From the title screen, the trademark LEGO humour is present and lets you know that you're going to have fun. When you select to start a game for the first time it asks to collect anonymous data which is something that the other games have never done. It doesn’t slow anything down like the online leaderboards in Just Cause 3, so that’s something.
For people who are not sure what the LEGO games are, or it's their first time playing a LEGO game, it's really simple - played in third person, throughout the game you will get to build/construct objects to help you gain items/characters or move further in a level. In this case, the levels are based on scenes from the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Of course, this means spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet!
When playing on the PlayStation 4 pressing the touchpad will show you a very detailed map where you can find the location of gold bricks, characters, red bricks and pieces of Carbonite. You can also put a waypoint to bring up an arrow on the screen to be able to find the object you are looking for easier.
To get 100% completion there are 213 characters to unlock, 35 of which are contained in pieces of Carbonite which unlock classic characters from the previous LEGO Star Wars games. There are 18 red bricks which will unlock many things from stud magnet to getting 2x to 10x more studs and among them are also funny things to unlock like disco lightsabers. There are also 85 spaceships to collect.
Last are the gold bricks - you need to collect 250 which does sound like a lot, but collecting certain amounts unlock special gold brick levels such as Ottegan Assault, Poe To The Rescue and 18 more. You can earn these by doing races for random people, finishing levels or finding them hidden around them.
While in a level instead of running in circles punching or blasting enemies the whole time like previous LEGO titles, some sections use cover-based combat. You hide behind cover and have to lean out to blast enemies, while avoiding their shots. I do like the idea of the cover-based combat but it did get a little annoying after a while when you are aiming at someone, trying to kill them, and about three people are shooting at you and you die. After each cover-based section you get a gold medal for not getting killed which gives you a certain amount of studs, and being killed once knocks you down to a silver medal.
Just like in LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, your characters have special abilities. Filling up their power meter lets you press circle to use a context-sensitive attack. Whether it’s Han shooting faster or girly doing a bigger melee attack, most of them are quite different.
In a change from the usual LEGO formula, you don't lose entire hearts from most attacks. Unless they are strong ones, like from an AT-ST attack, you only lose half a heart. But this also means that collecting a heart from a fallen enemy only restores half a heart, too.
As well as the third-person levels, there are sections which have you in one of the ships, usually X-Wings or Tie Fighters. These are always one of three types; controlling the ship as you fly around an area, on-rails shooting from a turret, or on-rails controlling the ship. I prefer controlling the ship as it was the easiest to handle, although it also lets you do races, and I’m not much of a racing person.
Another new addition, and something shown in most of the trailers, is the new Multi-Build system which is pretty much front and centre, as all levels have at least a couple of them. You get the option of building a few different things (though it varies by object), and can often destroy what you built to rebuild it as the other thing/s. Sometimes you have to do that, and other times you only get to build one thing!
The graphics are just like any other LEGO game you can play, very detailed and stands out a lot that they are LEGO and not like Minecraft. The HUD has been made to look more like Star Wars and sci-fi, instead of the normal boring LEGO one.
The voice acting has the actors reprise their roles from the movies, adding to the dialogue taken from it. It’s fun to hear Captain Phasma (the actor who plays Brienne in Game of Thrones) doing some of the added lines.
I've played all the of LEGO games in the past like LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Batman and LEGO Marvel's Avengers and they were very fun to play, and a lot better than actually watching the films. I didn’t encounter any bugs in The Force Awakens, and had a lot of fun playing it. It has a large variety of characters that all do different things, which I liked more compared to the other LEGO games. Definitely my favourite.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
The ideal game for the LEGO geek or geekette and you are never too old to play with LEGO as it says on the box 4 - 99 years old.