Version reviewed: Xbox 360
LEGO Star Wars – currently available free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers – combines the two games which started it all; allowing players to experience Episodes 1 through 6. In 2005, the original LEGO Star Wars, released to coincide with Revenge of the Sith, introduced us to the world of digital LEGO. I remember fondly playing that game on PS2 to try and discover the events of Ep3 before going to the cinema to watch the film.
LEGO games have become their own genre, spawning countless sequels and even a toys to life game. The general gist is to play through the level, following a linear path, defeating enemies and collecting as many LEGO studs as possible. The formula 12 years later is familiar, at its heart basic yet akin to comfort food.
LEGO games, especially this one, shine due to the character and humour depicted by the pseudo plastic actors. More recent LEGO games have introduced voice acting whereas these earlier ones play out as comedic silent movies, poking fun at the subject material. Sometimes, in Star Wars’ case, surpassing the acting of the prequel trilogy of films…
With this game now being playable on Xbox One, and Star Wars being back in vogue, this is a great time to have this as a Games with Gold freebie. It goes some way to scratching that Star Wars itch until Battlefront 2 arrives later in the year. The game is great fun to recreate favourite scenes from the movies. It is superior to Star Wars Force Unleashed 2 which has also been available in May for Gold subscribers.
After the familiar story has played out, there’s still plenty to do. Going back to unlock obscure characters from the first 30 years of Star Wars is addictive. Different characters have different abilities and you’ll need to revisit story levels non-canon (for that level) characters to unlock everything. Multiplayer is also present though can create Mario Kart levels of falling out over teamwork or lack thereof.
If there is one complaint, it is the pace and structure of the combined package can feel strange. Like Vader going from space ninja in Rogue One to clunking tank in New Hope five minutes later, playing Episodes 1-3 as Jedi to then have to de-grade almost as pre-lightsaber Luke means the initial portion of the original trilogy does not feel as slick as it should. A solid package though and a great win for Games with Gold.