These are all example Lego worlds that will have Lego characters for you to buy, if you so choose, and while each major themed Lego pack will come with extra missions based on these franchises, you don’t need to buy them to play some of the story.

Rather, with each extra pack, you get extra characters and extra missions, and that word “extra” is key simply because the base game — the one with Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle — will arrive with hours of gameplay and a mission from each story already in the box, providing a demo world to play with.

Marty McFly running from The Wicked Witch and Gollum. Sure. Why not.

Marty McFly running from The Wicked Witch and Gollum. Sure. Why not.

Now if you go and buy a few other characters — maybe you want Homer Simpson or Marty McFly — you’ll find these can play along in the game levels as well as the originals, but purchase of these characters will unlock extra levels, too; essentially, purchase of these characters are just like the other “toys to life” games, with these activating downloadable content, except this extra stuff is already built into the game, with characters, levels, and voices just waiting to be unlocked.

But you don’t have to, and since the game and its base station starts at a good $170 with the packs ranging from $30 for just the characters to $60 for the characters and levels, Lego, developer TT Games, and its publisher WB Games have all come together to basically offer a middle ground starting area with both mission-based levels and neato open world sandbox versions, so you can explore each area until your heart is content (though some parts of the sandbox may only open up to extra characters later on).

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The game pad you start with actually supports seven objects at one point, too, so if you have seven things, you can whack them down on the pad and they will all load, handy because this is a two player game, and while one person can play with up to seven little in-game toys, two will share it better.

It will even light up and encourage you to move characters and elements to different sides of the pad, making this game pad not just a place for you to activate characters, but also interact with them.

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Beyond the characters and levels, however, Lego Dimensions aims to do something else, and this appears to be one of the major things that separates it from other “toys to life” titles out there.

We mentioned earlier on that games like Infinity tend to provide merely statues for you to play with, which aren’t really toys kids are going to get a lot of fun out of outside of the game. Dimensions aims to do this differently.

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In the Dimensions game, you’ll actually have little vehicles to drive around with.

For instance, in the main pack you buy, you’ll find the Batmobile, because you can’t have Batman without the Batmobile (how would you expect Batman to get everywhere… walk?).

But rather than just make the Batmobile like a character toy that appears in the game, the Batmobile — and every other vehicle in the game — is something you’ll actually have to build, complete with Lego instructions appearing on the TV screen. Better, you won’t just be building one version of the vehicle, but will eventually be able to build two more versions of a vehicle, and these will unlock different parts of the game and allow you to do different things.