Hands On: ‘LEGO Horizon’ Builds A Welcome Entry Point To Sony’s Series

Horizon Key Art
Image: SIE / The LEGO Group

While rumors for LEGO Horizon Adventures had been making the rounds the week leading up to Summer Game Fest, we never could have imagined we’d see the Nintendo Switch logo appear at the end of its hilarious reveal at the live show. PC, for sure, but Aloy on Nintendo? This made us wipe our eyes in amazement, as other than the MLB: The Show series (which before 2021 was a successful exclusive for Sony’s own gaming boxes) this is the first time we’ve seen one of its biggest IPs make the leap to a rival console, albeit in a slightly more family-friendly form.

While Sony’s invitation to demo the new Horizon game down in their basement booth at Summer Game Fest 2024 initially sounded the fight or flight alarms in our Nintendo fan noggins, we survived the ordeal unscathed and walked away with a positive perspective of this new Lego build. While this writer personally hasn’t had much experience with the Horizon games, we didn’t feel out of the loop and are genuinely much more curious to dive into its world than before. So, that sounds like “mission accomplished,” right? It’s worth mentioning too that we got our hands on the PS5 version at this event, which had no trouble running the game, but we are incredibly keen to see it running on Switch, hopefully sometime soon.

Captured on PlayStation 5
Image: SIE / The LEGO Group

We’re aware the Horizon games tackle some pretty serious topics, but one thing that was instantly clear in our roughly 30-minute demo was how much fun this brick-built world is trying to have with itself. The story follows the events of the first game, Horizon Zero Dawn, and sees Aloy embark on a quest to learn more about her origins while trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic, robotic raptor-ridden world. But since this is a Lego game, fun is at the forefront of every moment. Aloy and her comrades are constantly cracking jokes at their expense and making tons of hilarious nods to their alternate-world endeavors that’ll land with those in the know. These gags surprisingly also didn’t fall flat for us uneducated newbies, either.

During our demo, we noticed most (if not all) of the dialogue feature voice acting and quite a few members of the original cast reprise their roles too. We were told Ashly Burch was specifically sought out to see if she’d fit this quirky new depiction of Aloy and, from our perspective, she absolutely nails it. Her bubbly personality paired with her quick delivery fit like a glove and we’re thrilled to see her back in a role as wacky as her character from her original web series, Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?

The PlayStation darlings, Horizon Zero Dawn and Forbidden West are both third-person action RPGs and are often compared to Nintendo’s own Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Lego Horizon Adventures, however, feels most reminiscent of the original Lego Star Wars games on GameCube. Played from a dynamic, top-down perspective, you’ll hop through chapters with two-player co-op, online or offline, that you can drop in and out of. As you’d expect of a Lego game, there’s also a large cast of characters and 100 silly costumes to dress them up in.

Captured on PlayStation 5
Image: SIE / The LEGO Group

We hopped through two of the game’s early levels which saw us popping cultists and mecha dinos in the face with Aloy’s bow and arrow and Varl’s spear, even finding temporary fire enhancements for said weapons here and there. We also had the chance to try out some pretty hilarious special weapons which you’ll be able to find periodically throughout the game. In one instance, we found a Brick Separator, which we were fully expecting would allow us to carefully pluck apart our enemies brick-by-brick, but instead, it shockingly swings like a blunt baseball bat, unleashing a massive area of effect attack.

Remember that hot dog, Tim Robinson lookin’ fella from the reveal trailer? He actually makes an appearance in the game as a summonable, Assist Trophy-style character that temporarily throws explosive glizzies at your enemies. Between the humorous dialogue and the wild, over-the-top combat, Lego Horizon seems to be a game focused on fun for families and kids who may be interested in getting their foot in the door of the Horizon world. Speaking of being kid-friendly, the difficulty actually caught us off guard at times too, quickly shedding us off our worries about this would be an overly simplistic walk in the park.

The world itself looks lush and has been crafted meticulously with layers upon layers of accurate Lego bricks. It looks exactly like someone has built a Horizon “stage” in real-life Lego form. It’s easy to find beauty in the desolation and decay of the empty streets. Even a simple stoplight made up of round red, yellow, and green Lego studs put a little smile on our face. We can only hope the development teams have had some fun recreating a scene or two from the game with actual Lego.

Captured on PlayStation 5
Image: SIE / The LEGO Group

While we were playing the demo, we were told the Switch version of the game is being built internally between Studio Gobo and Guerrilla Games, and they’re aiming for parity between the alternate console versions, aside from graphical differences. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if the PlayStation 5 version receives some PlayStation first-party character DLC or something of that nature. But who knows! Kratos of God of War and Nathan Drake of Uncharted are playable in Fortnite and they made the leap to the respective Switch release too.

It’s probably a pipedream to think of seeing a special Link or Zelda costume coming to the Switch version, but now that The Legend of Zelda has its own official Lego set, maybe that’s not such a crazy thought. It’s also quite funny to think about PlayStation studios having Nintendo Switch dev kits in their buildings. Honestly, though, we find it an exciting prospect and one that Guerrilla has told us they’re internally thrilled about too.

While Lego Horizon Adventures doesn’t seem to be doing anything outwardly new for the industry, it’s a curious project that we’re pleased to see being crafted with so much care for longtime fans of Horizon and newcomers alike. The holiday launch window of 2024 gives us plenty of time to catch up on the original series on our non-Nintendo hardware, but even if we don’t find the chance, we’ll still be just as excited to give this our time when it hits Switch later in the year.

Are you ready to build a foundation with Aloy on Switch? Let us know in the comments below!

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