Lego Universe, sometimes abbreviated LU, is geared toward a family-oriented audience with safeguards in place to introduce a younger crowd of players to the MMO experience.
Lego Universe is based on an alternate universe which is populated by Lego Minifigs. A dangerous journey to the far reaches of the universe leads four adventurers, Baron Typhonus, Doctor Overbuild, Duke Exeter and Hael Storm to a strange, undiscovered planet, Crux. Its here the team discovers the Imagination Nexus, the source of all Pure Imagination. The Nexus, always hungry for more creative energy, pulls the tycoon Baron Typhonus into its void unleashing an unstoppable dark Maelstrom of chaos energy. Unable to withstand the incredible force of the reaction, the planet Crux is blown to pieces as the Maelstrom slowly begins consuming the rest of the universe. Searching for a semblance of hope amidst the rubble of the fallen planet, Doc Overbuild discovers the last shard of Pure Imagination. Teaming up with Vanda Darkflame, the former assistant to the late Baron Typhonus, the remaining crew members form the Nexus Force and vow to defend imagination from the dark Maelstrom invaders. With this last shard of imagination, Doc Overbuild oversees the construction of the Nexus Tower, the new home of the Nexus Force HQ and beacon of hope. As the Maelstrom threat increases, the Nexus Force is calling upon all Minifigs to join them in the battle to save imagination.
Players will join together to defeat the Maelstrom and its Darkling army (Maelstrom-infected evil-doers) to save the people of the Lego Universe and save Imagination. The daring missions will span many Lego Worlds (see "Worlds" section) and Themes, including Space, Pirates, Ninjas, and more.
- Professor Brickkeeper - Professor Brikkeeper is an inventor in the Lego Universe who runs Creation Lab on the LU website
- M.U.T.T. (Motorized Universal Technology Terrier) - Is Professor Brickkeeper's robotic dog.
- Darkling - Darklings are the evil beings that come from the Maelstrom. They can change other creatures and people into the Darklings and they also can appear in many different forms.
- Captain Jack Knife - Captain Jack Knife is the pirate leader of the Black Seas Barracuda-except his ship is stuck on a beach so he spends his days drinking root beer and goofing off with his mates.
- Numb Chunk - Numb Chunk is the lazy ninja leader who sleeps too much.
- Friendly Felix - Friendly Felix is a retired explorer who performs songs as a one-man band based on his adventuring days.
- Baron Typhonus - Baron Typhornus is in search for the last essence of pure imagination. He is also accidentally responsible for the creation of the Maelstrom threat.
- Dr. Overbuild - Dr. Overbuild is a colleague of the Baron and leader of the Assembly faction.
- Duke Exeter - Duke Exter is a famous warrior knight and hero to all Minifigs and leader of the Sentinel faction.
- Hael Storm - Hael Storm is a mysterious space pirate.
- Vanda Darkflame - Vanda Darkflame is the assistant to the late Baron Typhonus and new-found leader of the Paradox faction.
- Johnny Thunder - The leader of the protagonists from the popular "Adventurers" theme, Johnny Thunder re-appears in Lego Universe at the rock concert area. Johnny has been completely redesigned, and instead of looking like Indiana Jones (as he did in the '90s), he is now Australian, wears a green and black outfit, has a blue energy whip, and describes himself as being popular with the ladies. His quest has players searching for the 10 hidden flags on the World (for more information, see the "Worlds" section).
The gameplay in Lego Universe is similar to Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and Lego Indiana Jones, in that players control their own Lego minifig who can double-jump and destroy objects to collect pieces. The adjustable camera follows the player around, rather than being fixed like in the Traveler's Tales Lego games. Lego Universe allows players to create their own character and unlock other customizing parts for said character. Lego Universe does not have any experience points or character leveling as instead statistics and skills are determined by the character's equipment. For example, the Speedy Red Pants gives players a running ability (temporary boost of speed, handy for escaping foes, traveling across Worlds, or reaching goals when timed), while the Katana of Shielding gives characters a temporary defensive force field.
Building and Stats
There are two major statistic bars that the player has to manage. The two bars are health and Imagination. The Imagination bar is essentially Mana. Imagination is consumed when building models in the game and when using Skills. A third bar, the Armour bar, is present once the player equips their minifig with armor, such as helmets or the "Metal Legs, Solid" piece. The amount of Armour a character has is determined by the armor value of the items the minifig is equipped with. Health and Imagination are primarily determined by the character's stats and modified by the items equipped. The player can increase their minifig's Health and Imagination capacity by performing various tasks, such as finding hidden items.
Lego Universe offers many different opportunities to build with Lego bricks. The three modes are Quick Building, Choice Building, and Custom Building. When a character creates something in Lego Universe, the object is sent to a server and is changed from multiple brick objects into a single gameplay object. This will allow the player to interact with the object in the World. Players have their own private property where they can travel to build models at their leisure using the pieces they collect by playing the game (pieces can be dropped by defeated enemies and are offered as rewards for finishing quests and Achievements), similar to the Lego Digital Designer program. The in-depth designer grants the ability to bring custom built models to life. Players can use Behaviors to program complex actions and animations and apply them to the creations on their property.
Lego Universe has several worlds that the player can explore. The floating worlds that the player travels between are all that's left of the decimated planet Crux. The main method of travel is a rocket ship that the player builds in the beginning of the game. The currently known worlds are Avant Gardens, Gnarled Forest, Pet Cove, Forbidden Valley, and Nimbus Station. Each of the worlds has its own hidden flags and bricks to collect as well as achievements.
Lego Universe will be cooperatively played with others in order to accomplish in-game tasks. The currency in the game is Lego coins, which are found throughout the game and can be used to buy goods from shops. Aside from the universal currency, once a player is associated with a faction, faction-specific coins can be found amongst regular drops. These are used to buy the more advanced gear for your minifig from your faction HQ. Players will can also tame the various pets they encounter during their adventures, as long as they have visited Pet Cove and learn how to tame pets. Some of the pets include rabbits, terriers, elephants, tortoises, dinosaurs, lions, robots and dragons. Pets are able to dig up buried Treasure Chests, which sometimes contain items required for side quests and can also activate Pet-specific launch pads to access shortcuts and secret areas around the world.
There are four Factions available in Lego Universe. Upon reaching the World called Nimbus Station, players may interact with the Nexus Recruiter NPC, and once they have completed an initiation Quest and prove their honor to the Nexus Force, they may join one of the following Factions:
Specializing in creative building skills and led by Doctor Overbuild, Assembly battles the Maestrom forces by building their devastating weapons. Assembly HQ is drawing together imaginative thinkers, ingenious engineers, and brilliant inventors to build new creations that strike fear in the Maelstrom. As an Assembly builder you will create mechanisms and creatures that will benefit all those around you. Assembly Specialization allows you to choose from being an Engineer or a Summoner to further increase your abilities.
Led by the mysterious ninja sorceress, Vanda Darkflame, Paradox uses the Maelstrom's own dark chaos energy against them. Paradox HQ is described as a group of mysterious outcasts merging the abilities of builders, warriors, and explorers who have chosen to follow a darker path confident that the key to de feating the Maelstrom is by turning its own power against it. As a Paradox Agent you will battle evil by tapping into darkness, proving your worth to others though action.
Led by the legend amongst Minifigs, Duke Exeter and the Sentinels battle the Maelstrom forces with brute force. Forged in courage, united in honor, the brave and bold have sworn to protect the universe from the Maelstrom by battling the threat head on. As a Sentinel Warrior you will protect those around you though strength of armor and strength of conviction.
- Venture League
Seasoned adventurer Hael Storm leads the Venture League on missions through the most dangerous corners of the universe. Venture HQ describes them as a union of daring explorers and fearless daredevils, blazing a trail where none had been before and uncovering the hidden weaknesses of the Maelstrom where ever it might be hiding. As a Venture Explorer you will unlock mystery through puzzle solving and discovery, creating a path for those around you.
Each Faction has its own strengths, weaknesses, and equipment. Furthermore, after choosing a faction, players must decide between specializations that give them access to more class-specific abilities and attacks as well as the ability to wear gear further increasing the strength of said specialization.
The Mythrans are a team of trained, human moderators hired to populate the Lego Universe and protect and assist players as they see fit. Through The Mythrans, kids are introduced to and educated about the role of a moderator. Aside from moderating player interaction, all character and pet names and in-game Lego creations must pass by the eyes and be approved by a Mythran before other players can see that content in game.
Despite having just under 2 million players, it was announced on November 4, 2011 that the Lego Universe servers will be shut down on Janurary 31st 2012. At the same time the majority of developers at LEGO's Play Well Studios in Louisville, CO as well as the marketing team in Denmark were terminated from LEGO immediately, affecting 115 employees.
Because this game is consistently updated and patched, the minimum system requirements may continue to change over time.
Minimum PC System Requirements
- Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), with the latest Service Packs
- Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz / AMD Athlon XP 3000
- 512 MB RAM (1 GB RAM with Windows Vista and Windows 7)
- 5 GB free HD space
- NVIDIA® GeForce FX 5700 series / ATI Radeon 9600 series / Intel Integrated GMA 950 or equivalent –128 MB VRAM and latest video drivers
- PC audio solution containing Dolby® Digital Live required for Dolby® Digital audio
Recommended PC System Requirements
- Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), with the latest Service Packs
- Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 3200
- 1 GB RAM (2 GB RAM with Windows Vista and Windows 7)
- 10 GB free HD space
- NVIDIA® GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X800 or better – 256 MB VRAM or more
- DirectSound compatible sound card