50 Best Games of 2016: #46 – LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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If you’d have told me way back in January that I would be avidly trying to earn everything in a LEGO game, I would’ve thought you were a time-traveller who came from when I was 8-years-old. Turns out, you wouldn’t be, because this year I had the absolute pleasure of falling in love with the LEGO games franchise all over again; this time, thanks to the excellent Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
I absolutely loved the latest iteration in the Star Wars film saga, so when the trailer dropped for the latest LEGO game, and I discovered it would turn one of my favourite 2015 releases into colourful bricks, I was intrigued to say the least. Closer to release, when a gameplay trailer emerged, my intrigue quickly became attention. I was invested. It just looked like such a blast to play and, having not played a LEGO game for many years, the gameplay looked fresh and enjoyable. It made me nostalgic in the very best of ways.
So, the game drops. And I play the entire thing, start to finish, with my girlfriend – a girl whose first real exposure to gaming came through me semi-forcing her to give Fallout 4 a go. You know what? We completely fell in love with it.
Every single time we’d meet up, we both couldn’t wait to turn on the PS4, and blast our way through another of the game’s 10 levels. Even once we finished the main bulk of story content, we immediately proceeded to try and go back to each mission, equipped with new characters, and earn each and every collectable item until we hit 100%. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens made me take a step back and appreciate a much simpler area of games; an area that favours sheer fun over complexity or glamour. It was a truly memorable experience.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “This guy played a game with his girlfriend – so what? Doesn’t mean it’s worthy of being on a top-tier list.” Well, you’d be wrong.
Functionally, LEGO The Force Awakens is pitch-perfect. Running consistently at a high frame-rate, the game very rarely glitched or broke throughout the many hours I had with it. The characters and dialogue were charming, and it truly encapsulates the magic that made audiences fall back in love with the Star Wars universe. Not only that, but there’s a ridiculous amount to do once you finish up the main missions in the game. If you choose to, you can go back to each of the game’s many hub-worlds and spend hours completing all of the side challenges presented to you. Or, if you want more structured gameplay, you can play through the many hidden levels that expand upon the film’s story. How did Han Solo get those Rathtars on his ship? Play through this, and you’ll find out.
In an age where gaming is so infatuated with being stunningly beautiful or painfully complex, it’s such a breath of fresh air to play something that exists purely to have fun. Even if you couldn’t care less about the Star Wars universe, I implore you to give this a go; it might just get you hooked.