LEGO 2K Drive Review - IGN (2023)

You'd think LEGO 2K Drive was mentioned on a Friday afternoon at 5:40pm - seriously, if these days all you have to do is combine the name of the publisher with a five-letter verb that describes what you're likely to do, I can't wait for the next Call of Duty to be called Activision Shoot – but hey, don't count it against that. Totally cute and imaginative, 2K Drive combines confident go-kart racing with a virtually unlimited custom garage, so you can spend as much time building meticulous vehicles as you do wild racing.

LEGO 2K Drive is based on many existing race cars, which makes it easy to explain. The beloved Lego Forza Horizon 4 expansion fees are automatically named after the LEGO-themed open-world racer (and they certainly both share the idea of ​​having races and challenges spread across the map to be discovered organically as you explore). Despite this obvious LEGO tie-in, 2K Drive is arguably more in line with Ubisoft's The Crew 2 and its hot-swap system. Vehicles in 2K Drive change from street driving, off-road racing, and boating as the terrain changes, complete with a satisfying brick-clicking sound effect.

(Video) LEGO 2K Drive Review

The ability to store several different three vehicles in loadouts is very useful, although I would say the system is a little overzealous when set to auto-shift. The effect of speeding from the street to the off-road and back after a split second spent on the roadside is a little maniacal - but you can turn off the auto-off if you prefer to switch manually. If you're unfamiliar with The Crew 2, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed's equally powerful take on morph engines can give you an idea of ​​what to expect - its brands of off-road racing, with vehicle swapping on tracks regularly geeking out as you blast your opponents with guns, are very similar .

You get the impression that the LEGO buckets were collected from life-size environments.

2K Drive is also a definite departure from the Horizon LEGO racing brand in terms of scale; it's more like Hot Wheels Unleashed in that respect. In other words, there's a real feeling of LEGO buckets collected in giant environments, with huge non-LEGO items like tools, tires, and tree roots scattered across colorful plastic dioramas in each of four separate open worlds. . Unfortunately, 2K Drive doesn't embrace this toy-sized idea as consistently as Hot Wheels Unleashed. The lighting isn't all that convincing, and the illusion is sometimes marred by objects that look out of place on the scale it's trying to suggest, such as an actual burlap miniature that should be life-size. Also, unlike Hot Wheels Unleashed, 2K Drive doesn't measure distance in centimeters or inches, which is a shame because it's those last few details that would really make a little racing toy like this sing if you catch my drift.

Screenshots from LEGO 2K Drive

(Video) LEGO 2K Drive Embraces the Spirit of Imagination

toy wonder

In this respect, drifting takes place in a somewhat bizarre way in 2K Drive, and by default we have to keep the brake and accelerator pedals pressed together for the entire duration of the drift. It's actually pretty easy to understand, but feels a little weird when the brakes are fully on for a good portion of the race. You can switch to more typical tap-to-drift mechanics, but it's a little less predictable, and I've found my drifts end prematurely, forcing me to fight understeer or brake mid-corner to get . .

That said, the feeling of long, fast power glides is well explained by the 2K Drive control model. It's easy to pick up and play, but arguably more complex than meets the eye - especially when you start to explore the smooth air controls made possible by rocket jumping and nitro boost, or feel the subtle effects of weight while riding. lose blocks in collisions and fights (by cleverly colliding with objects along the track, you will replenish the LEGO in your own damaged cart). A dedicated handbrake button - or quick turn as 2K Drive calls it - is also a key and welcome addition. This is very useful for tight turns and an absolute must to successfully complete certain missions, especially destruction-based missions that require quick changes of direction.

The eraser can be a little outrageous at times, but at least it keeps the chaos and closeness of the race close and rarely feels unfair. The track design is also generally solid, with many technical segments, environmental hazards, and satisfying shortcuts. 2K Drive works fine on Xbox Series X, but I have a friend who lost hours of saved game progress on PS5 without warning, which seems to be a known issue.

LEGO Games: Playlist

From old browser games to the latest console and PC hits, here are all the notable LEGO games from recent years.

(Video) LEGO 2K Drive Review - The Final Verdict

see it all

LEGO fun to build SEGA
LEGO Island Mindscape
LEGO Creator Superscape
LEGO Loco smart games
LEGO ChessKrisalis Software Limited
LEGO Friends [1999] Flipside Ltd.
LEGO Racers high voltage software
LEGO Rock RaidersData Design Interactive
Robounter: Temple of the Serpent Templar Studios
LEGO LandKrisalis Software Limited

2K Drive is probably guilty of relying too much on certain types of non-racing missions, some of which are mocked several times in career mode. Collection tasks are the most blatant and basically just follow procedures. The story itself was about 10 hours long, but I had a lot of unfinished secondary goals left. This explains a bit poorly why some of the later missions aren't available until you unlock the next batch of races, especially since younger players might find them and think they're broken, but the story is pretty sweet. I totally smiled as I watched the cutscenes that emulate the same photo-realistic style of stop-motion animation that the LEGO Movie preached. My kids loved the villain, which is honestly a lot more fun than the symbolic villain in the licensed racing game he was probably entitled to.

In construction

The last LEGO racing game I played - outside of Forza Horizon's opinion - was 1999's LEGO Racers, which gamers of a certain age fondly remember for its primitive custom car building. 2K Drive pays homage to that game by offering its own customization tool that would feel like a late 90s sorcery. Seriously, if you can dream it up - and it fits within the space allotted - you can build it. It's really amazing. In fact, my stats tell me I spent more time building than driving. The amount of options and controls was a bit intimidating at first, but after a few hours I felt quite comfortable relaxing and putting together my first project - which turned out to be a fat caricature of Mad Max's iconic Interceptor.

(Video) LEGO 2K Drive Review

LEGO 2K Drive Review - IGN (11)

Your meanness is set to music, and these stones were made to run!

Sometimes putting the pieces together is tedious, but generally very cooperative. Parts can be painted any color, whether they are officially available in the real world or not. You can group, duplicate, mirror, and make fine adjustments to angles. You can even remove and add parts without breaking whole segments like in real life. Many parts are held in reserve as rewards or can be purchased with credits in the in-game store - which means you may not be able to perfect your build right after launch - but the customization system in 2K Drive is excellent. .

However, it's not mandatory to spend a lot of time here - if you don't want to start from scratch, you can edit existing templates to get an edge over your build. Also, don't think you have to create big projects like mine. If you want to keep it simple, you can take a palm-sized chassis and just crush a small fast kart with a handful of bricks. You will return in 1999.

If you want to keep it simple, you can take a palm-sized chassis and just crush a small fast kart with a handful of bricks.

(Video) LEGO 2K Drive - Official Reveal Trailer

Besides, if an idiot like me is able to assemble something like this after only a few years of riding a shotgun through my kids' LEGO building, imagine what real LEGO experts could put together. However, understanding this is where 2K Drive stumbles as the ability to share creations is currently not available. It has been clarified that custom vehicle sharing is a feature that will be included in the post-launch update, but what form this will take is anyone's guess. Will it be limited to friends? Or will there be an in-game browser to see the best models of all? I hope it's the last one.


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