Developer: TT Fusion
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: 3DS, 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, PC, Wii U, iOS, OS X
Tested on: Xbox One
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Review
With the release of the seventh Star Wars movie, the announcement of a spin-off title and the outlook of the eighth movie, the Star Wars hype has never been more alive. Of course, seeing LEGO has already worked on Star Wars titles in the past, it was only natural that The Force Awakens would also receive the stereotypical LEGO treatment. We were wondering if the force still awakened us in this battle against the bricked dark side.
Even though the game bears the title of the seventh Star Wars movie, it starts off with the ending of the sixth movie. Soon after we revisit the plot of The Force Awakens, where the rebels are frantically looking for Luke Skywalker, who has gone missing. The Empire might have been destroyed but the First Order has risen from its ashes and they also wish to find Luke Skywalker, as he is the only one that might stand a chance against the dark side. Just like the movie we’ll encounter the new protagonists Rey, Finn, Dameron Poe and many others. Overall things will follow the same story as the movie, with some extra sections added in-between, to lengthen the experience.
Graphically LEGO Star wars: The Force Awakens follows the same formula of nearly all LEGO games that have appeared before it, namely the use of LEGO bricks in combination with actual backgrounds. This makes for an interesting mélange, even after dozens of LEGO games, which are often created the same way. Nonetheless, everything looks quite adorable, yet true to the source material, which ensures an authentic Star Wars experience.
Of course, seeing it’s a LEGO game, and they are quite known for their humor, there is enough going on for you to enjoy. You will see well-known scenes from the movie, with a typical whiff of LEGO humor mixed in-between, which will make you grin quite a lot, if you pay proper attention to what is going on in both the foreground and background.
It has been quite common since the release of LEGO The Lord of the Rings that the LEGO games use dialogues directly from the movie(s) they are based upon. This title proves to be no different, and with the exception of some added voice acting, everything comes directly from The Force Awakens. This makes sure you can enjoy the original material, while you watch the typical LEGO antics onscreen.
The soundtrack are also actual Star Wars themes, which add a bit of extra feistiness to the battles. While the music tends to be overused a lot, it never truly gets bothersome, and it’s easy to say that pretty much all Star Wars fans will enjoy to hear that this game remains as true to the series as possible.
Just like most games in the LEGO franchise this one follows the same action adventure formula, which suits the game perfectly. Right off the bat you’ll be fighting First Order grunts (after the intro that is based on the sixth movie), solve simplistic puzzles and collect as many LEGO studs as humanly possible.
The game is divided into short missions and the central portions of the map that lead towards said missions. While you can collect many items and studs outside of the missions, you’ll have to earn the bulk of your studs and collectibles during the missions themselves. You’ll always have to go from point A to B, solving puzzles to keep going on, all while you’re able to switch between several different characters. Each of the characters has their own skill set, and you’ll need to switch around a lot if you wish to make any progress. Some can blast items or hack computers, while others use their grappling hook in order to pull away objects and open the road. Overall things are simple and they are suited for both a younger and a more experienced audience.
In all of the LEGO games you’ll often find yourself having to build a LEGO contraption in order to progress. In this game there are omni-blocks, which allow you to create a construction, destroy it when you don’t use it anymore and create another one with the loose bricks. While in many ways this is an interesting mechanic, the controls don’t always feel that responsive, and it’s extremely unclear in which order you’d best create the different items.
This game also includes a hefty amount of dogfights, all viewed from the cockpits of your favorite Star Wars vessels. Even though this is called a new addition to the series, the previous games did have sequences very much like the ones in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Something that is completely new however are the ‘shooter’ sequences, in which you’ll have to take cover and fire at those wanting to harm you. This is pretty much the cover system you’ll find in games like Gears of War, albeit simplistic and clunkier control-wise. You’ll have to aim with the left stick, which feels quite unnatural if you’re used to other games that have sequences like this.
Of course there is much to see in this LEGO game, as you can replay missions with whatever characters you like, in order to unlock everything and uncover all of the collectibles. While this is a great way to create replay value, in reality most people will only wrestle through the story and play a few missions again.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a welcome addition to the series and the new mechanics add a bit of variation to the otherwise similar wave of games. Nonetheless, while this game is certainly worth it if you’re fan of the LEGO games and Star Wars, we wonder how many more franchises will receive the LEGO treatment and how long they will remain interesting. That being said, prepare yourself to relive the seventh Star Wars movie, with an extra dose of humor and solid gameplay.