LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Bricks, blasters and BB-8
RELEASED OUT NOW! Reviewed on Ps4
Also on XO, Wii U, PC, Ps3, 360, Ps Vita, 3ds, Mobile
Publisher Warner Bros Interactive entertainment
The Lego series may have hitched its wagon to any number of world-famous franchises in the last decade, but George Lucas’s pulpy sci-fi universe – with its recognisable heroes, villains, locations and vehicles – remains the perfect partner for Lego. Whether it’s the chrome detailing on Kylo Ren’s helmet or the snowy surface of Starkiller Base, everything looks as you remember from the movie – albeit with a few more studs.
In-between ooh-ing and ahh-ing at these details, however, you’ll partake in much the same blend of gentle platforming and baddiebrawling that’s been driving the franchise for years now, pausing only to hoover up the swathes of collectables that litter every level.
It would, however, be unfair to claim that The Force Awakens delivers nothing new. Take the Blaster Battle sections, for instance, which eschew platforming and brawling in favour of waist-high walls and cover-shooting mechanics. For all their cinematic flair, though, these feel a little lightweight and loose. We weren’t expecting Lego Gears Of War, but these stylish segments are disappointingly simplistic.
The game’s other significant innovation – Multi-Builds – is much more successful. This novel mechanic lets you assemble bouncing blocks of highlighted Lego into a variety of different objects, introducing a degree of choice to the building process.
The inclusion of a smattering of original “bridge missions” – which portray events between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens – alongside the 10 main story missions will no doubt delight lore junkies, although they’re a more reliable source of slapstick side-plots than showstopping canonical revelations.
These bridge stages also tend to rely much more heavily on original dialogue, which sees the movie cast reprising their roles. It’s a shame that this new voicework can sit rather awkwardly alongside audio tracks that have been ripped directly from the movie, with a noticeable discrepancy in sound.
But Lego Star Wars is about unabashed fun as much as anything else, and on that front it delivers handsomely. Series stalwarts won’t find anything revolutionary, but this is an admirable demonstration of the appeal of the Star Wars universe and Lego blocks, whatever your age.
Unlockable characters include JJ Abrams – who has a movie camera on his back – and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
It’s about fun as much as anything else
Hang on, BB-8 doesn’t look very blocky!