As anyone who has a kid or a younger person in their life probably already knows, the recent wave of Lego video games have been great. Not only have they been some of the best kid-centric video games ever, but games like Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars have also been fun co-op experiences and good licensed titles, too. But the one thing missing from those titles has been the core Lego mechanic: building things. Sure, you can come upon a pile of bricks in Lego Batman and make a cool vehicle but that’s really just a set on pre-scripted animations playing out. There’s no room for player-focused creativity in those games.
NetDevil’s hoping to change all of that with Lego Universe. The Colorado development studio’s been toiling away at a massively multiplayer online game that aims to bring all the fun of unfettered creation into a virtual world. In the fictional world of Lego Universe, an evil force called the Maelstrom is destroying civilizations across the galaxy. Players will join up as members of the heroic Nexus Force who fight to save the power of imagination across the universe. Like other MMO games, you’ll customize a Lego minifigure character and pick a faction to align with. The Assembly characters have stronger building skills, Venture League members are acrobatic rogue types, the Sentinels are a knight-like class and Paradox folks actually try to use the dark magic of the Maelstrom against itself.
So, you’ll be able to wield weapons (gently, this is Lego after all) and smash enemies in many of the quests but it’s actually creativity that’s the best weapon against the bad mojo. The Maelstrom leaves behind goopy puddles that don’t actually dissipate until you build something around them. This also lets you claim sections of the planets you’ll be going to. Once you get some adventuring under your belt, you’ll get property to build on. It’s in this part of the game that truly honors the Lego legacy. Whether it’s houses, vehicles or something totally random, players will find that the creations of other humans are as interesting as what the game holds in store.
Since it’s aimed at the pre-teen set, NetDevil’s made sure that you’ll only be able to play with people you know in the real world. Friend requests in the game come from players you already know, not the other way around. The verification question is something that this person would know about you, but that would remain a secret for Random Internet Person. In the same vein, everything built in the world will undergo realtime content moderation so young eyeballs won’t have to see anything NSFW.
To celebrate the game’s release next week, we’ve got an exclusive first look at the play experience thanks to a new trailer.
But there’s more to the celebration, too. We’ve got 10 copies of the game to give away this week. All you have to do to win is describe you or a friend’s most epic, original Lego creation. No kits, nothing pre-made. Instead, tell us how those little plastic bricks became a solar system or something else crazy like that. Comment below to win. Contest ends at 12 midnight on Friday night.