|System: Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Traveller’s Tales|
|Pub: Warner Bros|
|Release: September 27, 2016|
|Players: Single-player, Multiplayer|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor|
Warner Bros. tends to have an odd E3 habit. Instead of offering a lot of demo stations with games to play, it will instead have a few Lego game kiosks and theaters showing off what larger games people could be playing later that year. E3 2016 was no exception, as only Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Lego Dimensions stations were in place. However, the Lego Dimensions ones were by far the most enlightening, as they offered a chance to go through the Ghostbusters Story Pack inspired by the new movie.
For those unaware, Story Packs are the latest kind of add-on for Lego Dimensions. $49.99 will get you a new gateway to build, minifigure character, vehicle, Adventure World, and one Battle Arena. Which doesn’t sound all that impressive, until you actually get a chance to see it in person. I was honestly blown away by what it gave . The new Ecto-1 is nice and all, as is a battle arena for fighting, but the Adventure World actually adds six large levels to the game. Also, I was incredibly surprised to see that scanning in Abby Yates, the minifigure included in the pack, also allows you to use both Erin Gilbert and Jillian Holtzmann. Only Abby appears in her official uniform, as the other two are in civilian attire, but having all three allows you to complete all story-related objectives in the pack without swapping, thanks to their abilities. Abby has a super-powered punch, as an example, while Jillian can fix anything (though every repair project seems to only require blowtorches – fire fixes all).
I was only able to go through part of one of the Ghostbusters Story Pack’s levels, but it was an early one that did a fantastic job of showing how well-rounded the expansion can be. Abby, Erin, and Jillian were going on an investigation in a library, which some may remember from the trailers. You know, the one where the ghost from the portrait throws up ectoplasm on Kristin Wiig’s Erin? While some of the early adventuring was business as usual, involving smashing things up to use the bricks for new builds or to grab electricity packs to power doors or dumbwaiters, it wasn’t long before I discovered the Rip Keystone.
Keystones are special Lego Dimensions abilities that allow you to move characters around on the NFC portal for various effects. In the case of Rip, picking up a minifigure and placing it in different sectors sends you to different dimensions. In the Ghostbusters Story Pack, this was a means of initially reaching new places to find bricks for a build. Basic enough, right? Except later, I needed to defeat a haunted, floating wardrobe via a Simon Says sort of mini-game. Various items on screen would flash in green, pink, and yellow colors, corresponding to lighted areas on the peripheral, and I had to move the Abby figure to the colored spots to make her use her Proton Stream to complete the puzzle.
Rip also came into play in this level’s boss fight. Remember that spewing ghost I referenced earlier from the Ghostbusters trailer? She goes through various attack phases when assaulting Abby and the team. Sometimes, she’ll send out ghostly chains to grab her. You need to use Rip to move her to another dimension to evade them. Yes, it was a little similar to the Shift Keystone ability in this instance, but it was effective nonetheless.
What delighted me most of all, however, was finding an Easter egg! You don’t expect to see that in an E3 build, but prior to the boss fight, I was able to destroy some furniture in an alcove in the room and find Paul Feig. He’s the director of the new Ghostbusters movie, for those unaware. It was the sort of surprise I didn’t expect, but was happy to see rounding out this package.
To be honest, I’m hoping the Lego Dimensions Story Packs set a precedent. I thoroughly enjoyed going through a level of the Ghostbusters expansion at E3. It didn’t feel like something tacked on to an existing game. Rather, it was more like I was going through an entirely new Lego video game, complete with all the humor and secrets the series is known for, only with the option of bringing in more iconic characters like Adventure Time’s Finn for fun. Though that $50 price tag may smart, I’m inclined to say it’s worth it.
June 20, 2016