in game as it is in the BBC series.
There’s no confirmation yet on whether other voice talents from past doctors will be used — one of the last games to feature many of the voice actors from Doctor Who was Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctors which even featured the original Master, Anthony Ainley, before his death. Indeed, only recently where Doctor Who fans able to see many of their favorite doctors back on the small screen in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special Day of the Doctor. If they follow the same suit as that game they might use archival footage for some of the doctors that have already passed away.
How Is This Not a Lego Doctor Who Game?
While Lego Dimensions will feature the time traveling doctor, it isn’t just about Doctor Who in the same way that say Lego Lord of the Rings is about the film world of Middle Earth. As previously stated Lego Dimensions will feature a variety of other properties including:
- Back to the Future
- The Simpsons
- Portal 2
- Lego Ninjago
- Jurassic World
- Scooby Doo
- DC Comics
- the Lego Movie
- Lord of the Rings
- The Wizard of Oz
- Lego Chima
And potentially more announced later. The Doctor and his TARDIS will be sharing the show with a large variety of other properties, including at least one time traveler (Back to the Future) and one inter-dimensional traveler (the Wizard of Oz).
The main story campaign, as revealed at Comic Con, will be featured around Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), Wildstyle (the Lego Movie) and Batman. All these popular characters feature in the popular movie from last year’s the Lego Movie.
This doesn’t mean that Lego isn’t promoting the Doctor Who element of the game. One of the many levels shown off was a Cyberman level with “Bad Wolf” graffiti littering the inside of the building and it showed that once inside the TARDIS, players could then switch their character’s regenerations over. These regeneration changes also changed the interior of the TARDIS to reflect that era’s specific TARDIS.
Additionally aside from the main narrative elements that derive from Doctor Who, there are other packs that fans can buy to increase the Doctor Who experience. The Doctor Who level pack includes the twelfth doctor, K9, the TARDIS as well as the Space and Time adventure. There is additionally a Cyberman Fun Pack that comes with a Cyberman and Dalek, and is set to release in January 2016.
So even if it’s not quite a Lego Doctor Who game, it’s basically a Lego Doctor Who game.
Because Lego has taken the time to integrate Doctor Who with other properties for Lego Dimensions it makes it seem that the game will not just be for fans of the storied television franchise but for the Lego series in general. The game’s other expansion packs bring to life the Simpsons Springfield and Jurassic World.
A New Kind of Lego Game
Lego Dimensions isn’t just bringing out the Doctor for it’s newest outing, it’s also redefining the ever popular Lego game. Instead of a traditional console game, Lego Dimensions is a “toys-to-life” game that will feature real world toys and a portal that players can use to interact with the digital environment. This will be the first time that Lego has tried to integrate their physical product with their virtual one.
This style of game has been made popular in previous years in games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, where players have NFC enabled action figures and some kind of physical portal that allows the game to download and interact with the information from the toys themselves. These games, specifically Skylanders, have been intensely popular with the younger age set with some of the toys retailing for only $5 or so. Even Nintendo has gotten in on the toys-to-life genre with their popular and quick selling amiibo’s based on their own games and properties.
One of the things that separates Lego from these other titles is that Lego is, first and foremost, a physical toy provider. The Danish company has been manufacturing plastic building blocks since 1949, and they are still a classic toy, no matter if you’re building a Death Star, a Kwik-E-Mart or a Ferris Wheel. When it comes to building toys, Lego knows what they are doing and if they combine nearly 75 years of toy-building knowledge with the effervescent video game joy of their past digital titles they are a force to be rivaled with.
The pad, the portal through with the physical characters can interact with the digital world, has been shown to be a bit more complicated than what we’ve seen from other competitors with location on the pad being important to what powers the toys can have on the game environment. A Comic Con demonstration showed that Batman could use ice, fire, water or electricity depending on pad placement and that new characters could be added to the playing field by putting down their physical representation on the Lego gateway.
The pad will be included inside the “starter set” for the game, alongside bricks to build the Lego gateway, and toy versions of Wyldstyle, Gandalf, Batman and the Batmobile (alongside a copy of the video game).
The Lego Dimensions release date has been set for September 27/29, 2015 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Lego is also releasing Lego Marvel Avengers 2 and Lego Jurassic World out later this year.
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