During my hands-on session with the Lego 2K Drive, I initially don’t realize I’m so close to the monitor. I’m competing against other players online, and in the second round, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat. My intense state of focus is due to competing racers closing in on me at all times, pulling objects designed to take down my car or give themselves an advantage. When I’m not blown to pieces by a missile at the right time, I press the A button on my Xbox Series X controller in an attempt to clear a web blocking my vision. On the last lap, by a miracle, I climbed back to first place, but it didn’t last long. A driver hits me with a volley of pellets and my vehicle collapses before my eyes.

This element-infused racing chaos is immediately reminiscent of Mario Kart, which is even more hectic when playing with others. When you’re off the race track, however, developer Visual Concepts and 2K have created an open-world driving adventure with arcade sensibilities that have Forza Horizon undertones. Coming to PC (via Steam and Epic Store), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Switch on May 19, 2023, Lego 2K Drive can be played solo, online with up to six players, or co- local split screen with a friend. After spending quite a bit of time browsing its world and trying out a few features, I can already see that it has a lot of appeal for racing and Lego fans.

bricks and reinforcements

(Image credit: 2K)

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My time with Lego 2K Drive begins at the Turbo Acres training camp, where I first tested the basics with the help of veteran driver Clutch Racington (what a name). In the opening section, I learn how to drift, make quick turns in tight turns, and test my booster which propels me forward in short bursts. The boost meter can be recharged by driving and smashing objects all over the world, which is more satisfying than ever in the world of Lego games.

Training camp is also where I first learn about different terrains and how they change my wheelset. When driving down the road, my Lego vehicle takes the form of a tram, quickly transforming into a boat as I cross a nearby river, transforming into an SUV as I turn onto the lawn. You’re free to change your vehicle’s outfit for each style, but I like how it automatically reacts to the landscape; this seems very appropriate for Lego, with the bricks rearranging seamlessly into different shapes in the blink of an eye.

Soon I’m transported to Big Butte County, which is one of many biomes in the world of Bricklandia to explore. The Western-style landscape is home to Lego cowboys, farmland, and even a town full of restaurants and dessert shops to browse. As a new pilot, you will gain experience to level up by completing various activities around the world.

2K Lego unit

(Image credit: 2K)

There are lots of different races where I can hit the throttle early on, but some are locked out until I reach a certain level. In racing events, you will compete against a rival racer to earn a flag and other rewards like money and new vehicles. Accumulating enough flags will qualify you to compete in one of three different Grand Brick arenas in Bricklandia, which reminds me of the festival progression system in Forza Horizon 5. race.

Various on-the-go challenges, missions and events scattered around the world to discover and try. The latest events will present you with several different recognizable challenges scattered across the map. One of the first ones I come across makes me boost and jump off the roofs of farm buildings with a time limit, which turns out to be quite a chore. Missions, on the other hand, are a little easier, as local residents ask you for help collecting pigs or finding a particular driver in a location based on their fondness for desserts and the color of their uniform. race.

creative customization

2K Lego unit

(Image credit: 2K)

The events to discover definitely inspire you to explore the world at large as well as admire the sights, and all the challenges and quests are filled with signature Lego silliness and humor. While I spend most of my time alone, we’ve changed things up to try out some races and activities with other players from the same world. When a player starts a race, we’re all pulled into the same event with no delay, meaning it’s just as easy to get caught up in whatever’s on offer. It definitely adds to the competitive edge of racing, but it’s also fun to drive and explore with other drivers by your side.

One of the most appealing aspects of Lego 2K Drive is undoubtedly the ability to build and create your own vehicles. By heading to the garages that double as fast travel locations, you can start building any car or boat your imagination can dream up. After selecting the type of vehicle I want to make, I select one of the bases in the game which come in different shapes and sizes.

With over 1,000 Lego pieces to play with, I choose a basic car model called Tiny Terror and start assembling what I call a “very small moving pig”, with Lego pig pieces decorating both sides . Although the camera is a bit difficult to move, all the pieces fit together easily, just like building a real Lego set. The different bricks and paints mean you can really let your creative side run wild, and you can even test out the wheels you’ve put together before you commit to putting your creation away.

There is so much to see and do at Lego 2K Drive. While I can’t help but compare it to Mario Kart and Forza Horizon, its customization certainly taps into the creativity Lego is so known for, and it has a satisfying sense of progression that’s sure to please fans of the games. and the kind of racing when it hits the grid in May.

Keep track of all upcoming releases with our summary of new games for 2023 and beyond.

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