Review – Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (XBox One)

I’ll be honest. Prior to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I have never seen a Star Wars movie. I also have never played a Lego game either, at least not in its entirety. So as a newcomer, I was in awe to see how the two franchises came together to weave a well structured game, not only in story, but in game design.

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a beautiful game. From the moment you are thrown into the Battle of Endor, you encounter beautiful, lush environments and vivid colors that surround the area. It’s hard to believe that you’re looking at Lego blocks when the texture quality keeps you focused on the characters and your surroundings. The LEGO designs of famous Star Wars machines also look amazing. Whether you are riding on the X Wing or AT-ST, it looked nice to see them designed as LEGO’s. The cinematics are stunning, and the smaller details made me anticipate for the cut scenes in between gameplay.

Explosions look great in LEGO form.

The game keeps true to the story line of Star Wars Episode VI/VII, adding on light-hearted humor to appeal to its younger audiences while still having bits of adult humor. The game doesn’t take itself too serious, but has a good balance between its quirky and serious moments. I had a few good laughs throughout the main story and I often walked around just to hear the small character dialogues. The scene where Kylo Ren makes his appearance and has trouble using his lightsaber will be one of my favorite moments in the game.

Its ok, you’re still one of my favorite villains in the series.

When it comes to character controls, they are pretty straight forward. As the story progresses, you start to have the option to juggle between characters, each with their own quirks. Whats great about each character is that they feel different but play similarly. For example, Poe and Han Solo attack differently with their combination attacks, but they each have a grappling hook.

The characters themselves are important to advance the story and help unlock different areas and can help with various puzzles throughout the game. I had a bit of difficulty adjusting myself to swapping between the various characters, but it got easier once I found a flow to it. The overall difficulty of the game varies in terms of puzzles, but there are unlimited lives and immediate respawns. There’s no real penalty for death, so you can die as often as you’d like during a boss battle and not have to worry about starting from the beginning.

What stood out to me were the shoot outs. They were fast paced and the graphics also gave them another layer of intensity. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought the scenario to life, while I was scrambling to duck and cover and find the right button to press through out these fights. However, the game auto locks to your target, so it becomes easier and doesn’t take a lot of effort on your end. Regardless, it kept the game fresh at crucial times.

star wars, lego, poe

The flight combat was also nice to play, even though it felt a bit too fast paced at times. However, you experience close quarters flying as well as open range. Its tougher to dodge in close quarters but it feels like a high flying pursuit chase against the enemies, and the game is essentially piloting the ship for you. Open range feels very much like any other space shooter, with easier controls, such as flying backwards/dodging with one button. It still looks visually pleasing, and the objectives are simple enough. Once again, the cost of death isn’t too high, and you’ll respawn close to where you last left off.

The puzzles were anywhere between simple and difficult, but they were never frustrating. A lot of the puzzles involve swapping between characters and their special abilities (Poe and his grappling hook, or BB-8 and his hacking skills). You also know what characters you will need, just by hovering over the puzzle itself. You’ll start to feel the monotony of certain character puzzles, but the combat and exploring takes care of that on its own.

While you can advance through the game rather easily, there is an incentive to go back to worlds that you’ve traveled before and get more unlockables that you couldn’t get with other characters. There is an endless amount of replayability in this game that adds in a few extra hours, without feeling like a chore.

Closing Thoughts
While the game itself is targeted towards younger audiences, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of either Star Wars or loves playing LEGO games. The puzzles are fun, the fighting feels smooth and there is an endless amount of fun for multiplayer co-op. This is a great addition for any gamer in your household for the Holidays.

Rating: 8.5/10

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