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LEGO car game puts new spin on brick building



There's a new LEGO video game on the block, opening the door to a world of imagination and creativity in digital form.

LEGO 2K Drive's developers say they're offering an "anything you can imagine" approach to designing vehicles made of LEGO bricks, much like the real thing.

Pieces you collect throughout the game's world can be used to build cars, boats and more in the game's specially designed "Garage".

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David Miska and Jacob Longazo make up part of the Visual Concepts development team, sat down with them to learn all about the game's detailed approach to building with LEGO.

"It's the ultimate Lego vehicle builder," said Miska, the game's Design Director.

The entire team at Visual Concepts are huge LEGO fans and say they've poured a lot of love into this new release.

"It goes way beyond just driving and racing. It makes people think about driving in a different way," he said.

"We took a page out of the real world, trying to emulate the way you look at the physical set and building it and, and trying to replicate that in a digital form."

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In LEGO 2K Drive, it's not just cars you can build, it's seemingly anything you can imagine.

"I was the LEGO Star Wars Kid," Lonagzo said.

"And you can bet for sure that when I get my hands on the retail copy I'm going to be making some Star Wars… We've had some of our internal people make pod racers!" he said.

Despite its colourful and childlike appeal, the developers stress that LEGO 2K Drive is for all age groups.

"We're creating a game that we want to be accessible to young kids but also for an older audience, or even people that are really skilled at playing video games that find something to master in our game," Miska said, making note of the game's sandbox and open-world.

"The open world allows you to do whatever you want, which kind of talks to the more casual gamers and slightly above the others," he said.

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While there are hundreds of unique LEGO bricks in the game, certain bricks won't make you go faster or give you special bonuses, the developers say doing so would take away from the game's creativity. 

"Very early on we asked ourselves, 'How do we make it a competitive game without hindering creativity?' Because if certain pieces or certain constructions gave you an advantage, everybody would be building the exact same vehicle," Miska said.

"And we think the most important thing for us is for people to be able to show off how creative they are. So the way you build your vehicle is not really going to affect your performance."

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While there are no "special ability" bricks, there are some pieces players can come across that will change the weight and alter the speed and acceleration of the vehicles.

In saying that, players will also organically grow faster the more they play and level up their character. 

"We're making a driving game, and that distinction is very important because the vehicle in our game is not just something – it's not a tool that you use to go from A to B, it's a full-fledged character," said Miska.

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Longazo told that all vehicles in the game can be recreated in real life if the player has the right pieces. All LEGO bricks featured in the game are the real deal.

"I want to build that. So if I go to the instruction system, and I have all the pieces I can just follow along and build it myself," he said.

Future plans to introduce sharing of digital instruction booklets between players have also been confirmed by the developers, which is something I'll eagerly keep an eye out for.

LEGO 2K Drive is coming to Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and PC on May 19.

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