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LEGO Horizon Adventures hands-on report

Aloy is ready to take on the post-apocalyptic world LEGO brick by brick this holiday season in LEGO Horizon Adventures. Guerrilla and Studio Gobo have built a playful spin on the familiar Horizon games that unleashes eye-catching stop-motion animation, chuckle-worthy storytelling, and (literal) worldbuilding that will make the familiar series feel like a new adventure. 

The hands-on demo laid the foundation for fun with an early solo tutorial stage controlling Aloy, followed by a co-op story mission where Aloy and her Nora tribe companion Varl set out to save a beloved leader from cultists using their weapons, environment, and yes, even hot dogs. Here are a few moments that caught my Focus: 

A familiar world, brought to life by LEGO bricks

Immediately the LEGO version of this world looks incredibly authentic, with every brick placed in a way that builds the world Horizon fans know and love. Aloy moves through the world in a stop-motion style that clicks right into place. The original voice cast has also returned to retell Aloy’s story with a cheeky tone, adding humor and playfulness that keeps familiar plot points fresh and delivers laughs for a wide audience. 

A LEGO girl and her bow

Aloy can use her bow for combat and to help navigate the brick-laden wilds. Holding the Square button lets Aloy aim her bow at specific targets. This is made easier by pressing R1 to activate her Focus, highlighting major targets in blue. Aloy unleashes powerful attacks by using the environment around her; shooting an arrow through a bonfire creates a flaming projectile, adding extra damage to enemies or setting grass or vines ablaze to open new routes.

Turn over every LEGO brick

Playful curiosity is often rewarded, so take the time to explore. While Studs – the LEGO form of currency – are scattered along main paths, more can be found by shooting barrels or other objects. Chests are found exploring off of main paths, and Aloy can discover special piles of bricks. Aloy can craft these bricks into various designs (a sailboat! A dog house!) to earn even more Studs. 

Make a home at Mother’s Heart

A visit to the game’s main hub village, Mother’s Heart, is a must. A trip to the All Mother Tree allows Aloy and any co-op companions to upgrade their specific weapons or use Studs to purchase upgrades that benefit everyone. This area is also where you can customize costumes or your hut, specifically its roof, yard, plot, and hut color. Naturally, I dropped some Studs on a roof fit with a roller coaster on top. I was even able to lift up and toss village NPCs into a purchased wardrobe, outfitting them with attire from the world of Horizon or other LEGO game properties. 

Tap in a couch co-op companion 

Once in Mother’s Heart, I let my couch co-op friend control Aloy as I stepped into the LEGO brick shoes of Varl, her spear-wielding companion. Varl’s spear abilities largely operated the same as Aloy’s, but we each purchased different ability upgrades at the All Mother Tree. While exploring, additional temporary upgrades can be bought or dropped by enemies that are specific to different characters. In Varl’s case, that came in the form of a more powerful spear that allowed for 12 throws before breaking down. If one player loses all their health in co-op, they can be revived by the other player using the Triangle button. But be warned – upon being revived, you will drop any of the temporary upgrades you had collected up to that point. 

Speaking of those upgrades…

Certain ability upgrades can be used by any character and they come in handy during combat encounters. The LEGO Brick Separator unleashes a powerful melee move that can literally take an enemy apart. Dislodging highlighted parts of a machine can sometimes even reward a new weapon. When I unleashed the LEGO Brick Separator on a Longleg, its severed horns began to spin, and I could kick them toward enemies for an additional attack. Jumping over an enemy using the Blast Boots will set them ablaze. My favorite upgrade was the Hot Dog Cart, a quickly assembled cart complete with a hot dog man who lobs hot dog bombs across the combat field to great and delicious effect. This was invaluable during frenzied or crowded encounters, and honestly just made me giddy. 

LEGO Horizon Adventures invites players (and a co-op buddy) to its gleefully comical spin on Aloy’s world when it launches on PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch this holiday season.

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