The Farce Awakens
LEGO games aren’t exactly hard to describe. They’re what happens when you combine the slapstick of a Zucker, Zucker and Abrams film with absurd amounts of fan service. They’ve also become somewhat stale as of late, even with all that reverence for the source material. The basic formula hasn’t changed in many, many games: Players get a ludicrous amount of characters to unlock and play with, smash everything to pieces and work around several puzzles to progress further.
Rinse and repeat. I could literally end my review right here and still be accurate. So I’m going to.
…What do you mean I haven’t reached my minimum word count yet? You suck Geoff. Gawd. FINE. Okay, so here’s the thing: There actually is some new gameplay content at play here in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A few new ideas and gimmicks to go along with the usual puzzles of connections and getting beyond barriers. They’re not still not enough however, and barely scrape the surface of evolution, let alone revolution.
Basic firefights where you take cover and plough your way through First Order stormtroopers and new multi-part puzzles make up the bulk of this expanded content, but it still feels like the exact same LEGO game that we’ve been playing for several years now. Thing is, TT Games doesn’t need to change their formula. They’re going to find success with it anyway, as this family game setup is a living example of not fixing something that isn’t broken.
And once again, kudos to TT Games for preserving the spirit of the original in their latest product. When it comes to accurately capturing the excitement and attitude of the source material, they’re head and shoulders above everyone else in the industry today. I’d rate that only Rocksteady games could give them a run for their money with their Batman series, which presumably cost many millions more to produce.
The quality has also been increased with LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There’s a feeling of better environments, more challenging puzzles and bigger setpieces at play here while a who’s who of the original cast adds some extra dialogue, albeit in a phoned-in manner so that they can go spend their shiny new pay cheque as quickly as possible.
All this, and the trademark humour of TT’s LEGO game series, which is the closest we’ll ever get to having a proper Naked Gun sequel. Overall, it’s a lengthier game as well, as LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens focuses on just one film for a change and adds a few extra chapters along the way. Hell, you’ll spend a half hour alone in the prologue which retreads the third act from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi because reasons.
At least LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is trying to be something else, even if the effort doesn’t exactly pay off. But by sticking to its guns, it’s still a great game for the kids and bursting with quantity over quality content that is capped off with some wonderfully odd slapstick humour. It’s also the exact same game you and your kids have been jamming, albeit in Star Wars garb.
Hell it’s probably a better version of the film its based on, because I’m pretty sure that JJ Abrams didn’t film a scene where Kylo Ren used the dark side of the Force to ruin an ice cream treat for the First Order.
Last Updated: July 11, 2016