A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

Tonight at midnight $US465 worth of LEGO Dimensions product goes on sale. How much does one need to pay to have a good time? Let our buyer's guide by your...guide.

LEGO Dimensions, taken as the whole of the first series of starter and toy kits, is the priciest total game release of the year. Skylanders Superchargers kept launch releases relatively short and sweet, and Disney Infinity 3.0 is definitely playing the long Star Wars game.

But not LEGO Dimensions. Along with the priciest starter kit (not counting Superchargers special Dark Editions), Warner Bros. is releasing a trio of Level Packs, two Team Packs and a whopping 15 different Fun Packs. What does that all mean?

  • Starter Kit: The basic package, required to power all other things. You'll definitely need this. $US99.99

  • Level Packs: A package containing one character and two accessories from a single entertainment property. Each Level Pack unlocks a special themed game level for the property represented. $US29.99

  • Fun Packs: A single character and accessory. Characters can be used to access free-roaming Adventure Worlds based on the properties they represent. $US14.99

  • Team Packs: Basically two Fun Packs in one, with two characters and two accessories from a given property. $US24.99

(Prices may vary based on retailer and promotions)

Now that we know the basics, what do you need to play?

The Bare Minimum

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

A single $US99 starter kit for PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U goes quite a long way. The kit includes the game itself; the game's portal platform, which connects to your video game console via USB, as well as the bricks needed to construct it; three minifigures -- Batman, Gandalf and Wildstyle; and a miniature Batmobile that can be rebuilt into three different configurations, as with all of the game's accessories.

With the starter kit you can experience the game's complete single player (or local co-op) story mode from start to finish. There will be collectibles you cannot unlock due to them requiring a power the three included figures do not have, but the basic game is all there.

The three minifigures will also grant access to three of LEGO Dimensions' free-roaming Adventure Worlds, basically expansive themed playgrounds filled with challenges and secrets and fun. The DC Comics, Lord of the Rings and LEGO Movie Adventure Worlds are accessible with just the starter kit.

Unlocking All The Launch Content

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

You don't need to purchase every single toy in order to experience all of the in-game content available for LEGO Dimensions at launch. Just a little over half.

To gain access to every Adventure World and special level along with the main story, you'll need the following:

  • Starter Kit: Can't escape this one. Unlocks LEGO Movie, Lord of the Rings and DC Comics Adventure Worlds.

  • Portal Level Pack: The only Portal product in the line. Unlocks the special Portal level and the Aperture Science Adventure World.

  • Back to the Future Level Pack: Unlocks the Back to the Future level and corresponding Adventure World. If you just want the Adventure World you'll have to wait for Doc Brown's Fun Pack release later on.

  • The Simpson's Level Pack: Unlocks The Simpsons level and Springfield Adventure World. Homer's the only Simpsons character available at launch.

  • Scooby Doo Team Pack: Unlocks the Scooby Doo Adventure World. No more Scooby Doo for you after this.

  • Jurassic World Team Pack: The only Jurassic World release unlocks the Jurassic World Adventure World, which is as fun as it is redundant.

  • The Wicked Witch of the West Fun Pack: Unlocks The Wizard of Oz Adventure World. The only set in this series.

  • One LEGO Chima Fun Pack: Laval, Cragger and Eris each unlock the Chima Adventure World. Each is available at launch, though Laval is a Toys'R'Us exclusive.

  • One LEGO Ninjago Fun Pack: Zane, Nya and Jay are each available at launch, and each unlock the Ninjago Adventure World. Jay is a Toys'R'Us exclusive.

The grand total for this complete content unlock is $US285. Still a lot, but it's no $US465.

Everything

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

What's missing from the unlocking all the content list? If you go that route then only 12 Fun Packs stand between you and complete mastery of your LEGO domain. I know this, because that's exactly how many kits are in my Amazon order.

  • The other two LEGO Chima Fun Packs

  • The other two Ninjago Fun Packs

  • The LEGO Movie Emmet Fun Pack

  • The LEGO Movie Benny Fun pack

  • The LEGO Movie Bad Cop Fun Pack

  • Lord of the Rings Legolas Fun Pack

  • Lord of the Rings Gimli Fun Pack

  • Lord of the Rings Gollum Fun Pack

  • Wonder Woman Fun Pack

  • Cyborg Fun Pack

Still to Come

With five waves of sets scheduled between tomorrow and May of next year, not all content from LEGO Dimensions will be available at launch.

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

The Doctor Who Level Pack arrives on November 3. Until then, no Doctor Who Adventure World for you.

Same for Ghostbusters, the Level Pack of which is due out January 16.

And finally the Midway Arcade Level Pack isn't arriving until March 15. If the inspired Midway Arcade level from the main game is any indication, untold riches await in the Adventure World.

On Level Kits

I've fielded many questions since running the game review earlier today about what sort of extended gameplay comes with each Level Kit. Between the three launch Level Kits -- Back to the Future, Portal and The Simpsons -- I averaged about a half hour of gameplay in the included levels. Mind you that's without attempting to unlock secrets or gathering collectibles or hitting that bits goal. I'd say a dedicated player could squeeze an hour or so out of each.

Generally there's more to do in the figure-unlocked Adventure Worlds than in the Level Pack levels. Unfortunately for Portal, there is no corresponding Fun Pack, so the Level Pack is it.

Here's a brief rundown of the three.

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

Portal: Chell returns to the Aperture Science testing facility to go another round with GLaDOS, aided by the mildly villainous in an adorable sort of way Wheatley. The level is a series of testing chambers, culminating in a good-old Chell Vs. GLaDOS showdown. Easily my favourite of the three.

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

Back To The Future: the level here follows the story of the movie in the most skipping stone of ways. We follow Marty from Doc Brown's garage to the mall parking lot. From there we go to the past, where we're immediately tasked with hooking up wires to the clock tower to power the DeLorean's trip back. We make it back, and that's it. The whole thing played out in under 20 minutes, so maybe that hour was a generous estimate for this set. Disappointing content, but great music.

A LEGO Dimensions Buyer's Guide For The Discerning Player

The Simpsons: Homer has to make it from home to a chilli cooking contest, where he eats hallucinogenic peppers and goes on a vision quest. It's trippy in a very Simpsons sort of way. I think I had more fun playing with Homer's powers (belching and hulking out) and driving about the family's pink car than playing through the story, but fun was definitely had.

You Don't Need It All

Repeat after that large, bolded bit right above this sentence. The LEGO Dimensions starter kit is packed with fun things to do, and I don't foresee a shortage of sets in the long run. Start with that, and then collect other bits that interest you as you go along. Treat yourself or your loved ones with a new character here, a Level Pack there. Prolong that magic.

Hopefully this has been a helpful guide, and you've got a better idea of what enjoying all LEGO Dimensions has to offer means to you and your wallet. Happy building!


Comments

    So US$285 to unlock all launch content and US$465 if you want everything?
    I'm so glad I never got into this type of game.

    Any interest I had is immediately diffused with the obsession with Batman in the starter pack.

    I was hesitant about the price scheme too until I walked into Target Australia ($119 starter kit) to pick up a copy for myself.
    On the downside due to license fees the cost is well over other 'toys to life' games. I assume this is due to TT games paying for the franchise and Lego fees as well as tax and their own profit.

    However on the up side and from the location I was at during school holidays, every person knows Lego. They also know it as the safe, constructive play brand. The line of parents who knew about the game and were picking one up for their kids was longer than I've seen for the other three 'toys to life' games (which are filled with fans more than families), with exception to the second version of Skylanders (swapforce?) by which time parents knew what the game was.
    The positives in Lego's favor are; after the game is off the toys are Lego and fit with every other lego kit you own and play with, the toys are action figures not static models in a fixed pose meaning the hours of play extends past the virtual game, the price is set that each expansion kit becomes a thought about investment/goal for a kid with pocket money, and the price means buying them is spaced out over months as a reward for the kids.

    As an adult its difficult to see the price vs total hours of entertainment, and I just want to own them all but don't want to pay that much. As a kid I can only afford one maybe a month and after clearing the new virtual content 100% I can play with the figures and make my own levels physically until I save up my coins again. As a parent its the choice of spending $80 on a new game that may not last the day. Or spend $30 on a brand known for learning and creativity that continues past the virtual.

    I'm hoping the store I was in reflected the market, but time will tell on that one. I also hope that it came out of the gate strong and we get a price cut before Christmas.

    I've never understood the obsession with these Lego games. I understand that they are trying to recreate the source material in a 'fun' and 'unique' kind of way, but just running around smashing things and sometimes building things (only by holding down a button, mind you), and then finding coins that are littered around the place seems kind of mundane to me. Granted I only ever played the Indiana Jones version, but it felt like I was just pushing myself through it more than playing it on any merit of having fun. Each to their own, I guess (but it would baffle me to hear that someone likes these games who would then go on to criticize other games for having bland and repetitive gameplay elements), but paying the kind of money they are asking for to unlock everything for this (including what's to come)? Not even remotely worth it.

    Id like it if they just made a Lego game with BTTF, Ghostbusters et al but without all the plastic crap

    Now. In AU prices. Prior to discount, 170 for game and 50 per level pack. Thats 670 roughly.

    Pass.

    Once again: please translate prices from US articles when posting on the AU site.

    Big W & Target are currently running specials to get people to buy early & they'll drop the prices for Xmas again.

    JB & EB will price match but they charge more (way more) for current gen base sets.

    Even with the sales, getting a few sets will run you between $400 & $800 AUSD. Reviews so far have been positive but I don't expect huge sales because of the usual LEGO price range on top of the Australia Tax we ALWAYS get slugged with.

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