The LEGO video game franchise has been very successful by employing the same formula over several different titles. However, one upcoming game, based on an upcoming movie, is going to change things up. The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game has a really long and frustrating title, but what it lacks in originality there it will more than made up for with new LEGO gameplay. This title will trade in the traditional linear level for an open world and it will emphasize combat like no other LEGO game previously. While at San Diego-Comic Con, I had the opportunity to speak with the game's producer, Tim Wileman, and he told me that the combat would be something special.
The really cool thing about this game which really sets it apart from other LEGO games is the combat. Obviously, it's ninjas and they're really cool. A lof of focus on close combat, hand to hand combat. We built the whole combat system from the ground up.
Most LEGO games, especially those that have movie tie-ins like the LEGO Star Wars games, have some of the most simplistic combat imaginable. It's usually a single button that you hammer on and hope that you kill the bad guy before they kill you. The combat of The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is much more involved. Each of the different Ninjago characters that players can control has a different weapon, leading to different play styles, but in all cases, the focus is on combining moves together to create combos. Greater combos reward players with more studs to collect and more studs give you the ability to unlock additional special moves for each character.
In addition to massively overhauling the combat of the game, The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game also makes a major change to the area in which you'll use that combat. Gone is the linear A to B level design, replaced with eight different open world environments. No longer will players be limited in their ability to explore the game world. Wileman explained...
We've done away with the old fashioned LEGO game method of making stand alone levels...where you move point to point and...so now we've gone for that open world field to these areas...That's given us a lot of scope in terms of how you explore the levels in terms of collectibles and stuff like that. There's a lot of freedom there for the players now which is like nothing we've seen in a LEGO game before.