Enthusiasm for LEGO Universe Builds at E3 2010: Awards & Impressions

The LEGO Group and developer NetDevil made a resounding splash at E3 2010 last week with LEGO Universe, the upcoming MMOG that will change the way you think about online play.

E3 attendees were able to demo the game live on the show floor and take home customized Minifigures from the “build bar.” Members of the press got a special look at the game’s unique “behaviors” system, which enables players to apply simple programmable abilities to their LEGO creations and literally bring in-game models to life.

As the development team works around the clock to perfect LEGO Universe for an October launch, enthusiasm is rapidly building among LEGO fans, gamers and press around the globe. From hardcore MMO enthusiasts and game industry influencers, to mainstream media, kids and parents, LEGO Universe is striking an imaginative spark in everyone who plays it.

Judging from journalist reactions at E3, what’s not to love? LEGO Universe beat out big names like Final Fantasy XIV and Star Wars: The Old Republic to bring home some of the top E3 awards, proving to gamers everywhere that LEGO Universe is a force to be reckoned with – not just for kids, but for LEGO fans and gamers of all ages.

See what all the cool kids are saying about LEGO Universe at E3 2010, including top awards and preview impressions to-date:

Awards

GamePro – The Best of E3 “Best of E3”

Don’t dismiss this as a “kids” MMO. LEGO Universe is an impressive online game, but also benefits from an easy-to-understand build mode that features every kind of LEGO brick ever made. You can even program your creations to respond and react to in-game behavior too.

Boy’s Life – Boy’s Life E3 Awards “Best Kids MMO Ever”

Speaking of deep, this is one deep game. You can make any world you want to with LEGO blocks, and every block ever made is in the game. It’s going to be updated every month with new quests and minigames. You won’t want to leave this game, but you probably should eventually, especially if you have homework to do.

Massively – Best of E3 2010 “Best New MMO”

As an overall experience, LEGO Universe offers more than anything else we saw at E3. Among new and upcoming games, it especially shown through.

Massively – Best of E3 2010 “Best MMO of the Show”

Not only did we think LEGO Universe was the best new MMO at E3, but even among its already-released peers, it has proven itself a star. A star made of little yellow LEGO bricks, but still a star. This was one where word quickly spread among those Massively staff members in attendance that making time for LEGO Universe should be a priority. Many of us tried it out and we all loved it. It’s fun, it’s creative and it’s exactly what any LEGO fan would want in an MMO. Heck, it’s exactly what any MMO fan would want in an MMO.

1UP – Best Games of E3 2010 “Best MMO Game”

Surprised? Don’t be. Though Star Wars: The Old Republic certainly took the cake for role-playing elements, Lego Universe wowed us with its in-game building features. Not only can players interact with the whimsical Lego world fashioned by the developers, but they can also claim empty properties on which to build their own blocky creations, including creatures complete with customizable A.I., which sets this MMO apart from any other on the list.


Preview impressions

It has every kind of LEGO brick ever made featured in it, and the way it allows you to build with them is so advanced that you can even follow real-world LEGO instructions to build objects… Even though you may look at it and think it’s aimed squarely at kids because it’s a game where toys are brought to life, it’s actually a full-on MMO with some incredibly in-depth features. If you have any interest in LEGO, it seems that there’s something in this game for you. – GamePro

From what we’ve seen of the game so far, developer NetDevil have done a superb job staying true to the spirit and mentality of the LEGO brand while simultaneously creating a new virtual online version of a franchise many of us have known and loved since childhood. LEGO Universe is a family-friendly title that we suspect will end up captivating a good chunk of adult players along with the more obvious younger demographic of brick enthusiasts.- Mashable

Meanwhile, “LEGO Universe,” developed by NetDevil, is aimed at drawing kids into the genre with one of their favorite toy brands. – The Los Angeles Times

The game centers on collecting “imagination,” and while there is combat in the game, it’s simple and trouble-free, more fun than strategic… But here’s the thing: good game design is ageless. And LEGO Universe seems like a tidy summation of everything both developer NetDevil has learned about making MMOs, and LEGO has learned over 75 years of making classic toys. – Joystiq

For my money, LEGO Universe’s best element is its building system. The first building tasks are simplified, either auto-assembling or guided by outlines. But eventually you’ll unlock a free-building space, and that’s when all those blocks you’ve been collecting come in handy. You can use templates and pre-made models or start with a blank slate, and the possibilities seem robust. – G4TV

Once or twice an E3, there’s a demo so incredible that we’re forced to blow our bandwidth budget and deliver a presentation in near entirety. We knew LEGO Universe delivered the kind of uncomplicated, playful, and right-brainy fun that the MMOG category needs and deserves, we knew that players will be able to purchase real-life building kits for their in-game creations, but what we didn’t know was that players will be able to animate and program their creations to an incredible level of interaction via an easy to use interface. – Ten Ton Hammer

LEGO and MMOGs are like the peanut butter and chocolate of this industry. They’re both wildly popular and potentially profitable, so it makes sense that some smart developer would find a way to combine them together. The trick, of course, is in finding a way of putting them together in a way that seems like more than just a cheap attempt to cash in on their popularity. Fortunately, the gang at NetDevil has created a context that does justice to the brand without compromising the gameplay… Given all the creativity that’s contained in the package, LEGO Universe looks to make great use of the Lego brand. – Escapist

Start out your LEGO adventure with a plethora of customization options and an engaging tutorial… Take on a multitude of missions where variety is the name of the game. – GameTrailers

While E3 offers a glimpse into the imaginations of many developers, one game stands out as focusing on the imagination and creativity of the user: LEGO Universe. In fact, creativity and imagination are the focus of this game, literally… Young or old, if you enjoy stretching your imagination and cracking those creative knuckles, LEGO Universe is worth look. Very few — if any — other titles out there give you the creative freedom offered here, and security measures make it safe for family playing. – Massively

Hear ye! Hear ye! Amateur architects, mad-scientists, and children everywhere–come forth, and help me find a yellow flat-top two-by-two brick. It’s just the piece I need for my planet rover. You’ll understand when LEGO Universe launches on October 26 this year. What’s more, if you’re so bold as to pre-order the game at a LEGO store, or in the catalog, you’ll get early access on October 12. Not to mention the spiffiest prize of all: a collector minifig that’s also unlocked as playable in game. Boy, does LEGO know how to drive a twenty-something wild. – PC Gamer

It’s what you do with the building block pieces that drop from fallen foes that impresses us. What’s been a complaint (by some) against the [LEGO] console titles — namely, that the games’ focus on destroying objects runs counter to the creative aspect of LEGO’s appeal — is not an issue with Universe. The MMO not only lets you construct buildings or creatures, but it also looks to provide simple tools to make creation a snap. – 1UP

NetDevil’s LEGO Universe does a remarkable job of differentiating between “real” friends (that you have to prove you know in real life) and “online” friends by carving up the available social interactions accordingly. Though its designed as a way to protect kids online, its actually a genius move that I’m sure we’ll see replicated elsewhere. – GamePro E3 Trends

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