The Lego franchise has been around for a long time now, and has turned our favorite movie adaptations into comical Lego-filled games that for the most part have been pretty solid. Although the formula is starting to wear out it’s welcome, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens showcased a lot of promise in adding new elements to the series, along with bringing home the successful movie into a video game adaptation for Nintendo owners who have been looking for new games to play. Problems exist within this universe though that hold The Force Awakens back from being a solid purchase.
The game obviously follows the plot of The Force Awakens movie, which was a huge blockbuster success. TT Games went above and beyond this though, and added canon content to the story that is officially accepted within the Star Wars timeline, which brings about a nice touch. You will encounter various locations from the movie, along with characters as well. For those who haven’t seen the film, I won’t talk too much of the story, but it is an accurate representation of the movie.
The game also has full voice acting and music from the film, and this is where we see our first problem with the game: the presentation values are all over the place. Some audio clips are loud and crisp, and some are quiet and muffled. I thought maybe my audio set-up was to blame for the varying quality in sound, but it wasn’t. I know some dialogue was ripped from the film, but you would think the audio clips would at least be of the same quality and volume as those which were recorded just for the game, but it’s not. It might not seem like a huge issues, but it really takes you out of the experience when you are trying to immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe.
LEGO games have always followed a consistent formula, but Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens attempts to add some new elements to the mix. First up is a cover system that is used in certain areas, which I found to be well done. Your character takes cover behind various objects in heavy-fire shoot outs, and it has a “Gears of War” feel to it that is rather enjoyable in breaking up the standard “smash everything and build” gameplay. Also added into the mix are some flying stages that have you controlling various spacecraft from the Star Wars universe, which once again is a nice break in the gameplay and helps the game flow much easier.
As enjoyable as these added elements are, the gameplay as a whole suffers from one huge issues: framerate. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens runs at a very plodding and janky framerate that cripples the enjoyment of the experience for me. It’s more noticeable when a lot of action is happening, but even during mellow segments you will notice a lag that just detracts from the overall experience of the game, and can even impact certain things you have to do in order to advance. I checked other versions of the game such as the PS4 one to see if this was an issue across the board with all versions, but it’s not.
The graphics also are a mixed bag as well. Some areas look very nice, but once you get to moving the framerate rears its ugly head. Colors can blend together a bit in the background, objects pop-up randomly, textures flicker during cut-scenes, and all of these little things just add up.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens could, and should, have been a very fun addition to the Wii U library, but technical issues impact what fun can be had. This obviously is a lazy port to the Wii U, and it shows from the moment you boot up the game. Diehard Star Wars fans with other consoles such as the PS4 or Xbox One may want to check out those versions of the game, or wait for a price drop on the Wii U version. As it stands, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a rushed and sloppy game on the Wii U.