The colossal Star Wars revival chapter, The Force Awakens, which hit cinemas in December last year, wasn’t going to be accompanied by a tie-in game alongside its release, but was inevitably going to be block-ified into a Lego game a few months later. Well, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is here and promises to bring a true-to-source Star Wars experience while throwing in the tongue-in-cheek humour the Lego games have become known for. But is it a force or farce to be reckoned with?
From the get-go, one thing is clear. While just about everyone loves Star Wars, some people won’t like Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There’s only so much novelty the Star Wars license can bring, but at the end of the day, this is wrapped up in a Lego game, so there are certain parameters that developers Traveller’s Tales can work within.
But by now you know what you’re getting with a Lego game: a series of themed levels which you can roam around, filled with enemies to fight, scenery to smash and things to build with the resulting bricks. You’ll have characters with different abilities, and by building and using those abilities you can solve the game’s various puzzles.
Not much has changed this time around, the block-bashing, hero-swapping, puzzle-solving stuff is all still there, but The Force Awakens does add some new third-person shooting segments into the mix. Characters can duck behind certain marked walls and fire blasters or throw grenades from an over-the-shoulder, third-person view. It’s not enough to make The Force Awakens feel like Lego: Gears of War, but it does give the action a bit more variation.
As for the actual game content, the shift from Traveller’s Tales to focus on one movie rather than a trilogy (as they did with their previous Star Wars games) makes a huge difference. There’s more focus, more time to flex their charm and humour muscles, and more coherency in the story. The original voice actors’ lines have been included this time around, so there’s some actual dialogue and voice prompts rather than silent nodding and simple gestures from Lego characters.
That said, there is an insane amount of things going on in each level – so much so that it’s sometimes difficult to even comprehend what’s going on. Co-op makes the game far more enjoyable, but with so many laser shots, blocks exploding, players switching characters, and in-game prompts, it can be overwhelming at times, even for veteran gamers.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t a perfect game. It’s not the most intuitive and well-designed Lego game, but it is very ambitious and one packed to the brim with charm and humour, and sometimes that’s all you need to relax and enjoy yourself after a hard-day’s work.
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