A burger car racing down a city street in Lego 2K Drive.

Lego 2K Drive Review

Lego 2K Drive Review

need to know

what is it? LEGO Kart Racer, where you build your own vehicle.
release date May 19, 2023
expect to pay $70/£50
developer visual concept
publisher 2K
Reviewed on GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER, i7-7820X, 64GB RAM
multiplayer game Yes
steam deck not applicable
associate Official website

Every time I play a new “go-kart” racing game, I’m always disappointed and surprised by the lack of innovation in the genre–and LEGO 2K Drive is nothing new in this regard. Every time I drift around a corner, every time I accelerate off an incline, I have the same thought: I’ve played this game before. No doubt you’ve played this game before. This is Mario Kart. This is Crash Team Racing. This is Garfield Kart.

That being said, the go-kart racing in LEGO 2K Drive does feel pretty good. The controls feel heavy and responsive, and there’s plenty of feedback in cornering and drifting given the size and spec of the vehicle. The courses themselves are varied, even if I personally prefer a greater focus on shortcuts and alternate routes, and the open-world map in the story campaign feels suitably expansive.

(Image source: Visual Concepts)

The humor in LEGO 2K Drive does feel more childish than in standard LEGO games–they seem to be aimed at a younger demographic than usual.

The Lego 2K Drive’s story mode is absolutely packed with content, though that’s mostly to its detriment. The actual story missions only took me about 5 hours to complete, but once you beat them, there are tons of sidequests and challenges to complete. However, these extra activities are so simple that if you want 100% completion, you will be repeating the same mission many times on each map, or worse, trying to complete the mission to earn more “Brickbux” – In-game currency for the LEGO 2K Drive’s microtransaction shop (more on that later…).

The story missions have the kind of quirky flair and goofy jokes you’ve come to expect from the LEGO brand. Players over a certain age are likely to find themselves moaning at endless puns in an attempt to skip to the next game. However, kids will absolutely love the never-ending jokes, and they’ll especially love Shadow Z, the show’s main villain and star. The sense of humor in Lego 2K Drive does feel more childish than standard LEGO games–they seem to be targeting a younger crowd than usual. I’ll admit, though, that even as a grizzled adult, some of the jokes did make me laugh out loud—mostly because Shadow Z’s voice actor, Rene Mujica, threw herself into the character.

need greed

(Image source: Visual Concepts)

Microtransactions in this game are predatory, and I don’t use that word lightly. They completely detract from the family-friendly games that both parents and kids can enjoy.

Unfortunately, the one feature that really sets the Lego 2K Drive apart from its contemporaries is both its greatest appeal and its greatest weakness: the go-kart build system. It’s truly impressive and allows you to build any car, boat or buggy you can imagine. Using the LEGO parts you earn by completing quests, you can create any form of four-wheeled monster you can imagine. The system itself is easy to grasp, well explained and practically unlimited (beyond the literal weight limit). As far as real-life LEGO specs go, everything is one-to-one, meaning that if you can build it in-game, you can 100% replicate said creation in real LEGO.

But to get the most out of Build Mode, you’ll need the best parts–parts that can only be bought with real money. The coolest engines, best-looking tires, and snazziest drivers are all locked into Unkie’s Emporium, a colorful storefront that gives you access to the Brickbux you paid real money for. Microtransactions in this game are predatory, and I don’t use that word lightly. They completely detract from the family-friendly games that both parents and kids can enjoy. The build system and its straightforward tutorials, light-hearted activities, and offline split-screen keep kids entertained in the world of LEGO, but unfortunately, profit margins take precedence over creating a wholesome experience.

(Image source: Visual Concepts)

LEGO 2K Drive is also very candid about making sure you know this is a game for kids. Everything from the story mode that keeps calling you “kid” to the microtransaction store that asks you to get parental permission before visiting is a constant reminder that this is a game aimed at a younger demographic – which makes for an overpriced bundle , such as the $50 coin pack, and the in-person nature of its microtransactions is even more brazen. After completing the campaign and most of the side quests in Lego 2K Drive, I barely had enough in-game points to buy more than three vehicles from the store, let alone any of the shiny extras that come with them.

To clarify, this was a $70 game when it launched on current-generation platforms — a $70 kid’s game that launched with a season pass and a store full of microtransactions. Even setting aside demographics, is it really acceptable for a full-priced game to lock in so many extras with a credit card at launch?

kart attack

(Image source: Visual Concepts)

The rapacious nature of the microtransactions in the Lego 2K Drive makes it impossible to recommend to anyone in its target demographic.

In terms of performance, the Lego 2K Drive worked very well on both versions I tested. The low-end version (i7-7820X, GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER, 16GB RAM) can pretty much run the Lego 2K Drive at max settings, and while this does have a slightly noticeable impact on framerate, it’s not a big deal overall. Even in split-screen situations, the i7-7820X build performed well with relatively few performance issues. My high-end configuration (Ryzen 9 5900X, RTX 4080, 64GB RAM) ran the game at a consistent frame rate with no issues at all. Admittedly, while the Lego 2K Drive looks pretty good, and some of the destruction mechanics are so impressive that you’d think they’d affect the frame rate, it doesn’t quite push the limits of its graphics–nor does it try to. However, in this day and age, it’s rare to see a PC game that looks great and works well at launch, and deserves a lot of praise.

There’s a lot to love about the Lego 2K Drive, especially if you’re a kart racer or a fan of Lego. The game works well, there’s a wealth of content to play, and the love for the LEGO series is evident in everything from the game design to the maps themselves. Of course, outside of its build system, the Lego 2K Drive doesn’t really try to innovate, but what it lacks in ambition more than makes up for in solid, fun gameplay. Even more disappointing, the rapacious nature of the microtransactions in LEGO 2K Drive makes it unrecommended to anyone in its target demographic.

Lego 2K Drive: Price comparison

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.