LEGO 2K Drive: A Review of the Full-Priced Racing Game with a Free-to-Play Monetization Model
The LEGO brand has been thoroughly associated with gamers of all ages for its excellent track record of crafting video games that appeal to children and adults alike. So, when LEGO 2K Drive was initially unveiled, many fans were excited about the prospect of a new racing game that built on the iconic LEGO brand. However, as players delved deeper, they discovered a pricing and edition structure that seemed more geared towards the sports gaming audience. Despite this, the game still provided a new level of excitement for those who were interested in experiencing the combination of Forza Horizon and LEGO.
The game offers solo modes, playing with friends, and everyone mode, which includes matchmaking. Solo mode provides players the opportunity to play the story mode, cup series, quick race, and mini-games. The story mode is the highlight of the experience, filled with humor, exploration, and a series of challenges. LEGO 2K Drive employs the best elements of Forza Horizon’s structure, Sonic Racing’s kart racing, and the charm of several LEGO brick themes and settings.
The Best and Worst of LEGO 2K Drive
The racing mechanic in LEGO 2K Drive is designed to be intuitive and familiar to anyone who has played a recent kart racer. The drifting, skills, and track layouts are well thought out but are overshadowed by the game’s free-to-play monetization model, which should come as a surprise to players of a full-priced game. Players can expect a battle pass, premium upgrade options, and a cosmetics menu that is borrowed straight from Fall Guys or Fortnite.
Although players get the option to adjust their settings on PC to hit 40fps, performance still varies significantly depending on the track, and opting for even the medium preset at native resolution sees drops into the 40s. The game is visually pleasant to look at, running at 16:10 during gameplay and 16:9 in the menus and interface. The in-game audio design is impressive, with excellent voice dialogue, and good music quality.
The in-game shop’s inability to launch when offline on Steam Deck is a significant irritation, and the inability to disable the in-game shop entirely makes it feel like a massive grind for those players that want something specific. While expensive editions exist, the game’s free-to-play monetization model holds it back from being an excellent racing game that LEGO fans can enjoy without any caveats attached. However, LEGO 2K Drive has the potential to evolve over time, and players can expect new features and a better balance in its monetization strategy.
LEGO 2K Drive Steam Deck Score: 3.5/5
In summary, LEGO 2K Drive is an excellent combination of Forza Horizon, Sonic Racing, and LEGO, but is held down by its free-to-play monetization strategy in a full-priced game. Players can look forward to seeing how the game will evolve over time and enjoy its blend of exploration, humor, and racing challenges. However, LEGO fans looking for a racing game with no monetization caveats attached may want to hold off on purchasing the game at full price.