Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens might just be the best Lego video game ever.

With a gaming catalogue that spans over three decades, covering countless franchises with over 60 titles, claiming that this latest addition to the Lego video game history is certainly a bold claim. However, as an avid Lego video game fan, I confidently stand by this claim.

Graphics
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks fantastic. Graphics and aesthetics aren’t really aspects that are commented on when reviewing Lego games, as they tend to look generically similar, as after all, the characters and scenery are all made from Lego. However, the immersive worlds in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens are detailed, imaginative and pristinely presented. From the deserts to the space ships, the environments all look incredible and it’s simply a joy to be part of this Lego Star Wars world.

Star Wars
Unsurprisingly, this installment is based on Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. As a result, you’ll pay as the film’s main characters: Finn, Rey, BB-8, Chewbacca and Han Solo. Each character has unique abilities that will help you advance through the levels. From Rey’s agile acrobatic combat to Han Solo’s trigger happy shooting, each character is a joy to play with. You’ll also have the opportunity to take control of the dark side as well as embracing the force and slashing lightsabers around. Star Wars fans will certainly enjoy taking control of their favourite characters and will appreciate their Lego representations. This installment also bridges the latest Star Wars film with Star Wars Episode 6: Return of The Jedi and explains how Poe Dameron ended up with the map – fans will undoubtedly enjoy this previously untold addition to the story.



Gameplay
The guys at Lego have taken the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to creating their video games over the past few decades and its certainly done them justice. When playing a Lego game, you know what to expect from the gameplay – smash stuff, rebuild stuff, collect coins and complete the occasional puzzle to advance. It’s a formula that has proven to attract returning gamers year on year and hasn’t seemed to tire. However, this isn’t to say that there’s nothing new here. Players can now hide behind objects and shoot by auto-locking onto targets and they also now have the option of rebuilding smashed lego in different areas to achieve different goals. Both are nice additions, which hopefully will be permanent features in Lego games to come. With regards to the diversity amongst the characters, familiar Lego video game fans wills be familiar to using different characters to achieving different goals and those familiar with the Star Wars franchise will understand the reasoning behind different character’s abilities – Rey can jump high and leap from bar to bar whilst Ewoks can crawl into small areas and are stronger in pockets of Ewoks.

The levels themselves are fantastic and each provide a wealth of activities, mysteries and dense combat. As with any Lego game, teamwork is essential and making use of each character is at the core of everything that needs to be done here. As a result, co-op is the best way to play these games and this Star Wars installment is no exception.

Of course, this is a game designed for children and many of the “puzzles” are reminders of this. However, it’s silly nature and humorous methods of avoiding on-screen violence will be sure to put a smile on any adult and certainly any Star Wars fan. Even if you put aside that the game was design with children in mind, it doesn’t detract away from the fact that the gameplay is engaging and the overall experience is fun and entertaining – which is after all, why we play video games. Unlike more ‘mature’ games that entices rage and will have either throwing the controller at the wall or at your co-op partner, the Lego gameplay is relaxing and at times actually quite stress relieving – at the end of the day, who doesn’t enjoy smashing up lego?



Fans of Lego and Star Wars alike will undoubtedly be aware that this isn’t the first Lego Star Wars game. Two generations of consoles ago, the Lego franchise covered all six Star Wars movies and proved themselves to one of the leading Lego games at the time. This installment delivers an element of nostalgia to these classic games by maintaining the fundamentals that made these games so enjoyable such as the clever character construction and chaotic but highly entertaining battles, as well as its silliness.  Whatsmore, as well as upgrading the graphics, this installment rectifies the previous Lego games errors – no longer will you have to laboriously  wheel around R2D2 and sluggishly drag around C3PO. This installment addresses these flaws by making the robots more interesting, more useful and actually fun to play with. BB-8 is surprisingly entertaining to play with, as his speed when rolling around is unmatched. No longer will you feel burdened by robots.

Verdict
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is certainly one of, if not the best Lego video game to date. It’s silly, fun, hilarious, energetic, loyal to the movie franchise and perhaps the most fun you can have playing split screen offline. It’s a must for any fan of the Lego video games, the Star Wars franchise or fans of fun in general!

9/10

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