Title: Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros
Release date: Out Now
tl;dr: Best Lego game to date.
Price: $60 / £50 / €60
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens retells the events of the movie in Lego form.
In order to get new players up to date, the game kicks off with Star Wars Episode VI’s final battle between Luke Skywalker and the emperor Sheev Palpatine. Approximately 30 years later, Luke Skywalker has gone missing while The First Order has risen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire. The Resistance, led by General Leia Organa – formerly known as Princess Leia – is trying to find Luke in order to recruit him in their battle against The First Order.
This new Lego game features 11 chapters which can take up to 45 minutes to an hour to complete if you only aim to finish the story quickly. Each level features the well-known Lego formula where players have to complete puzzles and fight enemies in order to progress through the stage and move on to the next. As any Lego games fans know, TT Games encourages players to thoroughly search every nook and cranny in order to find studs and collectibles.
Each chapter has its own little secrets as well. Some are easy to find – such as shooting down five flying objects – while others will require a bit more snooping around in order to find buildable small tower flags, etc. With over 200 unlockable characters, the game will keep completionists busy for quite some time.
While some of you may think that TT Games simply phoned it in by the reapplying the same formula from past Lego games, I have some good news for you. Although the developer has retained the same, tried and tested formula, it has also improved upon it by adding a few new gameplay mechanics.
The first one is a much-needed cover-based firefight dubbed Blaster Battles. Some sequences now require players go into cover behind a safe spot and come out of hiding in order to shoot Stormtroopers. It brings a bit of strategy to the fight, and in order to make things easier for younger players, a yellow exclamation point will appear on top of the next enemy soldier that is about to shoot.
Remember those puzzles where players have to build items with lego bricks in order to progress forward? TT Games has also tweaked that mechanic, too. Some of those building puzzles will glow gold, suggesting the pieces have more than one means of using them. Holding down the Attack button, players will see the shapes of possible things to be constructed with the Legos lying at their character’s feet. Once players are done with the new item, they simply need to destroy them and rebuild into something else. Some of these puzzles even require a bit of speed as gamers will need to build part A, rapidly destroy it in order to rebuild it into something different to complete the puzzle. It makes for a fresh way to use these puzzles and avoids a certain tediousness.
This game looks better than any previous Lego title. While it is to be expected given games generally get beefed up visuals as a series continue, TT Games managed to really bring the Lego characters to life thanks to detailed character expression. While naturally limited due to the popular kids’ toys lifeless form, the developer was able to give the characters various emotions through their facial expressions. Audio wise, the game features tracks from the movie along a few new score pieces which weren’t used in the film.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is by far the best Lego game yet. TT Games has concocted a perfect blend of old and new. Everything that was working in previous Lego-fied games is here intact, but it also includes new mechanics to make the game feel fresh. While some puzzles do feel tedious by constantly having to build, destroy and rebuild, these are so few and far between, they won’t deter the experience. Fun puzzles, reasonably challenging and perfect pacing makes for the ideal game for the whole family.
- Classic Lego humor
- So. Many. Unlockables
- Some tedious build/destroy puzzles
- Chapter 7 is the campaign’s low point
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rated E10+. The game features cartoon violence and comic mischief which makes the game perfect for the whole family. I mean, fighting an evil empire does require violence, right?
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by Xbox UK