Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an action/adventure game that combines the characters and stories from the Star Wars universe with the Lego brand of building toys. The game's Story mode follows and expands on the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the eighth movie in the Star Wars movie franchise. The game also features a variety of other characters and vehicles from the numerous other Star Wars movies, comics, and more. The style is based on the Lego Star Wars toys, many of which are available in stores. While violence occurs in the game from blasters, vehicle weapons, and even lightsabers and force powers, the content is presented in a cartoonish, comical manner. There's occasional use of the word "hell" in the game, and while it's easy to grasp the basics of the game, some of the newer puzzle elements and multi-use sections could require a bit of planning and forethought to figure out sections.
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What's it about?
It's been more than a decade since the TT Games first brought together the creativity and ingenuity of Lego with the epic sci-fi fantasy of Star Wars in Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. Now, the latest big-screen adventure in a galaxy far, far away is getting the building-block treatment with the release of LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Players join both new and returning Star Wars characters in a fun, kid-friendly retelling of events from the new film, as well as some exclusive content expanding on the events and bridging the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Is it any good?
There's an old adage that says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," but thankfully that's not a piece of advice that TT Games is comfortable with. The studio behind the Lego video game franchise isn't afraid to play around with a successful formula, and that's never been more true than with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Flying is a big part of the Star Wars films, but it never felt all that great in the Lego games. This time around, though, the on-rails, roller coaster-like flying has been replaced with more open, arena-style dogfighting sections. Now, you actually feel like Rey did at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, dodging, weaving, and shooting TIE fighters out of the sky. Another addition to the Lego formula is a cover-based shooting mechanic. Occasionally during gameplay, the camera zooms in behind the shoulder of your character as you run, shoot, and scramble for cover amid a hail of laser fire. Finally, some areas of the game let the player choose which items to build from scattered Lego parts, tear them down, and build something different. It's an interesting way to expand the exploration of stages and open up multiple paths.
The new additions will feel instantly familiar to gamers, but don’t worry -- this is still a Lego game. That means the game is still simple enough for gamers of any age to pick up and play but not so simple that it won't present any sort of challenge. There's plenty to play with, too, with nearly 200 characters from across the entirety of the Star Wars canon, expanded story content (including content bridging the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens), and even more to come with optional DLC. Fans will even get a kick out of the fact that, wherever possible, the original cast members from the films were brought in to record their dialogue, versus the developers simply editing in audio clips from the films, a shortcut that was jarringly evident in Lego Marvel Avengers. Put all these pieces together and you've got a game that's not only one of the best Lego games in the franchise's history but one of the best licensed games to come along in recent memory.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism in games. Does the combination of the Lego and Star Wars brands in a video game encourage fans to expand their interests between the two? Is it enough to compel an interest in buying non-gaming products related to either franchise?
Talk about violence in gaming. How does the violence in the game compare to that in the film? Does it make a difference that characters simply fall apart when defeated versus having any more realistic reactions?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: June 28, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.