Ah, another Lego game that’s also a tie-in to a big blockbuster movie for the whole family. TT Fusion, the team handling movie tie-in Lego game is back with Lego The Incredibles, which adapts both the new film The Incredibles 2 and the first 2004 film.
While I had mixed feelings with TT Fusion’s last work- The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, Lego The Incredibles is step up for sure. Having played the game before watching the new movie, it is still an enjoyable romp on its own.
Presentation (Graphics & Audio)
As the title suggest, Pixar’s family of superheroes are now in Lego form- or rather has been for some time- but only now to get the Lego video game treatment. The characters are now in minifig form, with some exceptions like the bulky Mr. Incredible having a bigger torso piece, which is indeed a Lego piece. The 60’s retrofuture aesthetic the IP is known for is well present here. The background of menus stick to this aesthetic and the soundtrack from the film is all-well represented here.
My big complaint from the Ninjago game was the unfortunate choppiness to the game, with framerate issues galore. I’m happy to report that this is not as apparent in Lego The Incredibles. There are some dips, but it is much rarer.
The game can look decent- there’s an open world outside of the linear story levels which has a day/night cycle with some explorable underwater sections, but on the regular PS4 there’s a lot of compromise to ensure it hits the 30fps mark regularly. Draw distance is laughably short and shadow effects are not convincing with very blurry edges.
But it’s understandable. There are plenty of special effects being thrown at one time. From the super power effects to the destruction of many destructible Lego pieces and the famous studs lying around, there’s a lot of things on the screen going on sometimes.
All of the scenes from the movie has been reenacted in-engine rather than using FMV snippets from the movie. And with that, the typical charming Lego game humour makes the transistion. Some scenes depicting violence or mature elements are either toned down, gone or altered to be played for laughs. Slapstick humour is there for the kids, and for the parents, boy I hope you like puns. Because the puns are too much even the characters groan to some of them.
Lego The Incredibles starts with a literal bang, which throws you straight into the opening action sequence of The Incredibles 2. While the setup is high stakes, don’t worry as like in any Lego game, the tutorial will slowly introduce the controls and powers you can use with hints. Seasoned players can safely ignore them.
For the uninitiated, Lego games have a tried-and-true formula that this game also follows to a T. It’s a 3D platformer with some combat and puzzle mechanics and maybe some on-rails action here and there. On a story level, you will have control of at least two characters, working together using each other’s abilities to progress.
Each character may have a very specific ability – Elastigirl is the only character that can contort and to make bridges, ladders and access to certain hidden areas- while some may have more general abilities like diving into water or grappling on specific points. You can switch between characters and there is two-player drop-in drop-out local co-op.
After the first level ends, you will be let loose on an open world of Municiberg and New Urbem, crammed together as one map. Lego Ninjago reuse the same level for both the linear story bits and the open world portion- which is scaled down to open sandboxes- but Lego The Incredibles will move between the open world and self-contained linear levels for the story. The open world- which is not new to the Lego games- is extra content, but it certainly feels substantial. More on this later.
Should you head to the story marker next, you will get beeline the whole story levels of The Incredibles 2. Though you can always exit the story levels anytime to roam the open world and engage in other activities. Once you’re done with The Incredibles 2, the story levels for The Incredibles 1 is then unlocked.
As for the gameplay, there’s not much of a difference here aside from the new mechanics coming from new abilities. One is the ability to do Incredible Builds which requires special bricks to be collected first. Once you collected enough and you will go into a button-bashing mini-game where 2-4 characters build something in an epic presentation. Sometimes it is indeed epic, sometimes it’s a gag. Overcomplicated solutions to simple problems is a recurring theme that did got some light giggles from me. The other moment I laughed is that one level where references to Metal Gear Solid V was made for some reason.
The levels have a good pacing to it. While The Incredibles 2 is more heavier on the action sequences, The Incredbiles level feel like they have developed short scenes from the film into very long, and very good levels. It helps that the film has been out for some time, something the first game of this long franchise- Lego Star Wars- benefited as well.
Content & Longevity
Lego The Incredibles is like the rest of the Lego games, have a short story but tons of extra content to dig in. The story levels, six for each movie, can clock to 6-8 hours but there are many things to uncover in the open world. There are crime waves, where a particular district will be under attack and you will need to stop the villain in question- which opens and closes with a news report filled with puns. There are twelve of these to pursue.
Then you also get to replay the story levels again with free play- no character restriction. That means you can bring over 100+ characters that can be unlocked. These characters also include the whole Pixar films, from their mascot Junior the lamp to Dory the fish, which floats in a water bubble on the ground. Yeah.
You can also create your own custom minifig with some choice of superpowers to pick, using the minifig parts from characters you have unlocked. There’s wacky cheats to unlock which includes having the swing music blaring all the time with all the minifigs boogieing to it. There’s collectables to collect and many things to smash apart, rebuild and smash apart again.
Oh, and the best extra level from the Lego Ninjago game returns again. If you’ve enjoyed smashing those Lego pieces apart than the bonus level is pure catharsis.
So the six-hour playtime may be short, going for 100% will at least double the hours.
Lego The Incredibles is not only a good game as a movie tie-in, but a good game period. Technical issues of the last Lego game that’s also a movie tie-in has been addressed and more substantial extra content has been added thanks to the open world. The addition of covering the first film really helped the overall story package feel better in quality.
Aside from a few lingering graphical limitations, this is a solid Lego game. This won’t be winning hearts over from the core gamers, no. But for a family game with local co-op, this is a solid game to recommend for the young ones and their parents to play together. Even without prior knowledge to the IP, the game can stand on its own as a solid 3D platformer. Maybe not the most outstanding, but solid nonetheless.
Now if you excuse me, I need to go watch the movie now while it still playing in cinemas.
Reviewed on a regular PS4. Review copy provided by the publisher