Gnarled Forest Zone Preview in Lego Universe
By Jonathan (Ardua) Doyle OnRPG Journalist
The Gnarled Forest… it is dark, riddled with danger and the wildlife isn’t the friendliest. There are Pirates at every turn and they’re the good guys. Yes ladies and gents, we’re back in Lego Universe and taking a closer look at one of their later zones.
Step off the rocket pad and come with me, Steve McMinifig, as I take you through the forest.
The Gnarled Forest is the Pirate zone of Lego Universe where a pirate crew (and presumably Venture Explorer faction) have become stranded and face danger from the dark Stromlings (the bad guys), cranky apes and a monkey with a gun. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As with every zone in Lego Universe there are little binocular stands dotted around. Usually they give you a hint about something or point out an interesting sight. They also, if you manage to find them all, give an achievement. If I were you though, I wouldn’t be searching them out for the hints or the achievement. Through those little stands, you get to see how beautiful some of the vistas NetDevil have created are.
As for the zone itself, there are puzzles and quests a plenty dotted around. From the simple (getting across the chasm you come to very quickly after arriving) to the tough (Ninja prisoner feeding detail, it makes sense in context). Without getting too distracted or giving away too much, a number of quests will rely on what you achieve in the Gnarled Forest. Expect some retraced footsteps, but don’t take that as a criticism. The further you progress here, the further you can in other zones. It’s not retracing for its own sake.
What things are there to do in the Gnarled Forest? Well if fighting undead Pirate Stromlings wasn’t enough for you, there’s quite a bit to pick at. There are several pets to recruit, with each of them a recruitment mini game. A race track to gain access to so you and your friends can try out your latest vehicles. There’s also treasure, achievements, weapons and of course my favourite, a cannon firing mini game. Hey just because your pirate ship has been beached, that’s no excuse to stop shooting at things.
Speaking of the Race Track. It is certainly something worth uncovering in your adventures. Between the ability to custom create your own race car from a multitude of pieces and a chance to race against two to five other players, it should never be overlooked. There’s even been some prizes this weekend for testers who got out there and raced. Winning, in the best habits of Lego, wasn’t the point or even necessary. Only participation and having fun. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the game, I don’t know what will.
I won’t give everything about the Forest away though. Spoilers are no fun and you’ll enjoy it more first hand. Suffice to say, Nexus Force needs you to get to the Gnarled Forest. Adventures lay in store and the Pirate minifigs need you. Steve McMinifig is but one man… well Lego man… and beating back the Stromlings and the effects of the Maelstrom in the Gnarled Forest isn’t a one minifig job. Who knows? You may get a Pirate Rocket ship out of it (I’m serious).
Lego Universe is released on the 26th of October this year and is currently available for pre-order.