LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the newest addition to the growing archive of LEGO games, and was surprisingly more than you would find in your regular LEGO videogame with new additions to the gameplay.
I didn’t expect much in the way of content as the LEGO Star Wars games usually contain a lot of characters and levels, due to being made based on a trilogy of movies, or a story arc such as the Clone Wars game, but to my surprise this had lots to offer in content – more levels and characters/unlocks than you can shake a Bantha at. Lets delve into the downed abandoned Star Destroyer to find out if the game is a hit like the movie…
Unexpectedly, the game opens with The Emperor with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker from the last act of Return of the Jedi where the rebels are planning their attack on the second Death Star, on both Endor and in Space with Luke facing off against Vader and the Emperor. Starting the game as Han, Leia and Wicket the Ewok, you make your way through Endor to the shield Generator before taking on the Emperor, while playing as Vader and Skywalker and then taking the Death Star’s main reactor down with the Millennium Falcon.
Once you complete ‘Jedi’ then its off to the Resistance base, where you become Poe Dameron and BB-8 to begin the first mission act of The Force Awakens on Jakku, the game adding, as per usual, its tongue and cheek moments. The voice acting is on par, using part of the dialogue directly from the movie and adding extra during gameplay.
In addition to the regular story, there are a few extra levels thrown into the mix, like how Han and Chewie get the Rathtars, which we see them smuggle in the movie among a few others. This adds nothing really new to Star Wars cannon,however, as it’s a LEGO-based game, but it provides a little more for those who wanted to know more of what happened before The Force Awakens.
New gameplay elements (which were much needed) have been added into this LEGO franchised game such as: shooting cover elements which engage you in laser battles against your foes and a superior vehicle camera that places you more within the action, be it in the air or in space. This game also gives you the ability to build more than one construction with a pile of LEGO blocks, in different locations. This can help with getting those much desired mini-kit pieces or red blocks and adds some diversity and fun to your gameplay.
Apart from this, the game is much like those that came before but the new additions helps keep the game from becoming mundane for younger players, for whom the game is more tailored. Hence, a much-needed improvement which gives the LEGO franchise a new spark of life.
The only downfall I can bring up regarding gameplay is the continued lack of innovation when it comes to building items with LEGO blocks. The whole point of LEGO, in the first place, is to help kids learn as they play by building what they can imagine, but here, its still ‘hold a button’.
The graphics have not really changed much over the LEGO game series, aside from becoming more polished and changing to high definition. As such, it’s difficult to say that a block or minifigure looks better, as they never really change by much on screen or in the real world. The graphics are great and do what they need to – not much else to say in this area, “Move along, move along!”.
The audio? Its Star Wars, even if it’s in brick form, you cannot help but love John Williams amazing score and the sound of lightsabers, blaster fire or even Tie Fighters. All an absolute joy – no faults, the force is strong here!
Final Notes: This game was a pleasant surprise, I expected another run-of-the-mill LEGO game – very paint by numbers, but no, this was a little of the same with a little new, which kept me enjoying the gameplay much more than before. It’s not too pricy, unless you buy the game with its season pass with a possibly special exclusive minifigure, but it’s worth picking up especially if you are a Star Wars or LEGO fan.
Story: 8/10 – The story is pretty much what we know already with a few offshoot levels but also this is not a negative as the movie plot is very much enjoyable even in brick form.
Graphics: 7/10 – To its credit it is the best looking LEGO game to date and the blur effects of background versus foreground can give visuals more depth.
Sound: 8/10 – Soundtrack usage as well as sound effects sound great, ticks all the boxes.
Gameplay: 9/10 – An improvement over previous LEGO games and enjoyable but still can be repetitive if played over long periods.
Enjoyment: 8/10 – with the amount of unlockable characters, cheats, minifigures and vehicles, the game will keep you going for quite a while especially for any completionists out there.
Overall score: 8/10 – A huge improvement over previous LEGO games and I hope that we see more in the future. Definitely smells better than the inside of a Tauntaun!
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Publisher: Warner Bros
- Players: single-player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1
Directors: Jamie Eden, Pete Gomer and Robert Hewson
Writer: Graham Goring
Sound: David Acord, Adam Bourne, Linda Brenon, Michael Levine, Josh Lowden and Matthew Wood
Finn: John Boyega
Rey: Daisy Ridley
Han Solo: Harrison Ford
C-3PO: Anthony Daniels
Kylo Ren: Adam Driver
Leia Organa: Carrie Fisher
Maz Kanata: Lupita Nyong’o
General Hux: Domhnall Gleeson
Poe Dameron: Oscar Isaac
Storm Trooper / Rebel Pilot: Sara Cravens
Captain Phasma: Gwendoline Christie
Admiral Ackbar: Tom Kane
Unkar Plutt: Simon Pegg
Darth Vader: Matt Sloan
Coruscanti Combat Officer / FO Protocol Droid / Lieutenant Malrec: Max von Sydow
Kari Wahlgren: Lor San Tekka
PZ-4CO: Scott Whyte
Emperor Palpatine: Sam Witwer
Supreme Leader Snoke: Andy Serkis
Combat Officer: Suzie Steen
Nien Nunb: Kipsang Rotich
Tasu Leech: Yayan Ruhian
Storm Trooper / Nima Stallholder / Nima Alien: Nick Shakoour
Niima Gatekeeper / Resistance Fighter: Robbie Daymond
Other voices: David Acord, Chopper Bernet, JB Blanc, David Boat, Cherise Boothe, Michelle Rejwan, Aimée Castle, Catherine Cavadini, Ian James Corlett, Darin De Paul, Brian T Delaney, DC Douglas, Ted Evans, Barbara Goodson, Greg Grunberg, Jason Hightower, Andrew Jack, Taliesin Jaffe, Peter Jessop, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Josh Keaton, Mikey Kelley, Nathan Kress, Matt Lanter, Misty Lee, Stephanie Lemelin, David Lodge, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Matthew Mercer, Andy Milder, Dave B Mitchell, Xander Mobus, Elle Newlands, Liam O’Brien, Erik Passoja, Marisha Ray, Bumper Robinson, Cindy Robinson, Jeff Schine, Christian Simpson, Roger Craig Smith, Jason Spisak, James Arnold Taylor, Eric Tiede, Imari Williams, Julie Wittner, Matthew Wood, Marc Worden, Gwendoline Yeo
Retro game fan, comic book reader, board game lover and film fanatic. I have loved videogames since I was 5 years old after visiting my first arcade, I have grown up with gaming since having my Atari 2600 then Commodore 64. I ended up building my own career crafting pixelised characters and have had the pleasure of meeting many of my retro gaming heroes who developed some of my absolute favourite games.