Star Wars: The Force Awakens flew into the box office on an extreme high, being the fastest film to gross 1 billion dollars in over 12 days. The iconic franchise, beloved by generations, made its comeback in 2015 with The Force Awakens, bringing back the original trilogy cast and introducing new faces to our screen. Lego Star Wars makes its return as well, opting to release a standalone game for the latest Star Wars adventure.
Unlike previous Lego video games, The Force Awakens is the first of the Star Wars series to feature voice actors through either film archived content or by actors providing additional voices. Fans of the film will enjoy hearing Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn) and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), to name a few, reprising their roles in the video game. As time goes on, it most certainly works to your advantage when you can get in the big names that helped make the film a success and also provide a further emotional connection between the game and the player. I’ve found recently, games that don’t feature voice acting and opt for subtitles instead, lack a degree of trust between the player and the game and in a way form a boundary between the two. Player experience is becoming more and more heightened in today’s society with the introduction of virtual reality systems and better quality sound and game play etc. I commend Lego for taking this next step in their more recent games, even if most of its voice footage was from the film archives.
There’s an incomparable charm Lego oozes into their games that provides a breath of fresh air every time you pick up the controller or mouse. It had been awhile since I had played a Lego Video Game (Harry Potter: Years 5-7 to be exact) but it wasn’t long before I slipped back into the familiar game-play and controls I’d grown to love years ago. A fan favourite of mine will always be the ability build objects from Lego bricks because, at the end of the day, that’s what Lego is all about. The Lego brand didn’t merely put their name on a video game, they adapted their famous toy brand into fun, innovative and family friendly games for all ages. It of course helps a lot when you have hugely successful film franchises granting you stories and characters you know the world already loves.
In addition to simple and easy controls, because it is a family friendly game, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens also features the ability to use holographic sight to scan the area and find manipulation points and uses depth of field to pull focus in and out of cover for example. A part from these newer additions, most players will be familiar with the fast paced combat when taking on enemies, destroying objects to gain extra points and facing extra barriers that only a particular character can take on once you’ve unlocked them at a later level.
As well as the narrative and plot guidance from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens never misses a beat when entertaining us with its humour and gags, bringing an often light-heartedness to perhaps a more serious scene.
I held a great admiration for the settings and locations that graced my screen. Every chapter and even every new room or building I walked into with the character I was playing looked pleasing to the eye and non- repetitive like games with multiple levels or chapters tend to be. Moments in the film that might only have been shown for a few seconds had the ability to expand and allow the player to dwell in a location.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a lot of fun to play on your own but even more fun to play with your family and friends. There’s something about banding together, taking on tasks or exploring and solving puzzles with another player next to you. It’s also even more rewarding when you both complete chapters and unlock trophies, new characters and new chapters together. Just make sure you both get turns playing each character. BB-8 will no doubt become a fan favourite as you spend more time speedily rolling through the landscape than actually taking on enemies.