Combining the usual Lego charm with the Star Wars universe, Lego Star Wars brings The Force Awakens to life with a faithful adaptation of the motion picture. Complete with Lego-inspired humour and cut scenes, the game is easy to pick up and play with an accessible control scheme and a fun multiplayer emphasis. The formulaic approach to the Lego games does make the title feel a little bland, give the unchanged control scheme and for all its fun and quirks, the usual bugs and issues crop up which sours an otherwise solid title.
Cover-based shooting is a new mechanic this year
Much like other Lego games, the story starts with a campaign mode which involves taking control of different characters with different abilities across the levels available. This spans the entirety of The Force Awakens film and the levels are broken up into different sections. Along with the standard 3D platform/puzzle areas, The Force Awakens boasts on-rail flying segments, cover-based shooting and the usual array of characters to beat and collectables to grab. The beauty with the Lego games is of course the replayability and its here that The Force Awakens excels. Much like in other games, there’s several world maps connected together complete with an array of mini quests and more collectables on top of the levels themselves. There’s no denying that The Force Awakens has a lot going on and even more to collect. For those looking to collect 100% and see everything the game has to offer, expect the game time to rise to around 30 hours or so.
With numerous quests and a 10 hour campaign, the array of characters is impressive although the over-reliance on past characters from other Star Wars titles doesn’t do much to enhance the experience. The miniquests are formulaic and do nothing to enhance the overall gameplay either, devolving most of them to simple fetch quests or destroying a certain number of enemies. Whilst its still fun to complete and satisfying to achieve another gold brick, it does feel unnecessarily tedious considering the inability to skip the dialogue before the quest starts. This has always been a problem for past Lego games and its disappointing to see it carried across to this title too. The actual World Map areas are nicely rendered though, with a mix between Lego pieces and sweeping landscapes integrated nicely on a well designed mini-map showing where the next task is located.
In trademark Lego fashion, there’s a range of characters to choose from
The level design is good too and aside from a few wonky frame-rate issues, the game is steady even when played with two players. For all the positives though, there are an equal amount of negatives. The Lego formula, whilst effective, does start to take its toll here with far too many instances of repeated bugs and glitches cropping up. Whilst the game breaking bugs are very few and far between, they are still apparent. With an unchanged engine for so many years, it does feel inexcusable that these same issues still crop up. Characters disappearing, textures not loading correctly or certain parts of a mission not loading are among some of the worst on offer here but on the whole, it is a relatively smooth experience.
Much like the other Lego titles there’s a real issue with directions within the level, with some puzzles or parts of the game seemingly impossible to progress until you destroy a certain structure or approach an obstacle in a certain direction. There were a few times where this occurred and it resulted in destroying a tiny part of an existing structure that wasn’t initially easy to see. Some sort of on-screen prompt after a certain period of time indicating where this is possibly could have eliminated this frustration completely.
There are an array of mini-quests to complete
Having said all of that, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still a good game. It features the trademark Lego humour and the levels are well designed and fun to navigate. If you can get past some of the more glaring issues or the recurring problems haunting the series then there is a lot of fun to be had here. Seeing your favourite Star Wars characters brought to life in all their Lego glory is as satisfying as its ever been in the series and the unchanged gameplay brings enough variety within the levels to keep the action fresh and engaging.
Overall, Lego Star Wars doesn’t bring anything new to the table and it doesn’t even innovative the familiar formula evident in all the other titles. The level design is solid, with enough variety in the gameplay to keep it fresh and the sheer wealth of collectables and characters to unlock ensures a lot of replayability. Whilst its not a game changing, innovative title in the Lego franchise, Force Awakens does the source material justice with a solid game and enough here to keep long time fans and newcomers happy.