You’ll find that very quickly, actually, because the first thing you realise when you pick up the Lego Dimensions box is just how big it is: seriously, it’s a bigger box than you’ve come to expect from the basic open-close DVD case boxes video games have been coming with for years, and inside this box is a special gamepad that reads NFC tags in controllers, the video game, a poster, and a bunch of Lego.
Yes, you get real Lego inside Lego Dimensions, and you even get an instruction manual, but you don’t have to worry so much about that in the beginning, just pop the game in and start there.
Once you’ve gone through the intro and discovered that Gary Oldman has been turned into some evil Lego villain hell bent on taking over the universe, it’s time to actually get to work and build your Lego for your character and vehicle gamepad, the very thing controlling the portal connecting you to Lego’s various dimensions where you’ll be travelling to stop that villain in his quest.
When you first get the gamepad out of the box, you’ll see the Lego placement bricks and assume you need to build on it, and once you get up to the section of the game (in the intro) that asks for it, you can either follow a paper manual found in the box, or one on the screen.
Here starts the physical Lego building fun, and truth be told, there’s a good hour of Lego building here, what with the emptying of Lego packets on the table, finding the right pieces, and then building the thing, which is actually a physical interpretation of the portal Lego Dimensions uses in-game to send you to destinations.
We do need to note that you don’t actually have to build it if you don’t want to, and you could easily play the game without so much as a portal on your game pad, but it’s fun, and is part and parcel of the Lego experience.
You’ll also need to build yourself some players to play with, and three of these arrive in the box: Batman, Gandalf, and The Lego Movie’s Wyldstyle. Each of these sits on a special blue token of their own, and the reason these are so special is that they are encoded with information to tell the game which character to load up when they’re sitting on the board.
Want to play with Gandalf? You have to move him to the board.
Wish to be Batman? Stick him on the board.
Keen to play as Homer Simpson? Buy an extra character and level pack, assemble him, and stick the donut-eating father of three on the board.