LEGO Brawls review for Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5
Publisher: LEGO
Developer: Red Games
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1-8
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

It’s kind of shocking how bad LEGO Brawls is.

I mean, whatever you may think of all the IP-themed LEGO games that have come out over the past decade-plus, one thing you couldn’t say is that they’re lacking in content. Not only do the games offer pretty lengthy stories, they also feature tonnes of collectibles and characters. They’re practically designed for you to go back and play them again and again.

That’s not the case with LEGO Brawls. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite: it’s a Smash Bros-style fighting game with almost zero replay value. Or, for that matter, much value for playing it a first time.

It’s wholly skippable, is what I’m trying to say.

What makes it frustrating is that you can see what the developers were going for. In an ideal world, you could create all kinds of minifigs, and then throw them into battle with each other in a variety of stages. With the right amount of content, LEGO Brawls could easily have turned out to be a ridiculously fun party game, as well as a thriving online game.

Instead, the version of LEGO Brawls we got has minimal content, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to play it anywhere, either solo, with other people, or online.

To be fair, the character creator is kind of good. You get all sorts of changeable parts, and you can make a minifig that looks as absurd as you want. In that respect, the game builds (pun not intentional) on what makes real-world LEGO so fun.

But beyond that, there’s nothing here. The characters may look different, but they all control the same: they can jump, and they can slash at each other. They can pick up a few power-ups, but they’re the same for everyone. Basically, it’s the opposite of every fighting game ever, where a huge part of the fun is seeing your character’s individual attacks. In LEGO Brawls, everyone has the same attack, and all you can do is hit mash away at one button until your opponents die.

Worse still, it’s not even fun button-mashing. You don’t get to build up any attacks into something satisfying; occasionally the game will decide that one of your hits will send someone flying, but you don’t have any control over that. Further, getting the special attacks don’t really matter all that much. They also feel weightless, and they last for so short a time that they barely even register.

There’s not a lot of difference between the game modes, either. Whether you’re doing 4 vs 4 or battle royale, the gameplay all boils down to (say it again!) button-mashing. There’s no skill involved – and the fact that someone like me is complaining about this should tell you something, since I’m atrocious at all fighting games, including Smash Bros. If even I’m turned off by the total lack of difficulty, that’s a pretty clear sign that something has gone horribly wrong.

It’s not inconceivable that LEGO Brawls could turn into something fun one day. If it were beefed up with loads more content, along with more interesting and more dynamic fighters, it would definitely be a lot more interesting. But in this state, with so little content – and with the content that is there being of such poor quality – there’s no way to classify LEGO Brawls as anything other than a massive disappointment,

LEGO provided us with a LEGO Brawls Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+

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