LifeisXbox’s LEGO Brawls review | Lego Brawls is a fighting game published by The Lego Group and Bandai Namco Entertainment, developed by American studio RED Games. If you have heard of LEGO Brawls prior to its most recent release on September 2nd, then you are most likely familiar with the Apple Arcade version that launched back in 2019. When it comes to LEGO, we all tend to go a little crazy since the aforementioned LEGO brand is usually tied to some sort of license such as Harry Potter, Batman, and even Marvel. Shockingly though, it is very thin on the ground here, and despite being a game that has had years of time to be molded into something that can stand on its own two feet, LEGO Brawls has had a somewhat awkward transition to consoles. Read more below.
Most Memorable Moment
The set pieces will see your character fight inside a giant mech from LEGO franchises such as Ninjago, or even fight off against a T-Rex from Jurassic World. Whilst these aren’t limited to special moves, you will always come across them at some point. These moments are what make the brawls so much more interesting by adding a new layer of gameplay to the mix. Having to protect yourself from other players and the environment is something that makes the game more interesting and sets itself apart.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Customisation | With LEGO Brawls, there are approximately 77 trillion customisation options for your characters. It would take you more than a lifetime to go through them all. Whether you like dressing up as a bunny and fighting with boxing gloves, or wearing nothing but underpants and sunglasses, LEGO Brawls has you covered. The customisation options are so in-depth, right down to facial details. You will spend a lot of time here making your character memorable for other players to see. I personally liked suiting my characters up in matching garb, but you can literally go as wild as you want. It’s a very solid experience when customising your character.
- Multiplayer Options | Playing with friends in a fighting game like LEGO Brawls can be a fun and somewhat addictive thing with the right group of people. And while playing online can definitely be fun, sometimes you just want some good old-fashioned local multiplayer, just like back in the day. LEGO Brawls also offers local multiplayer with up to 8 players total! So if you have enough friends and controllers, make sure to buy an oversized couch to accommodate everyone and play to your heart’s content!
- The Graphics | Graphically LEGO Brawls look great. There is the usual LEGO-looking style we have all come to love and enjoy. Plastic figures look nice and shiny up close and have those cute LEGO details for stubble, teeth, hair, and more. Despite being handled by a different team, the same style has been adopted here and I am all for it. Whether you are new to LEGO games or an existing fan, you will love the style it has to offer here. The level design also features thousands upon thousands of LEGO-themed objects to break, and interact with, along with particle effects and lighting making it look really cool!
- Special Powers | Within each of the game modes your character can collect special powers that you can activate when brawling. Collecting the items in the level will allow you to summon flying cars that shoot lasers, throw dynamite, shoot pies at other people, turn into a chick (yes that’s what I said) and tons more. This is what gives LEGO Brawls its distinct style and separates itself from other brawlers out there. Having these items are one of many ways to give yourself a competitive edge over the competition. On top of this, you can also give your character that you design specific special weapons for when they are collected in the game such as the aforementioned pie cannon. Using studs can help you buy more gear to take into battle with you.
- The Music & Audio | The music and audio in LEGO Brawls are nothing to write home about. It has the standard upbeat music that you would find in most fighting games but also has a slight twist depending on where you are fighting. For example, fighting in Ninjago territory will play more Asian-orientated mystical music that fits more in line with the show. Jurassic World locations have more adventurous music playing with some beats that play slowly when the T-Rex approaches. The special power-up noises are generic and don’t change based on the power you get assigned when collecting them. The fighting sounds are good and feel like you are making an impact and can come off very satisfying. Other than that, there is nothing else worth noting in regard to audio.
- Lack of Game Modes | I know the game is called LEGO Brawls, but I also feel like they have taken the concept too literally. The game modes all consist of brawling either as a free-for-all, or a team-based capture-the-flag type deal. The latter sees you and 3 others team up to fight another colour team. The goal here is to protect the area until your capture meter fills up on the screen. Once done, the match is over and you move on to the next round. You are awarded studs for completing a match which can be used to buy new LEGO pieces in the customisation section on the main menu. Free-for-all is exactly what it says on the tin. You vs however many players join and the objective is to be the last person standing. There are some levels here that have environmental damage that can get quite tricky, but it’s those set pieces that keep the game interesting.
- Level Layout | The level design is largely the same from level to level. You start on a flat surface and move left and right akin to a sidescroller game. There are platforms to jump up to which add some verticality to the fighting. There are sometimes levels below the main starting area so you can brawl under the map too. It’s not as great as it sounds and whilst I can at least give them credit for not having a plain environment to fight in, I would have appreciated much more variety within the levels. As seen below, landing in lava will just launch you out, clasping your behind. Fighting onboard a boat surrounded by water would have been a great idea. LEGO sharks could have surrounded the ship and if you fall in your shark food. Except what we have here is a very repetitive level design pretty much across all levels. Fight up, fight down, fight in the middle.
What we Disliked
- Repetitive Nature | With only 3 game modes to choose from including free-for-all, capture the flag, and a mode based around collecting and hoarding dropped items. LEGO Brawls becomes very repetitive, very quickly. After each round, you vote on the next stage and sometimes you will be playing the same mode and the same location over and over again. It is here that there should have been some single-player option so that you can experience LEGO Brawls at your own pace.
- Lack of Licensing | The lack of game modes aside, the real shame here is the lack of licensing within the LEGO universe. LEGO on its own can be interesting to some but I feel LEGO has become synonymous with licenses and other brands these days. My kids and I were all hoping for more here. What would have been cool to have been playable characters of Batman, Harry Potter, Emit from the LEGO Movie, and even more familiar faces such as Star Wars characters. Except what we get here is more akin to a design your own character and fighting with those.
- Lack of Replay Value | There may be an absolute ton of mini-figures, costumes, and other bits and pieces to unlock as you play and earn stud, but in terms of the actual brawls, well, it’s a very shallow and disappointing experience. The other issue here is that despite having a lot of customisation, customisation may also have proved to be something of a red herring. While there are plenty of ways to reskin your characters, doing so doesn’t actually change their abilities – making extended play a touch pointless.
How long to beat the story | No story to beat
How long to achieve 1000G | Between 6 – 8 hours
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.