LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review: To Endor, and Beyond!

TT Games continues their tradition of entertaining if sometimes monotonous LEGO-based video games with LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rather than follow their tried-and-true formula to a fault, TT Games dabbles in some new gameplay elements that we’re guaranteed to see more of in the future.

Everything you expect to find in a LEGO Star Wars video game from TT Games is present and accounted for. There are over 200 characters to unlock, more than a hangar’s worth of vehicles, gold and yellow bricks, split-screen cooperative play, and many hidden areas or locked things requiring a second play-through in Free Play to access.

Beating LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens unlocked just over 22 percent of the game and that included exploring all the nooks and crannies of each level and ensuring enough studs were collected to achieve True Jedi. Beating the main story line with the help of BB-8 as a key playable character that steals the show is only the beginning.

The inclusion of virtually the entire core cast from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and even Harrison Ford, along with John Williams’ score, adds to the game’s authenticity. There are several scenes where you can close your eyes and feel like you’re listening to the movie and not the game.

The devil is in the details and closing your eyes would make you miss almost all of them. TT Games is infamous for their family-friend humor in LEGO games and there’s enough to go around in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, oddly enough some cut-scenes play out with hardly any or no humor injected into them.

LEGO games have always played in an exploratory three-quarters top down view. New over-the-shoulder combat sequences amp up the violence a tad with the LEGO version of a carnival shooting gallery. Weapons automatically lock onto enemies during these sequences with limited lateral movement so they’re highly kid friendly and almost too easy to complete.

Another new addition are multiple brick builds. In the past a pile of build-able bricks would assemble one object only. Now the options are increased to two and even three builds. This new feature works best when a puzzle must be solved requiring the assembly of three builds from the same pile of bricks in a correct order.

There are new missions designed by TT Games that fall outside the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie scope. All of these extra mission, such as how Han and Chewie caught the Rathtars, can only be unlocked well after the main story has been completed and enough gold bricks are collected. They’re a carrot dangling from a wire that’s a chore to reach.

A consolation is the inclusion of the game’s first mission, a retreading of the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi. It’s not necessary to the Force Awakens story but always fun to revisit the Original Trilogy.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens feels like a new direction for the LEGO games much like the film it’s based upon is a new start for the Star Wars saga. Unlike the Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Play Set that loosely followed the film’s plot and sequences, LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens offers a much more robust experience that is all fun and games from beginning to end.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by WB Games.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens review
out of 5

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