Mark Marrow
20 Dec, 2006

Bionicle Heroes Review

360 Review | A poor man’s Lego Star Wars.
TT has dipped its head in a lot of success recently; the company’s crazy 'Lego meets Star Wars' adaptations worked a treat amongst gamers. Despite what are largely simplistic and children-oriented titles, the humour, charm and gameplay worked extremely well in swaying gamers to the yellow blockheads, and ended up being one of the most unique and wildly popular concepts in years. Given the success and popularity surrounding Lego’s latest brand, Bionicles, it was only a matter of time before we’d see a video game to ride off the success of Lego Star Wars.

Bionicle Heroes never quite lifts off the ground in providing gamers with an immersing experience that other TT Lego titles have. It lacks depth, it lacks charm and most importantly, it lacks an addictive gameplay structure. Rather than replicating the recent success of Lego Star Wars, Bionicle Heroes opts for its own unique ideas and only borrows a few momentary concepts here and there, which leaves us with a much more forgettable experience.

The game is your typical mindless shooter and manages to cater for the younger gamers, with the game not requiring you to do much else other than pressing one button and moving around to avoid enemy attacks. The story is a little bit more interesting though, and probably will be appreciated by the Bionicle fans amongst you. While the game tends to have a few plot holes and leaves you with many questions, it does an excellent job of providing gamers with the basic Bionicle lore. You assume the role of the heroic Toa Inika, where you are washed ashore of the helpless island of Voya Nui - that is populated by a few nasty Bionicle villains - and are tasked with preventing the Piraka from obtaining the Mask of Light and saving the island from further dangers. The game spans through a number of locations, ranging from jungles, deserts and volcanoes, but generally fails in providing gamers with interesting characters to populate and run the game. In fact, the game is virtually lifeless in terms of interaction. There are no other inhabitants outside of the ones you shoot, and despite assuming the role of several different forms of Bionicles there’s very little that sets them apart from one another (personality wise). While it doesn’t boast a fantastic licence like Star Wars, it still wouldn’t have hurt to have non-playable characters (NPCs) populating the game and filling in some of the blanks to the story.

Oh-my he looks so evil.

Oh-my he looks so evil.
The gameplay is particularly shallow though, and offers little challenge or interaction with gamers – a lot less than what is generally expected in a children-oriented game. The game is a third-person shooter that features cumbersome camera controls that frequently get in the way of moving around and successfully hitting enemies. Rather than featuring a deep control set-up, Bionicle Heroes features a simple and approachable lay out where you’ll only hold down one button to fire your weapon, another to switch between characters and the control stick to move your character around. Other than that, the game does the rest of the work for you. The game incorporates an instant lock-on system, which means you’ll only need to move your character out of harms way most of the time. There’s no complicity in boss battles and the game is in dire need of some more challenging Lego-placing puzzles, much like Lego Star Wars. As is stated by the sub-title of this review, Bionicle Heroes is ideally a poor man’s version of Lego Star Wars. It borrows a few ideas such as the force to move Lego pieces around, and enemies will explode into tiny Lego pieces that can be later used to unlock secret levels, upgrades and hints.

Bionicle Heroes allows gamers to play as several different Bionicle characters, allowing you to inherit each of their various abilities to help you progress further through each level. There’s often a nice distinction between each of the Bionicles to help you during certain situations. Their abilities range from faster movement speeds, the ability to climb walls, walk over water and shoot bombs rather than bullets. In addition, there are often hidden areas within each level that can only be unlocked by using the abilities of a certain Bionicle-form, so switching between your forms is essential in areas. While these variations are a nice inclusion, the game’s boring and repetitive gameplay structure unfortunately overshadow them. There’s also a ‘hero mode’ that allows you to turn into an invincible Bionicle for sort periods of time, after collecting a certain amount of Lego pieces from your enemies. The problem with this is that it is often far too easy to obtain hero mode, and therefore you are quite often in this invincible state of destruction.

There’s an unfortunate absence of voice acting and noticeable tunes that are worth listening to and creating a bit more tension during some of the games harder sequences. The game’s visuals are generally a hit and miss affair, with the game making good use of the 360’s lighting, however there are also many other areas that are typically quite sparse and poorly executed in making it appear as a next-generation title.


It isn’t so much as to what is there, but rather what is missing. The game lacks a much-needed online mode that would’ve been a blast to play in co-op, and a bit more dedication to depth. The game is unbelievable simple to accomplish, and even kids will have absolutely no trouble in overcoming this repetitive game – the Xbox Achievements don’t provide much longevity either.

Bionicle Heroes can only be recommended for Bionicle fans, you’ll love the robots and the special abilities each of them inherit. Outside of that though, there isn’t a great deal left to enjoy. The over simplistic gameplay ruins what is generally an enjoyable game - if not a little easy - and the repetitiveness of simply holding A and moving side-to-side wears thin fast. Additionally, the lack of depth involved with puzzles and boss fights doesn’t help Bionicles to excel, especially since TT’s other Lego-based series, Lego Star Wars, managed to capture the essence of a children-friendly experience that also provided plenty of entertainment and depth.
The Score
A poorly executed game that could’ve been much more memorable if it had followed a similar path to Lego Star Wars. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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7 years ago
Nice review. I used to love bionicles - ive got a pretty big stash of them (All the first 3 series of heroes, The first lot of Borak, The first lot of Rakashi) But I gave up after that. The story is too indepth ... which is actually pretty funny considering its just lego icon_razz.gif

I also had the original game on Xbox and I found it surprisingly fun. Might pick this game up some time early next year - looks half decent.
7 years ago
Those are some pretty nice graphics there, very cool lighting indeed.

How much would you actually pay for the game Groovy ?
7 years ago
^ Probably about 70 bucks and im pretty sure thats what it retails for?
7 years ago
Yeah thats what it retails for. The DS version i just a MPH clone icon_sad.gif Looks good but icon_smile.gif
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