Friday, 8 July 2016

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens: PS4 Review

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens: PS4 Review

Developed by TT Games
Platform: PS4

The LEGO Star Wars games have been nothing but charming.

And there's little the brick based gameplay can do to change the fact there's been nearly 20 LEGO games, so it's fair to say you know exactly what to expect - an adaptation of the source material mixed with gameplay that borders so far on cute, it's practically adorable.

Thankfully, Travellers Tales have added a few new things into LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens: to ensure the build doesn't feel quite as tired as it could.

It's, obviously, an adaptation of the JJ Abrams helmed Force Awakens film, that also bridges the gap between Return of The Jedi and includes all the new guys, such as BB8, Poe and Rey.

Switching between 12 levels of campaign, the game's MO still lies with the appeal to children - even though adults can still revel in the fun and games. There's kiddish humour and visual gags aplenty throughout, but there are also a couple of newer mechanics on show to ensure a degree of freshness.

Firstly, the multi-builds.

While LEGO's MO has always been to build to a plan, as a kid, one of the joys of LEGO was the fact that you could build anything with it, and didn't have to stick with one thing. Finally, Travellers Tales have adapted that philosophy and allow piles of bricks to construct two or three things consecutively, all of which enable the propulsion of the story. It's a great touch that taps the core of what LEGO is- and you'll need to utilise this to complete puzzles, so it becomes a necessity.

Secondly, the cover based shooting mechanic for battles has been brought in. Blasting away and targeting have added much to the game's simple shooter ethos and while it's initially tricky to master, once you have it becomes like a second nature to the game. It's an odd idea you'd need cover though, because the characters simply respawn wherever in the game, so it's never a do or die necessity.

While the animation and cut scenes are up to the usual standard and are voiced by the film's stars, it has to be said the mix is quite low, with some of the dialogue not standing out and being hard to hear. It's a shame, given the vocal talent involved that it doesn't shine as well as it could.

And there are bugs too - levels have been frozen out by glitches that have stopped characters from progressing; and one scene early on inside the Falcon simply stops with no choice but to reset from the start. It's a constant source of frustration.

Ultimately though, due to the scope and size of levels, this is perhaps the widest-ranging LEGO game yet. There's no such thing as a pick up and play ethos to this LEGO title, you need to devote time to it - from the hundreds of unlockable characters to the necessity to claim all the Gold Bricks to unlock further content, this is not a game to waste time with - it's a game to luxuriate in.

There's charm and humour aplenty in LEGO Star Wars: the Force Awakens - all the trademarks are here, and you'll enjoy it for the fact it's simply playable and enjoyable.

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