LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins in a pretty interesting spot, over thirty years before the release of last year’s movie with Return of the Jedi. It was the first in a long run of surprises that made me fall in love with the Lego games all over again. While many of the problems that have plagued the franchise for years are still present there’s more imagination here than in any number of the recently released Lego Games (Dimensions not included in that). Even better, the developer’s love for the Star Wars brand shines through here just as much as it did at the release of the original Lego Star Wars games. Don’t let it’s cartoony exterior fool you, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is easily one of my favorite Star Wars experiences, in any medium that I’ve experienced in years.
If you’ve played any of the previous movie themed Lego games before you’ll get the idea here; smash your way through blocky versions of the source material with a series of light puzzles and combat. One of my favorite aspects of the the Lego games has always been that they’re more of a loose retelling of the events of the film more inspired by the source material than a straight forward version of it. Remember that part in The Force Awakens where Kylo Ren storms into his bedroom filled with Darth Vader posters and memorabilia? What about that part in Return of the Jedi where Luke brings Vader back to the light side of the force by showing him a drawing he did of his dear old dad? Of course you don’t, it didn’t happen, but Lego Star Wars handles the source material with a sense of humor that doesn’t feel like it’s poking fun but more having fun with it’s fandom of the series. We’ve seen a lot of Lego games in the past few years but the developer finally getting a chance to go back to Lego Star Wars just feels right.
One of the biggest complaints from the Lego games has always been how similar they all are to one another and for the most part Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens falls into that same trap. Levels all feel pretty similar to what you’d expect; break stuff, build stuff, solve puzzles. Lego Force Awakens does introduce some new ideas and mechanics though that work excessively well when introduced to the long established formula. The first isn’t really a selling point on the back of any box but I noticed that unlike games like Lego Jurassic Park and Marvel Super Heroes, both players constantly have something to do and the workload has been much more drastically improved, which leads to a much more fun experience especially when playing with kids. There are also sections where you’ll have a choice as to what to build to advance, which shows that Traveler’s Tales is finally understanding that it’s the freedom of choice that makes Lego’s so much fun for kids growing up.
There are also cover shooting sections, which feel like a kid version of games like Gears of War. There’s not much challenge for established players as you’re essentially holding down one button to clear out a series of enemies but it’s definitely a welcome addition.
By far my favorite addition that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings to the table is the flight sections, which lets you jump into vehicles like X-Wings, Tie Fighters and even the Millennium Falcon itself and engage in dog fights high above the Lego world. The controls and simple and fun and I had a lot more fun in these sections than in most games giving you similar abilities (I’m looking in your direction Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Fox Zero).
Interestingly enough, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens gets creative with it’s story telling in other ways as well, like creating unique missions that weren’t in the original movie but Disney has confirmed to be cannon. Want to see how Han and Chewy caught those big space squid things in the first place? It’s all explained here. Want to see how how Lor San Tekka (the old guy in the beginning of the movie) got the map that leads to Luke Skywalker? There’s a mission for that too. Even more, since the game includes characters from every version of Star Wars you could imagine, you’re given a lot of freedom to create your own adventures in the free play mode. I may have spent a good amount of time having adventures with Han Solo and Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren pairing up with his idol Darth Vader.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does put enough air in the tire that it’s the first real Lego game in some time that you’re going to want to play all the way through. It’s fun, it’s imaginative and it shows the developer’s love of the Star Wars series. If you thought all Lego Games are the same…well, you’re mostly right but Lego Force Awakens does enough differently to make it more than worth a look.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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