In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.
As “Replaying the Classics” comes to a close in this final column, let’s take a look at what might best be described as a recent insta-classic — LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In TT Games’ 2016 adaptation of the film that kicked off the Star Wars sequel trilogy, the worlds of LEGO and Star Wars come together in what is surely the best entry in the series yet. What better way to celebrate two decades of LEGO Star Wars than to relive the thrills of Episode VII as an adorable LEGO minifigure?
The adventure begins during the Battle of Endor, at the climax of Return of the Jedi. In this clever prologue sequence, you get to inhabit classic characters like Chewbacca, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Wicket W. Warrick as you fend off the forces of the Empire. Right away, the game demonstrates a number of new key features — things that improve on the LEGO Star Wars formula — without ever slowing down the action or feeling like a tutorial mode.
After a charming team-up between Vader and son, which doesn’t end well for Emperor Palpatine, players get to take control of Lando in the Falcon as the old smoothie makes his way into the reactor core and blows the the second Death Star to smithereens. From there, it’s all Episode VII content from that point on. Characters like Poe Dameron, Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren are brought to life with the original dialogue recordings used in the film, making this the most cinematic LEGO Star Wars experience to date.
As you progress through each chapter, set pieces and sequences flow seamlessly from one play style to the next, offering a varied, well-paced gameplay loop that doesn’t ever grow tedious the way puzzle games are sometimes prone to do. Cover-based shootouts with authentic blasterfire sounds also break up the action in a way that feels true to Star Wars, adding a new layer of excitement to the action.
Voice-over lines allow your character to offer helpful clues during tricky puzzles, and the all-new “Multi-Builds” system lets you tear down a previously built structure to repurpose the pieces elsewhere. It’s not just about finding the next piece of interactive environment; it’s about building things in the correct order, too.
Try out LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens for its amazing, family-friendly puzzles and flawless humor, and you’ll find it’s a genuine must-play that builds upon the blueprint established by its predecessors. If somebody had never played a Star Wars video game before, this would probably be my first recommendation — especially for families and young people. As we look ahead to the future, and exciting new titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, don’t miss out on the fun of LEGO’s delightful tribute to The Force Awakens.
Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.
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