Differentiating itself from the annualised releases seen with Skylanders and the ill-fated Disney Infinity series, TT Games continue to build LEGO Dimensions to be an experience that can be expanded as little or as much as you wish.
The first year’s expansion packs have already kept us busy after drawing on entertainment properties such as The Simpsons, Jurassic World, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who, and, as the second year’s worth of content arrives at retail, the developer has been able to secure even more blockbuster brands.
With Harry Potter, Adventure Time, Mission Impossible, The Goonies, Sonic the Hedgehog, Gremlins, Beetlejuice, and LEGO City Undercover‘s Chase McCain now set to join in on the fun, rattling through such lucrative names perhaps wouldn’t lure you in again if there wasn’t worthwhile content that allowed for even more mash-up opportunities.
That’s where Story Packs come in, a new introduction to the gag-ridden brick building adventure. We know about three so far, in the Ghostbusters Story Pack, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack, and The LEGO Batman Movie Story Pack. As you will have already guessed, these are movie-based experiences that provide those willing to dive back into the Multiverse with the chance to relive standout moments plucked from their respective films.
It is the Ghostbusters Story Pack that is first to arrive on the scene, taking inspiration from Paul Feig’s take on the supernatural comedy that was mercilessly targeted when it was revealed that the reboot would be fronted with an all-female cast. Thankfully that’s now behind us, and, with the Story Pack, we can trace the Ghostbusters team from their early paranormal encounter at the Aldridge Manor all the way through to the epic showdown at Times Square.
The Ghostbusters Story Pack comes with a buildable Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) LEGO minifigure with Proton Blaster, a 3-in-1 buildable Ecto-1 that can be rebuilt into the Ectozer and The PerfEcto, and LEGO Gateway bricks that will let you build Zhu’s Chinese Restaurant on the LEGO Toy Pad – built after completing a whopping 53-step instruction booklet.
It’s a shame that Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan) didn’t receive their own LEGO minifigures to help broaden the female characters that are available, but, as you chase down occultist Rowan North, each will join your team and you will have the chance to select between them on the character wheel.
There are six puzzle-packed levels to make your way through, namely being Paranormal Beginnings, Ghostbusting!, The Mercado Building, Breaking the Barrier, The Battle for Times Square, and The Final Showdown. These expectedly carry you through the movie’s pivotal scenes, sprinkled with the trademark humour that TT Games are now known for, and interjected with jaunts across the new Ghostbusters (2016) Adventure World.
Sadly, this Adventure World isn’t particularly memorable in comparison to others and feels largely lifeless, lacking the personality and pizzazz to entertain for longer stints.
The story levels are clearly crafted with the utmost care and the puzzles that you face introduce ‘Rip,’ a new Toy Pad mode that tears open an alternate universe that hides objects and items needed to continue your adventure. These warped instances are particularly trippy, but the new mechanic works well in broadening what was seen in the base game. Abby Yates similarly receives new abilities that make her character stand out from the crowd, whether that be transferring electricity with Charge Transfer, unleashing the Proton Beam, or capturing angry spirits with the Ghost Trap.
As a minifigure with a golden Toy Tag, Abby Yates unlocks a unique Battle Arena for you to play in – Ghostbusters Connection Dimension. This introduces competitive local multiplayer to the LEGO Dimensions Multiverse and is full-on fun, letting up to four players take each other on in walled-off battlefields. With Capture the Flag, Objective, Base Bash!, and Tick, Tag, Boom! modes to choose between, it excels when players are teamed up with one another. Those without enough players can add in AI opponents, power-ups add to the hilarity, and Brian Blessed’s boisterous voice commentating adds to the madness of the whole thing. A broader concern is that the Battle Arenas often feel far too large for four players to easily compete in.
The Ghostbusters Story Pack is positively bursting with content, setting loftier expectations as to what the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story Pack, and The LEGO Batman Movie Story Pack will deliver. There are still longheld niggles to be bothered by and a disappointing Adventure World to lament, but this presents a worthy way to expand on all the reasons that we have come to love LEGO Dimensions.