Max, 7 and Sam, 4 squealed in delight when their Dad told them which game he was reviewing next. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a game that was high on their list, so it’s only natural that this review will have snippets of their thoughts.
To be honest, the first hour was a disappointment for the boys, they wanted to get straight in on the action from TFA but instead they had to play through a prologue. Actually the first hour was fantastic and was a perfect level to introduce a lot of the excellent changes that TT Games had added to the first LEGO Star Wars game since The Complete Saga back in 2007.
The Lightsabers look amazing! (Max)
Actually, they do, the whole game looks great. C-3PO has had a good polish and has a shine to him like never before, all of the characters are instantly recognisable and the new levels all look amazing.
It’s not just the games visuals that have had a polish, there are plenty of new gameplay features that help improve on previous titles. Multi-build takes on and improves how you build items in the game. Rather than just building one object to help you progress through a level you can now build two or even three different objects. This isn’t a massive change to the mechanics but it does add an extra layer to the puzzles you come across. There may be an order that you need to build in, while some are timed so you’ll need to be quick to build, destroy and rebuild.
Perhaps the biggest change to the game is the introduction of cover mechanics. Certain sections of the game see the camera angle change and follow you into cover, giving you the opportunity to pop out of cover and shoot at your opponents. It’s works really well and at the end of the shootout you are awarded a score and set amount of studs towards your total. As in all LEGO games different characters have their own unique abilities, Finn for example can use his Lightsaber to cut shapes in to objects to break them open, while BB-8 can hook into electrical objects to activate them. A new feature allows certain characters such as Commander Leia to order a group of characters to assist with a certain job such as pushing or pulling an object to help progress in a level.
Can I be Kylo Ren yet? (Sam)
No Sam, soon though. Once the boys got into The Force Awakens levels you could see their faces light up. There are only 10 chapters to play through and even then you can see the developers were stretching to fit in enough content on each level. Trying to fit a 2 hour film into 10 hours of gameplay is pretty hard so you can understand why some of the levels feel a bit flat. If you have seen the film as much as we have then you’ll quickly notice which parts of the game weren’t in the film, but the level of fun never decreased.
Of course, you never just finish a LEGO game, there are gold bricks to collect, characters to unlock and bonus levels to take part in. In between levels there is plenty of exploration to do, whether you are looking around the Millennium Falcon or the Resistance’s airbase. I’d go as far to say that there is too much collect, especially with the characters. There are far too many duplicates of certain figures, just in different forms, and it can get a bit frustrating after a while. Navigating between levels is quite good fun, most of which are accessed by a Mass Effect style galaxy map, giving you the chance to swap between story and free play modes.
Now Daddy? (Sam)
Sorry Sam, a few levels until he is available. By far the most exciting part of the game are the flying battles. TT Games have made the controls very simple, meaning you can fly the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters or X-Wings with ease. The gunplay is excellent as well, you have turrets to fire or you can make use of homing missiles to defeat your opponents.
The cut scenes are fantastic, and as usual they contain the brilliant humour that you would expect from a LEGO game. I really like the fact they use clips from the actual films for the characters voices, it was good in LEGO Jurassic Park and it is even better in TFA.
Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, The Force Awakens is probably the best LEGO game there has been. With the improved visuals, new gameplay mechanics and fantastic humour. Gamers of all ages will have great fun with this one.
Oh and don’t worry Sam, finally got to play as Kylo Ren…