I’ve said it before with Star Wars games that rocked my world, and I’ll say it again – the Force is strong. Even after releasing Lego Star Wars I, II, Clone Wars and The Complete Saga, Travelers Tales has found yet another way to keep the franchise going in Legoland with The Force Awakens. The developer takes some of its best ideas to date and makes them work like magic, backed by a presentation that’s easily one of the most intricate (and breathtaking) we’ve seen for a Lego game. Plus, it’s definitely fun.
The game actually starts with Return of the Jedi, strangely enough, as a lead-in for what’s to come with The Force Awakens – and it’s an idea that pays off in spades, setting the stage for what’s to come with whimsical, truly satisfying Lego fun, whether it’s the Emperor getting all electricity happy, or being able to make the Death Star run in a Lego-ized Millennium Falcon.
Of course, the main star of the show is The Force Awakens itself, with Rey, Finn and others perfectly recreated in the Lego guise, complete with open world hubs like Jakku and the Resistance base, as well as the Starkiller base when you (eventually) get there. Each locale is a fun place in itself, whether you’re fighting in a rebel encampment against sinister First Order forces or taking to the skies to shoot down plenty of TIE Fighters. The game just looks awesome, with nary a hint of disappointment. Even the loading times are satisfactory, given the loads of detail they’re throwing on the screen.
What’s more, Travelers Tales pays Star Wars fans the ultimate service. The game features all the original voices from the film, adding new bits and pieces of dialogue to the proceedings. It’s a nice change of pace from the oddly forced phrases from the otherwise enjoyable Lego Marvel’s Avengers. Throw in John Williams’ iconic music score and lots of fun sound effects, and you have a Star Wars experience through and through.
With the gameplay, Travelers Tales went all out, and it shows. Sure, the Lego basics are still intact with combat, vehicular stages and building, but there are some new perks, like plenty of stuff to unlock, as well as the multi-build system. This is where you can put together multiple items depending on what direction you take. There’s no real wrong choice, and some of the segments actually tie in with some terrific puzzle segments in stages.
Speaking of vehicular stages, the ones included in The Force Awakens are a lot of fun, completely with plenty of flight and shooting stuff. And they, too, look absolutely fantastic, detailed just like the films. Sure, Disney Infinity 3.0: The Force Awakens looked splendid too, but Lego goes the extra mile – and since that other series is kinda fading away anyway, we need the new territory.
The game has longevity to spare, with tons of collectibles to find (go after the Red Bricks for cheats if you can), characters frozen in Carbonite (hello, Boba Fett), hubs to explore and secondary New Star Wars Adventures to find, which tie in with the main story. They’re very well done, really adding some extra oomph to a tale that has a lot to lean on already.
Lego Star Wars also fully supports local multiplayer, so two friends can work together to complete stages. The split-screen effect can be mildly disorienting at times depending where you go, but it’s something we’ve gotten used to in previous Lego games, and it works just as well here.
While the content may not be as diversified as Travelers Tales recent grand slam Lego Dimensions (which, by the way, is heading for a hell of a second season), there’s no question that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens still pays off in droves. The presentation is fantastic and right up there with the quality of the films; the gameplay is enjoyable (especially the flight sequences): and the bonus goodies you can find are nearly countless.
This is easily one of my favorite Star Wars games to date – and just imagine what these guys could do with Rogue One or Episode VIII. We’re waiting…