Hilary Andreff
E3 2019: LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed Preview
So much nostalgia that this game won't lego of our attention.
06.30.19 - 6:42 PM

The way LEGO has evolved over time has been extremely interesting to watch, from an increasing variety of building sets, including some based on popular series like Batman and Star Wars, to movies and games that create LEGO versions of some of those well-known franchises. Instead of centering around these properties, Gameloft is taking a slightly different approach with LEGO Legacy, their upcoming LEGO title: it's focused on the early LEGO sets and minifigs themselves, and translates them into a strategy RPG. And hey, why not? I was definitely one of those kids who built elaborate structures from multiple sets at once, so why couldn't a similar idea apply to a video game with family friendly, tactical battles? And from what I saw of the game menu, which looks like many iconic building sets positioned against the familiar backdrop of a basement or attic, it looks like a nostalgic fit.

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed Screenshot

LEGO Legacy, as a mobile game, is planning to grow. It starts with four main sets — City, Space, Pirates, and Castle — and will grow from there. And there sure is a lot of information about the minifigs and environments associated with these sets. In the character selection menu, you can read all about the characters' original history, and in some cases, Gameloft has worked with LEGO to add some information and make these sets richer; a character who was originally labeled as "female ice scientist" gets a name and basic background for her Legacy unit, for example. Another nice touch is that as your group of LEGO adventurers construct locations and facilities from these sets, all are animated so they're built, step by painstaking step, based off of the original instructions.

From the demonstration given, LEGO Legacy battles appear to incorporate several familiar strategy RPG elements in a fun way. You build your minifig team based on who and where you're fighting, and combat proceeds in a standard turn-based fashion. Having multiple items from the same set, like a group of Castle minifigs, makes each member from that set stronger in battle. Sets of characters are tagged, and you can see star ratings for your units. Minifigs have different abilities in battle, but they all have one basic attack and one with a cooldown, and some even have ultimate attacks. The battle showcased in the demo had a tank-like City character doing bench presses to attract the opposition's attention while the LEGO Chicken Soup Guy tossed eggs and worked with other units to take out the enemy's healer. There wasn't a chance to see Chicken Soup Guy build a giant LEGO chicken as his ultimate attack, but that leaves something to look forward to.

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed Screenshot

With the collectable nature of these legacy LEGO items, it's easy to wonder how Gameloft is approaching the way you unlock new sets and characters. It's all a free-to-play structure. New items will become available and the game will grow, but players can collect codexes to use toward those new sets and figures. The idea is that you should be able to play and discover new items without having to pay, so that everyone can celebrate and enjoy the rich history of LEGO.

There appears to be a lot in store for this charming LEGO title, with a possible beta or soft launch later this year. Be sure to check back here at RPGFan for the latest!