Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens | reviews, news & interviews
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lego returns to 'Star Wars' and creates a new summer blockbuster
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has awoken, run around the world, made a ton of box office cash, done it all again on DVD, sold more merchandise than a Rolling Stones tour, and now finally gets the Lego treatment in video game form. Where does Disney bury all the revenue? There must be cavernous vaults under the Magic Kingdom.
If you’ve played a Lego game in the past 10 years you’ll be on familiar blocky ground. You smash scenery and items, gather blocks and construct structures that will solve puzzles or get you past obstacles on your quest to button bash your way through legions of blocky baddies and the occasional big boss. It’s either you and a computer-controlled partner, or for best results add another human for seamless co-operative play, one of the cornerstones of the Lego games. You can swap between characters to use specific abilities – there’s 200 to unlock and dozens of vehicles to play around with. Short-changed you are not, to paraphrase a Yoda cashier with high professional standards.
There’s a lengthy prologue to play through first, namely scenes from Return of the Jedi featuring Ewok-heavy battles of Endor, Death Star destruction and the face-off between Luke, Darth Vader and The Emperor. Then bang – it’s time for The Force Awakens, but not only playing through the story of the film; you also get a wealth of additional side branches, including a more in-depth look at Han Solo and Chewbacca’s smuggling operations and hunting expeditions, the mystery around C-3PO’s red arm and the rescue of Admiral Ackbar by Poe Dameron.
The narrative attempts to satisfy Star Wars geeks with encyclopedic knowledge of the franchise, while also appealing to Lego fans with all the quirky humour and absurd slapstick that permeates through the series. The evergreen popularity of the Lego titles still resides in the gameplay, presentation and witty dialogue. The trademark humour and off-beat character personalities (such as Chewbacca’s obsession with wookie cookies) alongside voiceovers from many of the original cast adds gravitas and authenticates the action.
It’s not all rinse and repeat gameplay either – a criticism easy to levy at a style of game that's been churning out big movie licence conversions for well over a decade. You can now engage in duck and cover blaster battles using objects and structures as cover while driving back the First Order. It’s a first-person shooter style that is used sparingly, but works well.
For those more into building and puzzle solving, multi-builds allow the same pile of Lego bricks to be used for multiple purposes, such as building and rebuilding different objects to puzzle solve and advance the game in different ways. As a variation on a winning recurring theme and what is surely at the heart of any Lego game, more variety of building options is such an obvious enhancement that it’s surprising it hasn’t been introduced in previous games.
Lego excels in a specific genre it has created itself: family-friendly arcade adventures with a unique Lego-infused flavour all its own. While there are a few stability issues concerning characters occasionally getting stuck in scenery, meaning you have to reload levels, this is a comprehensive and full-blooded take on the latest Star Wars outing, providing a foundation as solid as the bricks themselves.
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