LEGO 2K Drive review – a breezy ride with a creative spark

LEGO 2K Drive combines slick kart racing and LEGO building with intuitive controls and fun content.
Lego 2k Drive
Image: 2K Games / Epic Games

LEGO 2K Drive is 2K Games’ easygoing blend of classic kart racing with LEGO creativity and humor. It has an upbeat tone, and feels just as casual as any of the popular TT Games titles like LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. 

It also shares many of the same features, such as hidden collectibles and split screen support that encourages families to play together. LEGO 2K Drive is naturally lighter on narrative, but it has done a tremendous job of balancing out creative downtime in the garage and barreling through high-speed races.

Story Mode and exploration

Lego 2k Drive Turbo Acres
Image: 2K Games

Story mode provides the core gameplay loop of LEGO 2K Drive. Here, players will have the chance to build and race their own vehicles in a variety of unique worlds. You’ll need to complete challenges and quests, gaining experience until you can enter the ultimate race.

LEGO 2K Drive’s worlds are a delight. They are very distinguishable from each other, offering different kinds of terrain, and their content is consistently thematic. 

The winding roads, hills, and verticality flow together for a smooth experience that encourages you to explore. There’s also enough variety to ensure that automatic vehicle transitions are frequent and balanced enough for each class to get its fair share of screen time. 

Each world feels densely populated with characters and pop-up events that keep the pacing action-packed. Also, all of the dialogue from the characters is full of LEGO’s signature, bright comedy, which is nice. There’s some meta humor about LEGO and the racing genre, but most of it involves some incredibly fun banter.

Lego 2k Drive Infin8 Loop
Image: 2K Games

Unfortunately, you may notice that if you don’t spend time aiming for the top scores in every quest or race, you can blaze through each of Story Mode’s worlds pretty quickly. There are some smaller touches like the Rival system that could have been interesting, but don’t really go anywhere. Few things are a real challenge.

Like everything else, the progression system is very simple. Completing a few challenges can swiftly rack up XP for leveling up and accessing new races. As a result, it probably won’t take you long to wrap up the thin story.

Then again, most of your content will be found in the racing itself, which is the point of the game. There are plenty of tracks, side content to explore, and building new vehicles is inherently endless.

Vehicular quality

The vehicles are the star of the show, and their movement is comparable to most of the kart racers out there. There’s a genuine sense of momentum when you boost, drift, or soar through the air.

The controls are also very intuitive, responsive, and straightforward. This is always key for a kart racer. Mastering the tracks and competing with clever opponents will demand accuracy. There are many kart games that simply do not invest in buttery turns and immersion. 

But despite all the bricks, LEGO 2K Drive successfully commits in full. There are also quick-turns for challenges that require even tighter accuracy.

In LEGO 2K Drive, you don’t gain boost power by drifting, which rewards timing. Instead, you can generate speed by crashing into things, which creates a fun sense of chaos and keeps the open world in motion. Drifting is only reserved for handling turns.

Garage mechanics and Loadouts

Lego 2k Drive Garage
Image: 2K Games

You can build just about anything in the Garage, beginning with a simple chassis. The available pieces can feel a little limited compared to actual sets, but they’re also streamlined with vehicles in mind. So, what you really need is sure to be there.

The Garage’s controls are very inviting, too. You’ll be able to easily rotate, snap, and select pieces at will. It’s nearly comparable to Studio 2.0, and at times, it feels a little smarter. 

The Garage is a crucial centerpiece for the game, because it’s likely where you’ll spend half of your time. Sort of like building a CCG deck around a single theme, it’s simply exciting to see how a new vehicle will look and perform once you take it for a test drive.

LEGO 2K Drive really encourages you to create. There are different classes of vehicles for each type of terrain, and those classes can play pivotal roles in various quests or challenges. This creates an immediate purpose and starting point for players to begin building. 

For example, in the Robot Invaders challenge, you’ll be spending all of your time off-road, trying to keep waves of evil robots from destroying three generators. You’ll also have to spend a lot of time drifting to hit as many robots as possible. As a result, you might want to build an ideal off-road vehicle that’s wider, and therefore more effective when it drifts.

You’ve also got access to multiple loadouts. That way, you can maximize the number of vehicles in use. This way, old creations don’t end up on the backburner too long, and a host of new creations don’t stifle each other for attention.

There’s an extraordinary freedom here, and it’s clear that LEGO 2K Drive has transformed its genre for the better by premise alone.

Multiplayer Gameplay

Racing against online opponents could be a mixed bag. There are careful limitations, like the restriction for eligible vehicles only. You can freely select the desired difficulty, so you would be more likely to enter the lobbies that fit your comfort level. 

However, vehicles with different stats can be purchased through microtransactions. The issues of adding this feature in a game like LEGO 2K Drive are so obvious, it’s a wonder the devs didn’t reconsider their methods. It’s the only unfriendly feature in the game, and has already built a sore reputation. Parents in particular are going to have to consider this very seriously.

The opportunity to play split screen, as in most other LEGO games, is a relief though. Racing games, and kart racers in particular, seem to be the last refuge of those who actually enjoy playing together in person.

The Final Word

LEGO 2K Drive smartly wields the kart racing genre as a foundation for familiar LEGO game mechanics like creative building and open world exploration. Its casual, humorous tone will appeal to any LEGO or TT Games fan. Aside from unfortunate in-game purchases, the actual racing and LEGO construction are intuitive and offer strong replay value.

8

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!

Anthony Fertino

Anthony Fertino

Anthony Fertino is a novelist and lifelong gamer, born and raised in Southern California. He's been a content writer for over 10 years, and studied film at SMC for 4 years. When he isn't playing shooters, RPGs, or indies, he's reading SFF novels and trying the latest tabletop games.

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