With a new year of toys-to-life releases, LEGO Dimensions has chosen the new reboot of Ghostbusters to showcase their Story Packs.
In some ways choosing the new reboot of Ghostbusters to headline the Year 2 LEGO Dimensions packs was a brave move. Considering the Level Pack for the original Ghostbusters had already been released in the game’s first year and the backlash against the reboot in general, it could have been a disaster.
Thankfully, the mood seems to have changed since the film’s release (dare I say it’s because the movie is actually pretty good?) and this set should cast away any doubts anyone still had about the choice.
So, what is a Story Pack? Well, the first year of Dimensions saw an over-arching storyline where Lord Vortech wants to take over the Lego Multiverse and various characters are sent to stop him. Year 2 doesn’t focus on a larger story, as such, but has individual Story Packs that are self contained. Unlike last year’s Level Packs, which contained one additional level, these contain six levels and run for a lot longer, encompassing both the story of the movie they are based on and a side quest that continues the Lord Voltech story.
Which brings us to Ghostbusters. Inside the pack you’ll find Abby Yates from the movie, the new Ecto 1 vehicle and a brand new surround for the portal which, once build, simply slides over the plastic base. The new portal surround is a wonderfully designed slice of the film’s Chinese Restaurant, complete with sliding doors at the back. It doesn’t have any function in the game except to work as a backdrop to the portal.
Once Abby is placed on the portal you can choose the Shard to enter the new game world. This takes you to the start of the story, which begins right at the start of the movie. The game pretty much follows the plot of the movie right through, so beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet. There are a few deviations where it needs to fit in with some of the larger Dimensions universe story and there are also some wonderful cameos from characters outside of Ghostbusters, such as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Harley Quinn cameo.
Thankfully, this is not just a dry run through of the movie’s plot but it spices the game up with the usual LEGO humour that we’ve come to love. It gets it spot on, as well, with some funny swipes at the movie controversy and typical irreverent humour throughout. The characters are all voiced by the actors who played them and even Bill Murray makes an appearance.
Gameplay is pretty standard fare for both the LEGO franchise games and Dimensions, with use of the portal when placing characters out of danger, good use of the Ecto 1, which is built fairly early on, and some well thought-out puzzles that are set at just the right level if you’re playing with family.
Once you’ve finished the story mode, there’s more fun to be had in Battle Mode and the Ghostbusters world that opens up. Every new franchise and pack that comes out in Year 2 will have its own Battle Mode and the Ghostbusters one is suitably spooky looking, with ectoplasmic skies and old stone buildings. This mode is seriously fun with 4 players in split-screen and reminds me of those Mario Kart battles we used to have back in the day.
Overall, then, as the first LEGO Dimensions pack of Year 2 and the first ever Story Pack, Ghostbusters 2016 succeeds in being one of the best pieces of content for the game so far.