Over the past few years, TT Games (also known as Travellers Tales) worked its Lego magic on various franchises, ranging from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to the more recent crossover game Lego Dimensions. However, one of its most relevant titles is Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, mainly because how seamlessly it blended the content of the six films into one cool adventure for gamers of all ages. The magic returns this summer with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The game closely follows the movie. However, as with previous TT Games offerings, this one is reconfigured in a Lego world, where building items, beating up enemies into piles of bricks and figuring out puzzles will help players reach the next level while finding collectibles like Lego bits and special canisters to unlock the must-have Gold bricks.
Similar to past Lego games, there's plenty to do with The Force Awakens’ characters. For instance, one stage has Rey and her newfound droid companion BB-8 teaming to solve puzzles inside a downed Star Destroyer, activating switches and finding items to open a blast door. Players can switch between characters at any time during these stages, taking advantage of their abilities.
However, there are some new elements at play with The Force Awakens. The first is the introduction of the Multi-Build system, which allows players to create different items based on the piles of bricks provided. For instance, in the opening scenario, where Rey must fight off bandits to free BB-8 from captivity, she has the option of building either a mouse droid or another robotic machine to distract the large Juggabeast guarding the area. Creating an item is as simple as directing the analog stick towards what needs to be built, and holding down the button to put it together. If something doesn't fit, it can simply be taken apart and rebuilt as something new.
It's a small part of the puzzle-solving gameplay on display, as players need to figure out how to activate certain switches – usually by activating a door or finding a walkway to climb up to. Each character plays a part with these puzzles, and you can even have a second player jump in and help out in co-op, a feature that will appeal to young and old Star Wars fans alike.
Also new to The Force Awakens is a new flight-based stage, which takes place as Rey and her buddy Finn find the Millennium Falcon and head off into Jakku, with a number of TIE Fighters in pursuit. The goal of this stage, at first, is to shoot down a pre-set number of Fighters (in this case, 30), and then proceed into a nearby Star Destroyer to take out the remaining ships.
Blaster battles will be a part of The Force Awakens, and although we didn't get a chance to try these out, they'll add an additional factor to the action, as players look over their shoulders to take out enemies in lighthearted gun combat. The detail in these sequences from what we've seen looks extraordinary, and will draw in players looking for something outside of the usual Lego gameplay. Of course, those who enjoy the brick-bashing combat of previous games will find plenty of it, especially with Rey's stylish combos. Even BB-8 gets in a few hits, thanks to his highly effective roller-body.
The game features over 11 huge stages, including events that take place outside of the film. Although WB Games didn't reveal all of the events we can expect, one in particular will bring closure to a mystery – how did C-3PO end up having a red arm in the film? There will also be a number of playable characters, including new and old alike. Yes, that means the return of Han Solo and Chewbacca, along with a Lego-ized Kylo Ren.
TT Games has the right formula in place with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, combining classic gameplay from previous Lego titles with new elements to keep it refreshing. Plus, fans will be pleased with the game's design, which is very close to the film while still keeping a whimsical tone. We'll see how it fares when the game arrives in stores on June 28th.