LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAK­ENS

Bricks, blasters and BB-8

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - James Nouch

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!

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