Climbing behind the wheel of a home-brew sim racing cockpit for hardcore laps at the Nurburgring is all well and good, but sometimes, drifting a cheeseburger through Big Butte hits the spot. Not into high-performance food? Build your own car (or boat) and go racing in a more realistic manner, or rather, as realistic as you can get with digitized Legos. You can do this and more in Lego 2K Drive, and you'll likely be smiling the whole time.
Lego 2K Drive is technically a driving game but honestly, that's not what makes it so endearing. Sure, you can jump into the main storyline – a rookie racer facing down opponents in pursuit of the Sky Cup Trophy. You can also partake in the Cup Series which focuses solely on racing, and there's a straight-up race mode where you just get behind the wheel and go to any course of your choosing, no fuss no muss. But honestly, those race modes are a bit dull.
Playing the storyline, you enjoy an open-world environment where you can race when you want, drive where you want, jump into side quests at any time, or just tour the bricktastic countryside. And the world is properly large, with multiple areas to unlock as you progress towards the Sky Cup Trophy. Hours can be spent just galavanting around the virtual world, finding interesting places and goofy side quests to enjoy while getting familiar with your slate of vehicles.
Speaking of which, vehicle physics are non-existent so aside from a few settings that emphasize power, acceleration, or handling, everything basically drives the same. Crashes aren't really an issue, though it's fun to see bricks go scattering when you smash into things. And no matter what surface you're on, you have the right vehicle for the job. Lego 2K Drive automatically switches between cars and boats so you can just hammer down all the time. You have several to choose from right at the start, and as you beat rivals in races, you get more vehicles. Better yet, you can build your own.
Gallery: Lego 2K Drive Images
This is where Lego 2K Drive really shines. Lego fans young and old can easily lose hours in the garage, and with a very wide range of digital bricks to choose from (including Technic pieces), designs are only limited by your imagination. That is, imagination and the three categories of vehicles you can build – on-road, off-road, or boats. There's also a limited number of bricks available, so you can't build a fleet of machines to assail the citizens of Bricklandia. But you can have two or three going at any given time. Behold Jet Rally, the Motor1.com rally car with four jet engines. Did I mention that physics don't matter in this game?
Lego 2k Drive is the first in a series of games planned by Visual Concepts and 2K Games in conjunction with Lego Group. It's obviously aimed at younger audiences, and we aren't just referring to the unusual vehicle choices the game offers. There are plenty of chatty characters to encounter, many of which offer tutorials to easily walk players through various aspects of the action. Parents will appreciate the kid-friendly content, but as we all know, Lego fans come in all ages.
Being a comfortably middle-aged armchair Lego fan who has a home-built racing cockpit and a modest collection of sim reviews to my name, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed playing this title. If it was simply a Lego racing game, or a Lego building game, I suspect it would lose appeal in a hurry. Combining these facets in a single title with a large open-world environment and online multiplayer capability, it becomes something all ages can enjoy for more than a minute or two.
Lego 2K Drive is available now for Xbox One and Series S/X, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.