Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a fun and addictive Star Wars experience. Despite lacking the breadth of content available in previous Lego games, The Force Awakens provides a rich and surprisingly unique take on the Lego game formula.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Developer: TT Games
Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U
MonsterVine was provided with a PS4 copy for review
It’s no secret that I’m an enormous Star Wars fan. As seen in our Favorite Star Wars Games feature, I’ve played through a wide range of Star Wars games. RPGs, shooters, fighting games, nothing’s off the table when it comes to Star Wars. Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy was the first Lego game I played, and I still have fond memories of it. That being said, I was incredibly excited to play the newest Star Wars game.
Covering the events of The Force Awakens, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens puts the classic Lego spin on the entirety of the movie. From the opening sequence with Poe Dameron on Jakku, to the emotional meeting at the end of the movie, everything translates into the Lego game format perfectly. While there is lots of visual comedy to enjoy throughout the story, emotional moments, such as the important death from the movie, are still powerful.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens also gives players a look at some of the events that occurred before the latest film, through unlockable bonus missions. These missions are incredibly varied. One will have you rescuing Admiral Ackbar as Poe Dameron and C-3PO, while another will have you destroying a Ithiorian colony as Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. While the missions aren’t particularly long, most of them are interesting enough to make up for it. Taking a peek at some of the dubiously canon (minus the Lego humour) events that lead up to The Force Awakens is a neat and well-executed idea.
The main problem that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens faces is its lack of content. Previous Lego Star Wars games covered anywhere from 3 to 6 movies, or an entire television series. Even with the bonus missions, The Force Awakens only covers the movie it’s named after, meaning it physically can’t have the same amount of content as previous games. While the content offered is well-made and enjoyable, there simply isn’t enough of it.
On the gameplay side of things, Lego Stars Wars: The Force Awakens is exactly what you expect from a Lego game: blast through enemies, platform through levels, break and build Lego structures, and replay missions as anyone from an enormous cast of characters to collect the hefty bounty of goodies that each level contains. The Force Awakens adds some interesting minor details, such as third-person shooter segments and “multi-building”, which turn out well for the most part.
Multi-building is simple. You can now choose a variety of locations to build objects that help you progress in each level. These provide minor visual gags and a bit of freedom in choosing how to play through a level, giving them a minor, but enjoyable, sense of extra fun.
The third-person segments have you hide behind cover as you shoot your way through hordes of enemy forces. These small bits of gameplay are more or less “Uncharted-lite”, as you duck behind cover while shooting away at whatever enemies come your way. While these segments aren’t as refined as they could be, (cover can be a bit unreliable, and moving between shields feels a bit clunky,) they’re an interesting and overall functional new concept for a Lego game, which is refreshing to see in a series known for its tried-and-true gameplay.
There are also flying segments where you pilot your favorite Star Wars ships in a very Rogue Squadron-like fashion. Instead of putting you on-rails, The Force Awakens lets you fly around in an open area as you accomplish your mission, which can range from taking down enemy fighters, to destroying an entire Star Destroyer. These segments handle nicely and are fun overall, but if you’ve played any other Star Wars game that features flying ships, you should know what to expect from this.
The visuals in The Force Awakens are astonishing. Characters and settings all look as though they’re made of actual Lego pieces, while the non-Lego environments look crisp and fresh. The two styles blend well and give you a feeling of nostalgia, as though you’re playing with all sorts of different Lego sets in your backyard.
The sound is has its ups and downs. Numerous actors, including Harrison Ford and Anthony Daniels, recorded extra original dialogue for the game that sounds smooth and clear. This is in stark contrast to the lines taken directly from the movie. The numerous clips taken from the movie sound echoed and a bit tinny, which makes the jumps from newly recorded dialogue and movie clips jarring. Otherwise, all of the classic Star Wars sound effects are present and accounted for, which is an essential aspect of any Star Wars game.
The Final Word
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens succeeds as both a Lego game, and as a Star Wars game. The classic Lego formula is as strong as ever, with some creative, if not underdeveloped, new concepts to add to the fun. Despite the lack of content and inconsistent audio, The Force Awakens is a fun game that’s worth a look for anybody who likes Star Wars, or a simple but enjoyable game.
MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good