What is LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a platform/adventure game that lets you play through a LEGOy retelling of the events of the blockbuster film - and beyond. With drop-in/drop-out same console co-op gameplay, you and a friend can smash, bash and crash your way through the levels, beating up baddies, destroying anything and everything you can see that's made of LEGO, before rebuilding it into something more useful at the touch of a button. With a heavy dose of slapstick fun, this is a particularly great pick for families.
How do you play LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
The gameplay in LEGO Star Wars is divided up into two chunks. First, you have the levels themselves - heavily story driven and fairly linear, you'll work your way through solving simple puzzles, pushing and moving blocks around, smashing up LEGO, and hunting down the game's many, many collectibles (one of many things that gives you an excuse to replay levels). The second areas are the game's "hub" worlds - more open, free form lands where you'll mostly be completing quests for characters, like being sent off to find Kylo Ren's teddy bear.
One of the best parts of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the fact it takes in more than just the one film. There are 11 levels here based on the Force Awakens - but the game's intro is actually set during the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi, and ends with you leading an assault on the Death Star 2, effectively playing out the ending to that film. Meanwhile, there's another half a dozen levels that are entirely new Star Wars stories, filling you in on a bit of the backstory about each character, and how they came to be where they are - from resistance hot shot pilot Poe Dameron rescuing Admiral "It's a trap!" Ackbar from aboard a Star Destroyer, to a level that tells you how Han Solo came to be in possession of those Rathtars in the first place, these offer a great insight beyond the film - there's even a level that tells you how C-3PO got his arm, although will be exclusive to Playstation systems for at least a few months.
How easy is LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens to pick up and play?
The epitome of accessibility, LEGO games have always been very easy to get to grips with, and LEGO Star Wars is no exception. With simple controls, nothing in the way of tricky platforming, and simple attacks (they're all handled on one button), everything here is nice and straightforward. Even dying won't set you back too much, as you have unlimited lives, and it's impossible to fail a level.
Where things do get a little bit trickier, at least for younger players, is in the game's puzzles. As the game's designed with co-op support, you'll have to work together to solve some puzzles, with one character pulling a switch to lower a ledge, and holding it in place until the other player's jumped across. Luckily, if you're playing on your own, a computer controlled player will do the tricky bits for you - but when playing together, you'll have to figure out what needs doing when for yourself!
For most of the game, though, the puzzles are easy to solve. Most simply ask you to use a certain character's ability to get through, or blow something up - and if you're playing as the wrong character, it'll pop up with a handy picture so you know who to switch to.
That said, for the youngest of players, a reading ability is also a requirement, as some of these pop ups contain a text description of what you need to do, rather than a picture.
- Gold LEGO objects can also be destroyed using a group of characters. Find some nearby!
As a LEGO game, there's very little for parents to be concerned about here. While you'll be bashing enemies with LEGO lightsabers, firing lasers at them from LEGO guns, or simply getting up close and personal with your bare hands, everything here is handled in a suitably slapstick way, with enemies simply flashing red when damaged, before collapsing into their component parts. Even major deaths are handled in a way that doesn't make them too upsetting, and there's nothing in the way of bad language, gore, or sexual content.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS