When you hear people talking about LEGO Star Wars games, they're usually talking about LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga - a collection of two games from the mid-2000s that changed the way LEGO games would be envisioned forever, and for their time, they were regarded as some of the best Star Wars games of their era.
Times have changed though, and if you ask me (unpopular opinion ahead!), LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga actually hasn't aged all that well. Sure, it's packed with tons of things to do and a massive roster of characters, but some of the levels, combat and puzzles can be infuriating in their design, and the less said about nearly all of the vehicle missions, the better. It's still a lot of fun even in 2021, but the cracks definitely show.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, however, builds on the foundations of The Complete Saga by improving on it in almost every single way. The missions are similar, but more varied and more cleverly designed - at least in my opinion - and the vehicle sections are much easier to handle, having been completely overhauled. And in terms of scope, The Force Awakens goes way beyond the call of duty to create an absolutely massive Star Wars experience.
At its very core, LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a re-telling of the movie of the same name, but it expands far beyond that. Alongside the standard missions, you can travel to a variety of planets each with their own activities, missions and Easter Eggs to find. The character roster is absolutely stacked, featuring even the most minor of characters from the Star Wars universe. And if you want to actually achieve full 100% competition, you're looking at around 30 hours of playtime. Not bad for a game centred around just one movie!
The Force Awakens includes unique gameplay aspects that weren't present in either The Complete Saga or Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, too. For example, one of the key features is something called "Blaster Battles", in which you can take cover 'Tomb Raider' style and engage in third-person shootouts with enemies. For the most part, all of The Force Awakens' new features work really well, and help to add variety as you progress through levels.
I'm not going to pretend the game always gets everything right, as there can be a bit of clunkiness in terms of transitioning from cover-to-cover and making tricky jumps at times, but for the most part it's an absolute blast to play. Unlike The Complete Saga, you don't get online co-op with The Force Awakens which is a crying shame, but there's still so much fun to be had on your own with this game, and even more when playing local multiplayer.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the 74 games included in the batch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S FPS Boosts earlier this week, which means it now runs at 60FPS on both systems. And believe me, this is an absolutely huge improvement for the game if you're lucky enough to own one of the new consoles.
The game still runs fairly well on Xbox One, but if you've played more recent LEGO titles, you'll probably feel the judder of the 30 frames per-second default in comparison to a smooth 60. On Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, The Force Awakens now feels as smooth as butter, never appearing to drop frames, and still looking as good as ever.
So there you go! That's my pick for what I'll personally be playing this Star Wars Day, although there are loads of great choices to take advantage of in the current Xbox Star Wars Sale. If you're excited for the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga later this year, which looks like it'll be the most feature-packed LEGO Star Wars game of all time, The Force Awakens will keep you very, very busy in the meantime. Enjoy, young Padawan!
What do you think of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments below.