Lego video games have seen a resurgence recently. After years of being associated most closely with successful but often very similar platformers from TT Games, the last few years have given us the minimalist Lego: A Builder’s Journey, the clever physics puzzler Lego Bricktales, and the ambitious Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. It’s in that environment that we’re getting Lego 2K Drive, a striking combination of influences as diverse as Mario Kart and Burnout Paradise that uses the Lego license to add both humor and smart gameplay applications. Best of all, it’s an absolute blast to play.

The structure of Lego 2K Drive unfolds in layers that help to illustrate just how multifaceted the game really is. The core story mode takes place in a wide open-world environment composed of a handful of different biomes. I tried the tutorial area, Turbo Acres, as well as a large Arizona-like area called Big Butte, and the world map showed at least three more to explore. Each of these is littered with garages to act as fast-travel points, races, stunt jumps, and other activities. Most of these are integrated right into the open world, so you can simply pass through a gate to start a quick event–say, a challenge to jump over several barns. The open worlds in Lego 2K Drive reminded me of the best moments of Burnout Paradise or Forza Horizon, roaming the landscape and looking for fun activities, jumping into one, and then driving around to look for the next. The vehicles themselves have a solid weight to them, gripping the road in a way that even some more traditional racing games don’t quite nail.

Your vehicles aren’t limited to traditional cars. The landscapes often have large water structures as well as off-road grounds. Since your vehicle is made of Lego, it instantly reconstitutes itself to match the type of terrain it’s on. You can freely roam around the streets in a hot rod, and the moment you go off-road, a satisfying click-clack of Lego bricks rebuilds around you to make an ATV. Score a big jump off a cliff into a nearby river and, click-clack, you’re driving a boat. It feels frictionless, like the whole world is your playground and nowhere is off-limits. As you explore and unlock new vehicles, each with their own stats, you can make separate loadouts with different combinations of roadsters, off-road vehicles, and boats that will swap in automatically as you play.

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