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Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Game Review

4 min read

lego-star-wars-the-force-awakens-trailer-roundupAwaken the child in you.

What They Say:

Join new characters and revisit old ones in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens for PS4, a fun new way to play the hit movie. Immerse yourself in battles against the First Order, and explore new options, including Multi-Build for customized play. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens for PS4 lets you take command of your favorite scenes.

The Review:
Audio:

The Star Wars franchise is known for its epic scores, and Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens has no problem utilizing them to the fullest. Every battle, cutscene, dogfight is filled to the brim with John Williams’ gripping soundtrack. It’s not just the music either, as every blaster bolt, lightsaber swing, and X-wing is accented with movie quality sound effects. Like recent Lego games, The Force Awakens features full voice-acting in its cutscenes. Whether the original voice actor or not, each line comes across clean, including the sound-alikes. There is a clear distinction vocally between serious and humorous emotions, never leading to overly cheesy moments, and keeping it fresh.

Graphics:

Having not played a Lego game in quite some time, I was surprised in mixed ways by the graphics. Immediately, I could tell the obvious things like higher resolutions and more powerful hardware allowed for better quality and slightly more details to the environment. Unfortunately, as TT Games perfected the Lego-style games ago, there isn’t really anything new that will wow you graphically. Regardless, there is no denying that seeing my new favorite Star Wars characters in Lego form was endearing enough to put a smile on my face.

Content: (warning as parts of this section may contain light spoilers for game and movie)

Beginning with a prologue set in Episode VI at the tail-end of the Battle of Endor, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens attempts to ease the player into the newest mechanics added to the franchise. While tutorials are welcome and even necessary in a family friendly game like this, I would have preferred a more traditional introduction, instead of the same rehash of scenes that have already been done before in Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and The Complete Saga. The initial level drags on longer than a tutorial should and lessens the excitement one has going into the game. The new mechanics introduced are nice in theory, but feel more like the base foundation of something that won’t really come to fruition until later games. These two new elements being the cover-centric battles and “multi-builds”.

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Starting with the cover battles, random sections of a level will have you duck behind cover and strategically target enemies a la Gears of War. The whole setup sounds great, but really needs some work in the next game in the series. Movements during these sections just aren’t as fast or fluid as they need be. Enemies are a lot of times way too difficult to target due to environmental obstructions or camera problems.

Multi-builds aren’t nearly as frustrating, but just as barebones as the cover shooting sections. The traditional building Lego blocks to create bridges, ladders, or whatnot is all here but with an added twist. You see, you can now choose between a few different options when creating. Need a ladder to reach the switch to get to the next area? Why not build a platform to get a collectible instead? Again, in theory, it sounds as if it is giving the player more options but not really. Instead, it is just a fancy way of finding collectibles throughout the level that only lasts a minute or two. However, it does lay the groundwork for something more promising. It’s my hope that this is leading to Lego games where you have branching paths to completing a level, adding to replay value.

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But for now, the core gameplay of Lego Star Wars is the most solid it’s ever been. From ground fights to dogfights in space, it has it all and more fun than ever before. The 10 chapters take you from the deserts of Jakku to the harsh snowy wastelands of Starkiller Base and every planet and location from the movie in-between. It’s a varied campaign unfortunately lasting no more than 10 hours. It’s understandable that there’s only so much you can do with a 2 and a half hour movie, as TT Games clearly tried to squeeze as much content out of it as possible. However, one of the bigger surprises was the added story content. Most are simple, filler missions, but others, like Poe Dameron’s rescue mission, stand out as worthy additions to the already established story in Episode VII. Filler or not, every mission is just as fun as you would expect and it’s certainly a family friendly game that will bring the child out of everyone.

In Summary:

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the best interactive adaptation of the newest Star Wars movie to date. Fresh mechanics, characters, and gameplay lay the foundation for Lego games to come. Only time will tell if it, much like the movie, will pave the way for a new era of Star Wars games.

Grade: B-

This review was done with a PlayStation 4 review copy of the game provided by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. We are grateful for their support.

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