While a LEGO take on the Skylanders series has been rumoured for a good few weeks, we've been doing our best to keep quiet and stay calm, as we wouldn't want to get your hopes up for no reason. But try and stay calm as we might, the rumours just wouldn't go away - Warner, they said, was working on its very own "toys to life" game, with physical minifig character toys, that, when placed on a special base, become playable characters in the game. With the endless series of toys LEGO has, it sounded like a rumour too good to be true - but today, it's become official.
Called LEGO Dimensions, the game sounds exactly as you'd expect it to be, only with a few twists - while we'd hoped for a move away from film franchises towards original LEGO characters and properties, it seems the game will be a mix of Ninjago, Lord of the Rings, Batman, Back to the Future, the LEGO Movie and, weirdly, the Wizard of Oz. Brilliantly, rather than coming with a totally static base, you'll actually have to build the portal yourself, before plonking your figure (and vehicle) of choice on to unlock them in the game. The trailer does a pretty good (and funny) job of explaining how it'll all work:
Taking the "toys to life" concept to its extremes, it seems like everything about LEGO Dimensions will be buildable yourself. The characters can be taken to pieces and rebuilt, and the vehicles come in pieces so you can put them together yourself, although whether or not your mix and matching will have any effect in game or not (we're guessing not) remains to be seen.
As you'd hope, the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack comes with everything you need to get going, including the game, a base, the bricks you'll need to build the LEGO Gateway, 3 LEGO minifigs (Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle), and the LEGO Batmobile. Also unsurprisingly, while the game comes with all you need in the box, you can expand your adventure with extra characters, levels and vehicles by buying separate add-ons. And, actually, these don't look all that bad.
"Now for the first time in a videogame, LEGO fans can play in the virtual world and in the real world - combining everything without restrictions. Imagine putting LEGO Gollum from The Lord of the Rings behind the wheel of the LEGO Delorean in New Ninjago City - the creative play is endless."
Split into Team Packs (two characters and two vehicles - perfect for co-op play), Level Packs (one character, two vehicles, at least one of which will unlock a level in game), and Fun Packs (character/vehicle combos that don't unlock anything special beyond that character and vehicle), these are the sort of things we could see our younger selves going crazy for. Actually, forget that - it's the sort of thing we can see our full grown selves going crazy for.
Interestingly, it sounds like LEGO Dimensions may not be going down the yearly sequel route. In fact, while Warner have promised lots of expansions through to next autumn and beyond, they've also confirmed that "future expansion pack purchases will continue to work with the Starter Pack, even in the fall of next year. No compatibility chart necessary." This could mean one of two things - either the level packs/character expansions released for LEGO Dimensions 2 will be compatible with LEGO Dimensions 1 (which sounds pretty complicated to us), or, there won't be a LEGO Dimensions 2 - and instead, this is a game that'll keep being expanded through physical add-on packs alone (again, something that sounds like a technical hurdle to say the least).
While we have loads of questions - when are we going to see expansions based on non-film tie-in LEGO sets? Will physical changes to toys be reflected in game? Can we have a LEGO Island themed expansion? We'd settle for LEGO Racers? - this has just shot to the top of our most wanted list. And we don't have that long to wait. Due for release on the 29th September, on Wii U, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, we won't have too long to wait to get our mix and match LEGO fix.