3DS reviews

‘Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Review

Platforms iOS, Windows, 3DS, Ps3,

PS4, Ps Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Developer TT Fusion  Publisher Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment

Genre Action-Adventure  Platform Played PlayStation 4

It is too easy to say that if you’ve played one Lego game, you have played them all. Sure they look and for the most part handle the same, but each one tries their best to capture the spirit of the property they’re trying to emulate. While Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens could benefit from some patches to their shooting mechanics, the rest of the game is so much fun that it stands as the brightest star in the Lego galaxy.

 If you want zero details from the new game, stop reading now. (Mild In-Game Spoilers).

LEGO® STAR WARS™: The Force Awakens_20160628134115

The Galaxy early on

By now, you’ve no doubt heard of the multi-build system, cover-based shooting mechanics, and dog fights that all take place within the Episode VII universe.What you may not know, is that while 90% of  LSW:TFA takes place filling out the story of our new heroes, the initial 10% is a throwback to fans of the original trilogy, taking place at the tail end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Every game struggles to bring you into their world and make you want to invest your time in it. I can safely say that those initial moments that find you fighting against the Emperor, taking out the shield generator on Endor, and blowing up the Death Star, nails the tone and gives you desire to continue the story.

But where the Lego series does a great job of taking real audio, blended with new audio, to craft a new and fun story to fill in the gaps of the movie property in question, it also fails to nail down a lot of the necessary mechanics for it to be the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens Screen 2

I’ll stand firm by saying the best feature in the game is the flight mechanic. Having piloted multiple aircraft across different planets, it is hands down the best time I’ve spent in aerial combat since playing Battlefield 3. The flight mechanics are fun, chaotic, and an absolute blast to play. I find myself having so much fun that I think the TT team would do well by making their own Lego series of aerial combat games. With so many different properties to pull from, I think a lot of people would be interested in taking one of those games for a spin in light of how well the flight mechanics work. Obviously the success of LSW:TFA will be a determining factor, but I can’t imagine you will read a review on this game without someone commenting on how well the flight sequences were.

The multi-build system was well placed throughout the game. I never got any better at figuring out which set to build first, but it didn’t bother me all that much because it was so quick to break a part and reassemble. Experiencing this system throughout the game never felt tedious or repetitive like some of the other pieces of the game (I.E. BB-8’s unlock sequence or Fn-2187’s storm trooper password). It’s easy to figure out, easy to swap around, and a pretty smart system in place.

LEGO® STAR WARS™: The Force Awakens_20160628132720

Just touch it real quick…

Melee combat is back and pretty straight forward. Lego has introduced this special “finisher” style move for the characters that have the option to use it. The combat overall is pretty repetitive, but the switching to different characters and using different finishers feels pretty satisfying throughout. I will say that there were some motion elements that worked better than others. While playing as a Force user, there are several objects throughout the world to interface with, however, that power isn’t always seamless. Sure you force push someone, but it may take you 3 or 4 times to make it work.

Aside from that, the light-saber battles are pretty fun, and each character has their own unique sequence of movements as you button mash your Lego opponent to pieces. I would love to see an intricate leveling system to the combat in forthcoming Lego games.

Shootin'

I have expressed my concern a few times now about the cover-based shooting system. Unfortunately, that is the main thing keeping LSW:TFA from being outstanding. Instead of them adding the system throughout the entirety of play, it is used to mix up the pace of game play by entering you into that mode for specific battles. The aim seems sluggish and off, and I was hoping after spending a lot of time behind the barrel of a blaster, it would get better. It hasn’t. Figuring out how to use the controls doesn’t mean the controls are good, it just means you’re making the most of them so you don’t die .

I love the cover-based shooter. It’s a great game mechanic. The problem just seems to me that they didn’t have enough practice with it, to add it to the entire game, so they added specific chunks here and there. To be honest, it hurt the overall game quality.Most of us have already played Star Wars: Battlefront, so we know exactly what it looks and feels like to hold a blaster. Where the cover-based system stood as an awesome opportunity, much like the storm troopers of the game, this system misses its mark.

The Verdict

The only thing keeping this game from being excellent, is an unpolished third-based shooting mechanic and the inability to control the camera most of the time. While the Lego series isn’t necessarily aimed at hardcore gamer’s, there are a few lessons that can be learned that would turn this game from great to amazing. Where the shooting and camera disappoint, the journey, overall game-play, and outstanding flight mechanics take Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens out of our atmosphere at light speed in what is sure to be a Lego game that will be tough to top.

The Good

  • Handling of Star Wars canon
  • Linear story
  • Excellent flight mechanics
  • Fun tone and multi-build system
  • Large cast of characters

The Bad

  • Poor shooter mechanic
  • Little camera control
  • Audio elements off at times

The Score: 9.0


Devon McCarty can’t help but notice that BB-8 sounds a lot like Sonic the Hedgehog when you use his fast roll move. You can hit him up on the Watch. Chat. Play! Facebook page , chat to Devon @DesignatedDevon via Twitter or just drop some sweet comment love here.

 

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