Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, WiiU, Nintendo 3DS, PSVita, PC
Developer: Traveler’s Tales, TT Fusion
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Official Site: Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Where to buy: Major retailers, PSN, Xbox Live
Some of my fondest memories of the PS2 come from playing Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. Since then, there have been numerous Lego games. They aren’t all great, but they are fun. Even the glitchy, boring, coming off as a cash-grab Lego Avengers had it’s fun moments. With last year’s Star Wars The Force Awakens being the box-office beast it was, it is not so surprising TT Games decided to make another Lego Star Wars game. This time just focusing on the 2015 film. Though, not without its flaws, Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens brings the Lego series back to its roots.
The story for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens follows the 2015 Abrams film almost exactly. As with any dark material being made into a Lego game, the Force Awakens includes some minor changes. These changes don’t affect the plot or canon (Han still dies) however instances like the Kylo Ren interrogation scene are made to add humor and make it more family friendly. Instead of using pain to get information, Kylo Ren uses music.
In addition to the main plot being used for each level in Lego Star Wars, they go beyond what takes place in the film. These levels add to the canon (approved by Disney). Star Wars Adventures allows you to play levels seeing how Poe Dameron gets back to the Resistance and how Han Solo got those Rathtars. These stories add a little more fun. Even the side missions, though not all of them, add some back story. Fans looking to read more into the new Star Wars canon, this game is one sure way to do so.
The biggest downside to the game though is its length. Most of the grouping of the story makes sense, but some of it does not. There are 10 levels in the main story, but there could have been a lot less. Not every scene in the Force Awakens needs to be a playable level. One such instance was the level of simply walking into Maz’s castle. It didn’t need to be so long. It was like puzzles were added for the sake of making the game long. Same with seeing the famous Star Wars title crawl. Do we really need to see it at the start of every level? Though it might be fun and an homage to the Star Wars films, it just felt unnecessary.
The length does hurt the gameplay as well. Gameplay early on is very fun, addictive, and solid. Yet the longer Lego Star Wars progresses, the more repetitive it feels. Going back to having puzzles for the sake of puzzles. If the game wasn’t so big, maybe it would not have mattered.
By the time you reach the end of the game, even playing the Star Wars Adventures levels, you just don’t want to bother with the in-world side missions or collecting the gold bricks which make their unsurprising return. You don’t have to collect all mini-kits, or red bricks unless you want to use cheats. Gold bricks are required if you want to play the Star Wars Adventures. With that said, you don’t need all the gold bricks. Not everyone though will be bothered by the length. It doesn’t even hurt the game as much as one would think. Maybe that is because it is a Lego Game?
On a side note, the co-op is still local. So you must play on the same console via split screen. This is a shame. If any Lego game was to bring in online matchmaking, it should have been this one.
One of the best parts of Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens is its presentation from sound, humor, and the graphics. This is the best looking Lego game to date. Don’t expect clipping or frame rate drops. The cutscenes are all in-game, so there is no differentiating between gameplay and cutscene, besides the letter box. It just isn’t the graphics, but the detail in the environments. Each location you visit is riddled with minor easter eggs such as posters or background characters. It seems that TT Games put a lot of heart into what could have felt like a huge cash grab like Lego Avengers.
As with previous Lego games, Lego Star Wars also uses dialogue from the movie. It was also nice hearing new dialogue by some of the cast. Unlike previous games in the franchise, the dialogue from the movies doesn’t sound echoey. They felt natural to the overall game. The sound even fits the Star Wars universe. When you fire off a blaster, it sounds like a blaster. The woosh of the lightsabers hitting each other is also a gratifying experience. John Williams soundtrack also makes an appearance which is sure to please a lot of people.
Overall Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens is a great game. Actually, it isn’t just a great game. It is the best Lego game to date. The studio looked to have taken a lot of care to make this game fun (despite its length) and make something everyone can enjoy.
- Gameplay: Fluid, simple gameplay that anyone can enjoy. This is a great return to form for the Lego Video Game franchise. Unfortunately, it does get a bit repetitive.
- Graphics: Graphics are crisp, clear, and don’t have any clipping or frame rate issues. Best seen in a Lego Game.
- Sound: The sounds is pretty much spot on with the Star Wars universe. Unlike previous Lego Games, the added voice acting from the movies don’t sound echoey. They feel natural with the additional lines of dialogue that some of the actors did for this game in particular.
- Presentation: Fun. There is no other word to explain the game. The Force Awakens has fun gameplay, fun humor that one would expect in a Lego game, and fun nods to the Star Wars universe.
- Solid, simple gameplay
- Graphics are beautiful
- Sound is best heard in a Lego game
- Nods to films
- Little long