Handy with Lego 2K Drive: the next driving game for your family

Over 800,000 new LEGO bricks will be produced before you finish reading this article. The tiny blocks of plastic are ubiquitous, delighting children alike letting their imaginations run wild and adults trying to recreate their favorite racing car at home.

So imagine what happens when you combine this popular toy with a video game. And not just any video game, but an open-world driving game with online co-op and Mario Kart-like racing?

Welcome to the world of LEGO 2K Drive and it might knock your socks off…

The elevator pitch

LEGO 2K Drive signals the start of a partnership between the Danish brick makers and the American gaming giant.

It’s a family-friendly, AAA (in 2K’s own words) vehicle-based title that aims to be an accessible entry point into driving games that’s fun for everyone – but most importantly, not just for kids.

As you begin your journey through Bricklandia (an open world split into four different biomes), the intentions are clear from the start.

This is ridiculous, over the top, fun without the burden of taking yourself too seriously.

Your overall goal is to reach the Sky Cup Grand Prix, but before you do that you must progress through a series of lower tier races and challenges, with Clutch Racington at your helping hand.

The former racer now acts as an introductory racing coach, and along the way you’ll encounter a variety of rivals such as antagonist Shadow Z. Each has their own over-the-top personality and during races there’s expert knowledge from Vikki Wheeler and Parker Carr.

It’s not a big open-world map, but rather four main islands that you can hop between, plus a smaller fifth one that’s used for the introductory tutorial sections. We were able to explore Turbo Acres and the first main island, Big Butte County.

As you explore these regions, you’ll find money, earn XP, level up, complete additional quests, and win checkered flags. Earning enough of these will unlock the main events of the racing series, and winning them will eventually open up the Sky Cup Grand Prix.

As you’d expect, everything you see has been designed using Lego bricks, with the level of detail even including the tiny company logo on each brick, creating a distinctive look.

If you think that the developer known for the WWE and NBA games is not suitable for a driving game, you are right if they were created by the studio Visual Concepts. It is not.

That’s why Lego 2K Drive, a project that’s been in the works for five years, has a dedicated team recruited with driving and open-world gaming in mind.

Eye opening environment

That’s the basics, now how to play?

In a word: varied.

We were recently able to try an early build of this brick-style epic hands-on for a limited time using a powerful Corsair One PC. Optimal conditions for a preview, full disclosure.

As you first traverse your vibrant surroundings in a supercar, everything you see has been lovingly recreated in the colorful construction toy. LEGO can be built but also disassembled, so you can also drive through pretty much anything you see apart from solid structures like buildings and bridges.

Much like smashing bricks with a lightsaber in one of the LEGO Stars Wars games, driving into objects and watching them shatter into a thousand pieces is more enjoyable than watching endless cat TikToks.

Lego 2K Drive open world dinosaurs

We could see younger audiences just spinning around and laughing hysterically while destroying objects, only to see them reappear and shatter them again.

There are hundreds of smaller missions for you to discover. Some are simple, such as B. getting from point A to point B within a time limit while others are suitably stupid, such as From smashing 20 giant mushrooms to using a giant egg in an equally large frying pan to a culinary episode of Top Gear Auto Soccer.

All of this will help you level up and gain access to the main racing events, where you’ll find two key mechanics: power-ups and vehicle changes based on the terrain.

The goal is to win the race by competing against a field of competitors in various Lego-based machines. Simply.

Adding to the frenetic nature of the action is a boost system, which is regenerated by drifting or smashing objects, and the power-ups that can be used to hamper rivals like missiles or a spider web.

It’s this element of the game that reminds us of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 game LEGO Speed ​​Racers from 1999, only more exciting.

LEGO 2K Drive gameplay

In addition to this chaos, you also spontaneously change vehicles.

This happens everywhere you drive in LEGO 2K Drive. When your sports car’s wheels hit dirt, it instantly transforms into an ATV. When you splash into the water, it transforms into a boat, which this time reminds us of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

These three main vehicle types – on-road, off-road and water – mean you can drive almost anywhere you see and also make for some differentiated racing events. For advanced users there is also the option of manually switching between the vehicle types.

drift athon

Speaking of vehicles, while most of the content we saw is from the LEGO City and Lego Creator ranges, we did see a licensed McLaren Solus GT. The limited-production hypercar is also currently available as a model in LEGO’s Speed ​​Champions range.

So there’s a chance that at least some car brands will be featured throughout the game, and we’re curious if this is a one-off or more to come.

LEGO 2K Drive Boat

However, they can have the most wonderfully energetic and prettiest environments – and the two biomes or islands we saw were different from each other – but it all depends on how it drives, whether there’s an enduring attraction.

Of course, this is an accessible game. The goal is to create something that is easy to play for all ages, and in short, the goal has been achieved.

In fact, it’s so benign that you never have to brake for a corner while racing. Simply step on the gas pedal with the right trigger and the left trigger acts as a drift button in combination with the left analog stick for steering.

Full throttle, approach a turn, hold it, press and hold the left trigger to drift around the turn – building up thrust as you go.

LEGO 2K Drive boost gauge

It can feel like a little blob with less precision than our current benchmark for a toy-based driving game, Hot Wheels Unleashed. Slowly maneuvering while exploring Bricklandia isn’t the smoothest of experiences.

But it does mean you’ll flow from corner to corner at higher speeds and in a racing scenario, and once you’re used to its quirks, it’s imperative to sidesteer through a corner while accelerating and dodging rivals.

Connected game

Speaking of which, multiplayer is a riot. Granted, we played this in optimal conditions against people in the same room, so the final network code has yet to be tested. However, it was hilarious.

Also, we weren’t able to source footage of it in action, so you’ll have to rely on that. Despite being regularly beaten by GameSpew’s Kim Snaith, there’s frenetic racing action and detailed environments for up to six players.

Lego 2K Drive off-road vehicle

For our full online multiplayer impressions, check out the Traxion.GG website linked in the video description.

Not only multiplayer racing events are available either, as the entire open world can also be played cross-platform with up to six online players without the Switch. Imagine two or three families teaming up across PC, Xbox and PlayStation to explore the world, find challenges and then dive into a series of high-energy competitions. Sounds fun to us.

We haven’t been able to try the online co-op, which can also be played in local split-screen for the entire story mode, but could theoretically be an important selling point.

LEGO 2K Drive haunted track

Let your imagination run wild

But what is LEGO without the ability to create? The master builder in 2K’s first game in this multi-token partnership is powerful.

You choose from the three vehicle types and a range of bare chassis stripes. Then that’s it, go build.

There are hundreds if not thousands of real LEGO bricks, including some Technic items, all faithfully reproduced.

LEGO 2K Drive Builder

Much like emptying a box of random parts and attempting to build something that vaguely looks like a vehicle, imagination and creativity come to the fore. Too bad we don’t have much, because our attempts looked like a cross between a hatchback and a tank.

Unlike buying a real set, there are no instructions to follow. At least there’s no chance of getting a bit lost under your couch…

It’s exceptionally powerful, and while there’s a tutorial, we hope to see some example in-game builds or more tweaks when the title launches.

Important details

That’s a lot to digest, but there’s more! So here are, in rapid-fire form, the other details you need to know about LEGO 2K Drive.

  • It will be released worldwide on May 19th, 2023, yes, that’s really soon!
  • It’s coming, take a deep breath, PC (Steam and Epic), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch
  • There is an in-game currency system, but whether or not you can buy it with real money is yet to be confirmed
  • Post-launch, there will be a Season Pass of DLC dubbed the Year 1 Drive Pass, which includes a fifth biome for the map
  • In addition to the Standard Edition, the Awesome Edition and Awesome Rivals Edition include the Drive Pass plus three-day early access starting May 16, 2023

Lego 2K Drive Multiplayer Racing

LEGO 2K Drive is a bold, surprisingly characterful driving game that combines open-world exploration with unprecedented customization and recognizable kart racing. There’s a quickness that matches the childlike sense of fun you get from building bricks.

It’ll no doubt appeal to its targeted family audience, but we’re hoping it will also appeal to die-hard racing game fans and maintain its brio throughout the length of Career mode. We’ll find out in just under two months.

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