Lego Horizon Adventures Debuts, and It Looks Better Than the Mainline Games

Just as Geoff Keighley warned us, this year’s Summer Game Fest showcase was light on huge announcements. That’s what happens in a gaming industry plagued by mass layoffs. Instead, smaller efforts received lots of airtime, including Blumhouse’s six-game, indie horror push and Davey Wreden’s new joint, Wanderstop. However, the show did start with big news: Lego Horizon Adventures. And you know what? This plastic parody of Sony’s epic, open-world series looks cooler than the mainline games.
Play the Horizon Series

Lego Horizon Adventures was rumored for some time; so much so that I was surprised it didn’t show up at the most recent State of Play. But now it’s official. PlayStation’s Horizon franchise joins Jurassic Park, Marvel, Star Wars, and other beloved brands in the Lego pantheon. The trailer shows everything we love about Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West, but in block design. Lego Alloy! Lego robot dinosaurs! Lego post-apocalypse! As a game, we expect Lego Horizon Adventures to be much simpler than its namesake. It’s made for family-friendly co-op play, not precision archery combat. It also lacks the same technically impressive, hyper-realistic visual style. That’s a good thing.

Horizon is one of the most graphically outstanding yet aesthetically unattractive gaming franchises. I’ve felt this way since these Bluetooth Flintstones titles first arrived. Sony’s obsession with making its title expensive, prestige cinema saps the joy out of a world full of mechanical giraffes. At least Hellblade II’s grimy realism matches its upsetting tone. On the other hand, Lego Horizon Adventures turns Horizon into colorful and intricately detailed Lego blocks, giving the game a coherent theme. It’s as exciting as seeing Astro Bot’s cute remixes of grizzled PlayStation antiheroes.But I’m an outlier. Horizon is incredibly popular, which is why it’s getting this Lego spin-off. Horizon Zero Dawn is one of PlayStation’s best-selling releases, and it may receive a PS5 remaster timed alongside an upcoming television adaptation. To spread brand awareness even further, Lego Horizon Adventures is also coming to Nintendo Switch and PC alongside PS5 when it launches this holiday. Microsoft isn’t the only hardware manufacturer exploring multiplatform releases.

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Lego-based entertainment has grown increasingly experimental lately, from Lego 2K Drive to Lego Horizon Adventures to Lego’s upcoming Pharrell biopic. Here’s hoping a full-on Lego Mario game is finally on the way. For more on Summer Game Fest 2024, keep reading PCMag.

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