LEGO 2K Drive, developed by Visual Concepts, takes players on an exhilarating journey through LEGO’s colorful and imaginative world. With its fun arcade physics and an array of exciting features, this kart racer is an excellent option for fans of the genre. The game has enjoyable gameplay, multiplayer options, immersive visuals, extensive vehicle selection, open-world exploration, and entertaining storytelling; all wrapped up in one full-fledged package.
One of the first things that stand out about LEGO 2K Drive is its overall gameplay experience. Driving around the lovingly designed LEGO world is an absolute blast. On top of that, the karts feel responsive and have a satisfying sense of weight, providing players with a high level of control. The implementation of holding down the brake to drift through turns enhances that arcade feel, creating a fast and fun driving environment. Depending on the terrain, your vehicle seamlessly transforms between a racecar, off-road car, or boat. This mechanic adds a satisfying element to the gameplay, allowing you to dive straight into the water or explore off-road without any cumbersome switching mechanics. You can even upgrade the speed at which you can transform later on.
While LEGO 2K Drive offers a great single-player campaign with plenty of content to enjoy alone, the game truly shines when played with friends. The multiplayer options are diverse, catering to both local and online play. Two-player split-screen in the Local Play mode allows you to race together in the Cup Series, Race modes, and even the Story mode! Additionally, you can gather up to six friends for online multiplayer races around Bricklandia. Including crossplay support further expands the player base and will ensure a lively and competitive online community. The game also has a matchmaking system pairing players of similar skill levels in Cup Series or Race modes. For creative-minded players, the Garage mode provides a unique opportunity to build and customize vehicles. With over 1,000 unique LEGO pieces available out of the gate, players can let their imaginations run wild. Moving the bricks around is smooth, and the ability to paint and apply stickers to each brick offers a satisfying and enjoyable building experience. Furthermore, any player-created vehicle can even be used online after a brief submission for moderation approval.
LEGO 2K Drive takes players on a thrilling ride through the various islands of Bricklandia. Each island has a theme, and the entire world is constructed from LEGO pieces, allowing for the destruction and repair of objects by simply running into them. Young players and even older folks should get a kick out of blasting through everything. But not everything breaks, which can be hard to distinguish when the thought is it’s all bricks that can be broken. As is typical of LEGO games, the NPCs provide comedic relief, and the world is filled with amusing and silly things to discover through exploration. I was glad to see hidden collectibles scattered throughout each area, giving me more reason to explore the individual islands. To progress in the game, players must earn checkered flags by participating in numerous small-time races, eventually qualifying for the three major LEGO 2K Drive Grand Prix races. Winning these Grand Prix races leads to the ultimate challenge: the Sky Cup. While participating in these races, players can utilize power-ups to gain an advantage over opponents and rivals, reminiscent of the beloved Mario Kart games. Also, like Mario Kart, I could sense some rubber banding occurring, and I just dislike any use of it. I can understand why some developers choose to add it in racing games aimed toward lots of passing and powerups, but it can be so frustrating and not fun. There is an option to disable an adaptive difficulty setting, which I thought might turn off the rubber banding, but it still feels like it’s there.
Regarding vehicle selection, LEGO 2K Drive offers various options to suit every player’s taste within vehicle disciplines for street cars, off-road vehicles, and watercraft. While the game features a variety of cars to unlock, the true highlight lies in the Garage Mode, where players can unleash their creativity and build unique vehicles. However, it’s important to note that LEGO 2K Drive incorporates microtransactions into its gameplay. The in-game store, Unkie’s Emporium, offers additional cosmetic items, vehicles, drivers, and customization options for those willing to make real-money purchases. While microtransactions may raise concerns for some players, it’s worth mentioning that Brickbux, the in-game currency, can also be earned through regular gameplay, allowing dedicated players to unlock desired items without spending additional money.
Looking at this storefront, you can easily see where they will likely head. I can see them releasing new sets of cars based on existing LEGO sets from the City series or even the Speed Champion series. Because of this, I doubt they’ll include a way for the player to unlock instruction booklets for real-world LEGO sets in the future. If there were one feature I would have loved to see, it would be that. As much as I love the building aspect they give players, sometimes I open up the Garage and get paralyzed by choice. It would have been nice to open an instruction booklet and build, just like you would with an actual set.
Visually, LEGO 2K Drive is an absolute treat. The game boasts some nice graphics that bring the vibrant LEGO-themed world to life; the plastic bricks have never looked better! The scale of the world is set to match that of an average LEGO brick, further immersing players in a world where everyday household objects are accurately represented. This attention to detail creates a visually appealing experience and fosters a sense of scale and familiarity that adds to the game’s charm. My review copy was on the PlayStation 5, and I did notice some hitching and framerate drops in some cutscenes, so hopefully, this is something that will be tidied up with a future patch.
Beyond its captivating visuals and exciting gameplay, LEGO 2K Drive offers players a fun and lighthearted story to enjoy. Throughout the game, players will come across various side objectives, minigames, and quests presented by comedic NPCs. These various activities range from protecting citizens from hordes of malfunctioning robots to engaging in high-speed races with “Boss” characters. Completing these objectives rewards players with Brickbux and other enticing bonuses, including additional vehicles. The narrative campaign revolves around the player assuming the role of Clutch Racington’s newest protégé, with guidance from his trusty robot assistant, S.T.U.D. As players progress through race objectives, they aim to defeat the game’s antagonist, Shadow Z. The story is fueled by the classic, lighthearted humor that has become a trademark of LEGO games.
LEGO 2K Drive is a delightful racing game that offers an immersive and entertaining experience for players of all ages. The game’s responsive karts, seamless vehicle switching, and arcade-like physics make driving through the LEGO world an absolute blast. The multiplayer options in LEGO 2K Drive ensure that the fun can be shared with friends near and far, both in cooperative and competitive modes. The extensive vehicle selection, coupled with the creative freedom of the Garage Mode, provides endless possibilities for customization and personalization. Overall, LEGO 2K Drive delivers a memorable and enjoyable racing adventure that captures the spirit of LEGO and guarantees hours of entertainment for all.
A PlayStation 5 code was provided by the publisher for review purposes