I love The Incredibles and I love LEGO video games. So in a way, LEGO The Incredibles should be absolutely perfect for me. I will admit, the announcement was somewhat surprising. I don't remember any other non-Star Wars or Marvel Disney properties getting the LEGO treatment. However, The Incredibles is probably one of the best fits (barring Toy Story, probably) for the LEGO treatment. So does it manage to hold up, or are things just average?
The games generally follow the plot of The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2. Some things changes, mostly in order to make sure there are always two characters present at the same time. For example, many may remember Mr. Incredible's solo trips to Nomanisan to fight Syndrome's giant robot. Here he's accompanied by Frozone so the second player has something to do. For the most part, these are solid retellings of the movies that get many of the little points across.
However, there are two majorly baffling issues with the story. The first is that the ending of The Incredibles 2 has been swapped out for a strange cliffhanger that actively contradicts the rest of the story. I can't really talk about it without going into spoiler territory, but safe to say it's rather dumb. The second is that LEGO The Incredibles makes you play through the plot of the second movie before letting you play the first. It's an especially strange decision when you consider the very last scene of the first movie is the first scene of the second movie. It's like having to play a story from the middle to the end, then start over from the beginning to the middle. It simply doesn't work, and I'm not sure why it was ordered this way.
If you've played any LEGO games since LEGO Star Wars came out thirteen years ago, you probably already have an idea on how LEGO The Incredibles will play. The game is a simple platformer with some puzzle game and beat 'em up elements. You'll play as a bunch of characters from the movies, all of whom have their own special abilities that come in handy. Violet can put up force fields and turn invisible, Dash can run super fast, while Elastagirl can stretch to reach objects. Using these you'll solve some simple puzzles.
I do mean simple. It's pretty clear that LEGO The Incredibles' puzzles are meant for the youngest audiences. You'll be doing little more than using the powers for the most absolutely basic tasks. The game always makes it clear what to use and when, encouraging you to use the correct powers. There's no real punishment for getting it wrong either. Usually, a character just shrugs before a picture of the correct character appears.
Combat is equally simple. You only have a single attack button, and you can get through nearly every encounter by mashing it. As you smack bad guys around you'll charge up a super attack, which you can use by holding down the attack button. These attacks just clear rooms of enemies in dramatic ways. If you ever wanted to see Frozone spin rapidly while shooting ice at people, this is what you want to use. While the combat is simple, it's rather satisfying. Characters often break into special animations when fighting, causing some rather entertaining encounters that are fun to watch.
Really, that's the point of LEGO The Incredibles. Is it difficult or complicated? Nah. Is it fun to watch? Yep. Each character's abilities sport entertaining and creative details. Frozone creates giant ice sculptures that hold up objects or allows characters to move on them, while Voyd effortlessly makes portals to get you to new locations. Over the game's campaign (which took me about 10 hours), I got many chances to use these abilities.
The game's open world also provided many chances to use these abilities. Between levels, you can explore both the cities of Metroville and New Urbem. Both of these areas are small, but there's more than enough collectibles and side activities that I was able to sink another 20 hours into the game getting it done. One new activity is called Crime Wave, and it involves a supervillain and their minions taking over districts of the city. Unfortunately, the activity is rather annoying. Once you're aware of it, there's no way to avoid a Crime Wave. As soon as you enter a relevant district, you can't advance the campaign until you finish the job.
To finish a Crime Wave you need to perform sidequests that include things like putting out fires, defusing bombs, and saving civilians. It gets repetitive fast. Constantly having story progress be stopped and getting forced into completing side quests isn't much fun. About half of these Crime Waves end in boss fights, though most boss fights in both the Crime Waves and the story play out the same. All you have to do is wait for the enemy to use a rush attack, dodge that, then hit them while stunned. I can't really think of any boss fights that played out differently from that simple strategy.
Thankfully not everything about the open world is bad. I had plenty of fun just running around collecting items. Naturally, there is an absurd amount to collect, with the game having over 200 gold bricks alone. This is normal LEGO game fare: you'll be using nearly every unique power at least once to collect all of these items. In one particularly great move, you can find special Pixar build sets that, when created, allow you to play as main characters from other Pixar films. It's a great first step towards seeing more LEGO games based on Pixar properties and honestly makes me excited for them.
It helps that the game is both pretty and full of good voice acting. While not all the actors from the films reprise their roles (Samuel L. Jackson isn't here), many of them come back. That said, even the sound-alikes do a great job of capturing the characters from the film. Several times I was convinced they managed to get all the actors back somehow. It helps that the game also has a fantastic soundtrack that manages to imitate the films in all the right ways. Sadly, I did have occasional problems with glitches. More than once I fell through the world map, or the game crashed. It's not often, but I did notice it happening a few times.
In a way, it's obvious that LEGO The Incredibles is just a filler game while we wait for LEGO DC Super-Villains. However, it's rather interesting that, even at their most average and filler, LEGO video games can still be delightfully fun experiences. This isn't going to be a title that will blow anyone away or make sweeping changes to the formula. It is, however, a perfectly fun little adventure into the world of The Incredibles.
LEGO The Incredibles is a perfectly fun entry into the LEGO series, but it just doesn't do anything to stand out outside of its unique license.
- Fun Gameplay
- Smart Visual Design
- Entertaing Open World
- Great Soundtrack
- Weird Story Changes
- Crime Waves Interrupt Progress
- Occasionally Glitchy