LEGO games are often accused of playing it safe, unlikely to push the boundaries or set benchmarks for their respective genre.
While LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens certainly doesn't change that conversation, it does iterate in new ways which make the overall experience much more refreshing.Has there been an awakening?
New to LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a coherent cover system. Similar to the likes of Gears of War, you can dive behind walls and shoot your blaster at Stormtroopers and fire barrels from a defensive position.
It's an appropriate fit for a film license filled with laser blasts and explosions. The Force Awakens also features a new multi-build system which lets you build several different constructions from the same set of LEGO bricks.
Sometimes you need to build kits in a set in order to solve a puzzle, and sometimes you can build a route to a secret like a Red Brick or Minikit. This is a creative and interesting method of progressing through the levels while also sticking with familiar trends.
Just like the movie, there's more of an action and adventure feel to the game, only in brick form. When using an agile character like Rey, you can slide underneath obstacles, surf along the sands, tighten your grip on platforms, and swing between protruding poles.
The action feels just as dynamic as a Nathan Drake adventure with the scenery crumbling all around and enemies firing at you. Of course, it wouldn't be Star Wars without lightsaber duels and spaceship battles, and it certainly wouldn't be a LEGO game without a tone that is firmly tongue-in-cheek.
In that regard, the game delivers in spades and even manages to expand the lore by explaining plot threads such as how Poe Dameron saved Admiral Ackbar.
The virtual stick is the more ideal control scheme for the game as the swipe and tap controls can be quite unresponsive and convoluted.
You'll also need to cough up a full £7.99 for the entire experience which may seem a bit expensive for a mobile game, but this also includes content in future updates.
Fortunately, the game is easy-going and always entertaining and there's plenty of extra fun to be had in the optional objectives for each mission.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a game that doesn't redesign the wheel, but it remains effortlessly fun.It's not a trap!
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the finest LEGO game in years.
Any concerns I had that the source material would be too thin to carry a full game were soon allayed with extra First Order missions, tie-ins with previous Star Wars movies, comics and cartoons, and diverse roster of characters.
Control issues and premiums aside, this is a total package that reinforces LEGO among the platform kingpins of the modern era.