Dylan and Xander are proper gamers now and have become huge Star Wars fans in recent months too. While I’m not as big a fan, I was delighted to be invited to the launch of LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens recently. Soon after arriving at London Bridge, I was on the 72nd floor of The Shard.
It was great to see one of my oldest blogger pals Daddacool there. After pretending that we’d built the model of Rey on the way in, it was time to head up. We took several lifts to ascend the majority of The Shard’s 1,016 feet. At the top, there was a drinks reception, consoles to play the game on, breathtaking views and John Williams’ classic soundtrack. It created a fitting atmosphere.
A photo posted by Tom Briggs (@diaryofthedad) on
So on to the game itself. As expected, it is based on the plot of the latest film but also features some exclusive content. This is set several years beforehand. As a result, a few characters from the older films make unexpected but nonetheless welcome appearances. Dylan was particularly pleased to discover Darth Vader!
I love the way LEGO games fuse a clear affection for the original material with their trademark humour and this didn’t disappoint. A fair amount of dialogue seems to have been lifted straight from the film, but the comic asides and creative brick-based segues that have become synonymous with the brand are in plentiful supply.
The interface is similar to that of LEGO Dimensions, so the boys got into the game quickly. They were soon smashing up everything in sight, collecting studs and following the story. In fact, I’ve hardly had a look in so far as they’re alarmingly good at it!
One of the in-play additions that I particularly liked was the enhanced multi-builds system. The hopping piles of bricks that seasoned LEGO game fans will be familiar with can now be used more than once. Doing so enables players to access different areas of the levels – for example, higher platforms.
Another feature that adds to the challenge is advanced AI that allows enemy characters to use said bricks. If human players are not fast enough, they may encounter Stormtrooper reinforcements, air support or heavy artillery. Incentive, if it were needed, to take the game to them!
There are also plenty of aerial battles while another first for the franchise sees cover-based shootouts with enemies – the like of which most older gamers will be familiar with.
On the evidence of the first few levels, there is much to enjoy. As well as several hours of story-based missions, there are open worlds and downloadable content to enjoy. I’m looking forward to having a proper go when the boys finally allow me!
LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens is available on PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, Xbox One®, Xbox 360®, Wii™U, Nintendo 3DS™ and Windows PC. This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.