Lego Universe was a surprise for me. Not only is it one of the most kid friendly games I saw, but it was a game that I myself wanted to dive into. The first thing that I found out about Lego Universe is that it isn’t your standard MMO, the game is not a level based type of system, you earn unlocks and achievements by completing certain tasks rather then leveling up your character. Speaking of the characters, there will be over 3,000,000 different combos when you are making your character, you have a choice and many opinions in every aspect of your character.
One of the things that NetDevil, the developers of Lego Universe, focused on with Lego Universe was making it super safe for kids and from what I saw, it is. The chat system is only text based, there is no voice chat. In the text based chat system they have three different word lists, a white list, a black list, and a grey list which is list that they allow unless you use a certain combination of words, “what is your phone number?” is an example of such. While each word individually would be allowed, the way the words were placed together would stop it from being said in one of the public lobbies unless that person is on your friends/safe list.
The coolest thing I saw in Lego Universe was when we demo’d the free build mode, think LittleBigPlanet but with legos, this is exactly what you will get. You have the ability to do just about anything you could thing of with every single type of lego out there, in addition to this you have the ability to control the way your builds interact with every object and just as a whole. You can make cars drive, things floot and go as far as building full roller coasters on your personal play space, which is sharable by the way, based off of what level of access you want to provide. All the access can be controlled through the parental control system with will allow you to control access, play time and friends, just about everything you would want to limit based off of your own interested for your children.
Lego Universe is scheduled for release on October 26, 2010 for the price of $39.95 along with a 9.95 per month fee that I was told to be just another level of safety as they would then limit who would actually have access to the game. Overall I was very happy with Lego Universe and I will be jumping on the beta once PAX is over to play with it some more, you can expect some more preview coverage as well down the road.