This week, the newest Lego adventure graced our consoles and computers: Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In an unusual twist for movie-based video games, Lego The Force Awakens has been released more than six months after its namesake. A little weird, right? Why not capitalize on that Star Wars fever in the winter?
There could be a few reasons; The holiday season is notoriously competitive for video games, and there’s the possibility that it just wasn’t ready. Traveller’s Tales, rather than put out the standard movie-turned-game disaster, wanted to get it right. Whatever the reason, it was worth the wait. Not only has TT put together another fantastically fun Lego game, but they have worked with LucasArts to bring fans something special and different. Here are four of those awesome things in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Traveller’s Tales have made a few updates to the stock platforming and combat gameplay of the Lego games. Characters can now climb and wall-shimmy their way through levels like many action-adventure heroes today. In at least one level, Rey even gets to be the Tomb Raider Daisy Ridley was meant to be.
The coolest of these updates are the new blaster battles. At certain points, characters can use cover and pop out to fire back at enemies. Most of them are Storm Troopers, so you should have plenty of time to take them out before they hit you. It’s a very simple mechanic compared to other shooters, but it brings a welcome freshness to the Lego games. It is also perfect for a Star Wars game, as players battle in tight hallways or defend the battlefield against waves of Troopers.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually spans a lot more of the Star Wars timeline than the events of The Force Awakens. That means there are a lot of vehicles to pilot and a lot more vehicle gameplay during different levels.
Traveller’s Tales has also taken the ships off their rails. That means for the first time in a LEGO game, players will be able to have dogfights. Whether you are outmaneuvering TIE Fighters as you escape Jakku on the Millennium Falcon, or put an end to First Order reinforcements on Takodana, players can fly the path they want.
One of the most fundamental gameplay mechanics in the LEGO games is the mini build system. Players run around wreaking all sort of destruction until they discover a pile of bricks that can be rebuilt for a useful purpose. In previous titles, players could build a predetermined structure to proceed. Now in true LEGO fashion, Traveller’s Tales allows you to build up to three structures. Many will still open pathways, others will need to be activated in sequence to proceed, and some are just for fun.
This small change is great for both gamers and Lego fans alike. It speaks to Lego’s extraordinary ability to build and rebuild as the builder desires. If you love to follow the instructions or not, there are no wrong ways to build with the Lego system. For gamers, it adds a degree of complexity to the franchise. Instead of simply building structures to proceed, mini builds have become part of larger puzzles.
The last awesome thing about Lego Star Wars is the bonus content. This Lego title is not confined only to The Force Awakens. The game includes the triumphant final act of Episode 6 and bridges some of the gap between the original Star Wars titles and The Force Awakens.
Not satisfied with simply retelling the movie, Traveller’s Tales worked with Lucasarts to create new content around the events of The Force Awakens. You may recognize many of the lines in Lego The Force Awakens because they are taken directly from the film, but plenty of others were recorded specifically for this title. There is more story for fans as well. Players can discover how Han and Chewy got those Rathtars, what Lor San Tekka has been up to, and even why C-3PO has a new arm. There is plenty to discover during Lego The Force Awakens.
Oh, and all of this is canon by the way.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available for Nintendo 3DS, PC, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
This article first appeared on DVSGaming.org