Who can take a nothing game and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Eidos certainly couldn’t – in fact, all the graphical and processing might in the world couldn’t do anything to make Bionicle Heroes interesting. So why anyone thought it worthy of the 360 can only be explained by assuming Eidos is cashing in on the success of Lego Star Wars. Surely that isn’t the case though?
Bionicle 360 consists almost entirely of running around in third-person visuals worthy of the PlayStation 2, blowing up ‘constractions’ (a constraction is a Lego term meaning ‘construction + action’, so, putting together Lego into an object that will then do something), collecting billions of bits of Lego and defending yourself from a plethora of lame Lego insects that at best threaten to chew your ankles off and at worst, are bloody annoying. This constitutes around 80 per cent of the game.
The other 20 per cent proves moderately interesting, but not if you’ve forked out 40 quid for Bionicle; key to your progression is collecting Toa masks, which provide you with additional weapons and abilities. Collecting the mask of stone, for example, gives you the power of telekinesis, which can be used on selected constractions to open gates, activate chests and build a variety of objects.
You can also lose a mask if your health is reduced to zero when wearing it, upon which the next mask in the list is selected and your health restored. However, this defeats the object of having health, as masks can easily be picked up again from the bounty regenerating chests dotted around each level, giving you an almost endless supply of lives. And it makes Bionicle frustrating as some areas can only be accessed by using the powers of a specific mask. This means you’ll have to backtrack, blasting away at vegetation until the appropriate mask pops out.
And just in case Bionicle was ever threatening to be interesting, the mandatory third-person strafe controls have been taken away and your character’s running pace has been reduced to that of a drunken slug. Basically, Bionicle Heroes completely fails to engage us on any level.