There are more LEGO games than you can shake a stick at, and although the brand has now grown to encompass the likes of Jurassic World it all started with Lego Star Wars: The Videogame back in 2005. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens sees the series return to its roots.
The LEGO games have always been knockabout fun and this latest instalment proves to be no different. If you’ve ever played one of the previous LEGO games then you’ll know how this works. You play through a series of levels smashing objects to collect studs, and in turn buy new characters and vehicles. The levels you play broadly follow the plot of the film, the game bulks this out a little by adding more detail here and there.
Oddly the game starts off with a level based on the closing scenes of Return of the Jedi. This variety continues with some of the later optional levels being based on different movie scenes or back-story not seen before. This is a little suggestive that they run out of material from the Force Awakens alone. But these levels all play well, and at the end of the day it’s not the story you’re coming for here.
There are a couple of changes to the gameplay here in the form of very simple cover based shooting sections, and multi build sections. The cover based sections come with an auto aim feature which snaps your reticule to the nearest enemy, this is helpful to the younger audience the game if aiming form. There is nothing particularly special about these sections but they do serve to vary the flow of the game, and add much needed variety. The multi build sections allow you to choose from a set selection of items to build in certain scenarios. Often these multi builds mix together, so you’ll need to build one item first, before you destroy it and build the second to complete the puzzle. I don’t know if these sections are wholly successful as it just feels like an added layer of repetition, particularly if you’re a completionist who must build all the designs.
This game also introduces some flying sections, both on rails and full freedom sections. The on rails sections are tightly scripted and are full of explosions and action, you can move your craft round the screen and shoot your guns along the way. The freeform sections give you full freedom of movement and are really enjoyable. One highlight from early on in the game sees you engaging in a dogfight in the space above Jakku, the amount of action and sense of scale is great.
As with the previous LEGO games the entire tale is told with a generous dash of splatstick humour. I feel the comedy hits the mark more often than not, I mean whats not to like about seeing the inside of Kylo Ren’s bedroom. Regardless, with so many jokes there are loads that miss as well. What helps the humour along though is the inclusion of the full voice cast. There is a lot of original dialogue from the movies, but also each actor has also recorded some bespoke lines just for this game. Comparing this to the recent Avengers title which didn’t use all the original voice cast throughout and this game is significantly more immersive.
Things aren’t all great, there is practically no challenge here and you can basically sleepwalk your way through the entire game. The game also has a lot of repetition, particularly if you want to go back and unlock all the playable characters and vehicles. There are all problems inherent with the LEGO game, and you’ll either hate the game for this reason or just get on with it.
This game is definitely one of the more enjoyable entries from the LEGO series, and feels more refined than some of the recent entries. The introduction of flying sections, multi builds and cover shooting add some much needed variety to the game. The general combat also seems to have been refined, it’s still very simple, but feels somehow more responsive. I spent a lot of the game playing in split screen and the game really shines here. A lot of the puzzles need two people to act in tandem and with a second player this stimulates talk and fun. As with other LEGO games there is no real penalty for death so you can just blast each other and really have a silly time.
The game spans numerous planets and as such has more than one hub to explore, a bit like the recent Avengers title. However the load times between levels seems to have been vastly improved upon from Avengers and helps to keep the game moving.
This game isn’t going to change your world, and it is very much another LEGO game. However its one of the better entrants into the series. For fans of Star Wars there is a lot to like here and the unabashed fan service and slapstick humour will make anyone crack a smile.