Ease of play: 4 out of 5
Violence: 2 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 1 out of 5
Consumerism: 5 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developer: Warner Bros. Games
Release date: June 28, 2016
ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Language
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” franchise. The game also features a variety of other characters and vehicles from the numerous other “Star Wars” movies, comics, and more. While violence occurs in the game from blaster, 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.
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 this latest release. 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?
TT Games, 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, you actually feel like Rey did at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, dodging, weaving, and shooting TIE Fighters out of the sky. Other additions to the formula include a cover-based shooting mechanic and the ability to build, and rebuild, from scattered Lego parts.
There’s plenty to play with too, with nearly 200 characters from across the entirety of the Star Wars cannon, expanded story content, 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 simply editing in audio clips from the films. Ultimately, 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 as well.
Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.