Lego 2K Drive Review
Lego 2K Drive is a new racing game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Games… Yes, you read right, Visual Concepts, the devs from WWE 2K23 and NBA 2K23. It’s a stark departure from what they usually do, especially with using the LEGO property and a racing game.
Lego 2K Drive is an open-world arcade racer that’s set in a LEGO-fied world that’s bright, colorful, and apparently full of racers that are raring to go. Previous LEGO games have mainly appealed to a younger audience and this is no different, but it’s clear to see that there’s a solid core here that elevates and separates it from being just any other racer.
The first thing you notice with LEGO 2K Drive is how wonderful and gorgeous it looks. The game, as with any other LEGO game, doesn’t aim for photorealism but instead offers a vibrant environment that looks better than you would expect. There are various activities to take part in, and most importantly, the feeling of blazing through the tracks is translated very well, making it a more than competent racer that can provide a serious amount of fun.
The controls of the game are spot-on and driving LEGO cars feel very responsive and smooth. Players can also drift and jump without any complicated setup, which is great for giving the audience a feel-good time. Power-ups are also littered around the tracks for some brick-breaking mayhem that’s as chaotic as it is fun. Despite the bigger emphasis on having a good time, there’s a decent amount of skill also involved here that strikes a good balance for new and experienced players.
There’s a roughly 10-hour story/campaign for story mode-enjoyers like me, and although it highlights a paper-thin storyline, the proceedings are punctuated by the humor and writing that LEGO is known for. It’s definitely aimed at kids, but even someone as old as I am got some laughs and chuckles in between as I played through the game. It’s not a game that takes itself too seriously, so neither should you!
With racing being the core part of the experience, LEGO 2K Drive offers tracks that include various terrains to conquer. Throughout the story mode and even outside of it, players will experience varying surfaces that transform their vehicle suitable for the track. A pool of water ahead? You’ll get a boat! Off-road track? Strap in with a rally-ish ride! The tracks in the game fully lean into this mechanic, resulting in lively and exciting races that offer variety and sets it apart from other racers.
Being an open-world racer, LEGO 2K Drive is filled to the brim with side activities that are arguably more fun than the actual races themselves and are almost a staple across LEGO games. The world is filled with collectibles, challenges, and short races that really break the monotony of races, offering a varied experience depending on how players choose to approach the game. Add local and online play into the mix, and you have a winning formula.
LEGO 2K Drive succeeds at picking out some of the best qualities of other similar titles and fusing them into a racer that really excels in the fun department. It doesn’t stop there though, as LEGO is pretty much known for building, and players will also be able to build the car of their dreams in LEGO 2K Drive.
Players will start with the basics but can experiment will various types of bricks to bring their vision to life. The vision need not be a sleek sports car or a rugged jeep, and players can really let their imagination run wild through this robust feature that will eat up a lot of time.
That said, it’s also no surprise that there’s an in-game shop for all your building needs, and the items here can get quite expensive. Spending your Brickbux at Unkie’s Emporium can be tempting, as you’ll always want to race in style while winning trophies here and there, but it isn’t the only way to go.
Players can simply grind for Brickbux through races and activities, but grinding is the keyword here, and it could take a long while to save up for that next part due to small payouts. As expected, you can use a more premium currency, Coins, to purchase even more Brickbux, speeding up the process. Between the payouts, the pricing, and inducing the feeling of wanting that next component, there’s a very aggressive push to spend.
What we liked:
- Vibrant and impressive graphics
- Fun racer with intuitive controls
- Lots of side activities and collectibles
- Superb performance on console
What we didn’t like:
- Aggressive microtransactions
- Not for those looking for a deep racing experience
Verdict: Wait for it…
Overall, LEGO 2K Drive is a surprisingly competent racer that I totally did not expect. “Kiddie game” is what first comes to mind with LEGO titles, not meant to be a derogatory term in any way, and while it is mostly aimed at that target audience, more experienced players might be pleasantly surprised at what LEGO 2K Drive has to offer.
There are a lot of side activities and collectibles to be had in the game, and when not exploring, players can take part in the campaign mode to race it up against other aspiring champs. There’s also local and online co-op to take on other racers across the world.
Sadly, the aggressive monetization really ruins a lot of the fun in the game. There’s always a choice not to use this avenue, but between the low payouts per race, the long grind, and the expensive pricing, the push to spend more Brickbux is as powerful as ever.
If you can overlook it, LEGO 2K Drive is a nice surprise that can easily hold its own against other similar racers out there. The base is solid and promising enough to warrant a new installment down the line.
*LEGO 2K Drive was reviewed on a PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.