LEGO is continuing its unending march to bring its iconic bricks to numerous blockbuster IPs and its new target is the wildly popular Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
In one of the best launch trailers I’ve ever seen, it looks like LEGO is sticking close to the beats of the film while injecting the game series’ trademark humour and aesthetic.
But I’ve played countless games exactly like this one. While the developers behind Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed catch a lot of flack for recycling features in their games, few are as guilty as the LEGO series in this regard.
So, to any developers on this game, here’s what I’d like to see.
5. No preorder bonuses and season passes, also known as: “Mo’ money (for us), Mo’ problems (for you)”
Well, this is us shouting into the void, because both of these terrible industry practices will be present for this game. While LEGO has been throwing in special mini-figs for their preorder games, a season pass is a new and terrible edition to what is, essentially, a kid’s game.
Have fun explaining to the little ones the economics of giving your money to someone based on a promise that may never come true. Ask them to practice pinky swears in place of a handshake the next time they make a substantial fiscal transaction.
4. Improved gameplay loop
No game needs to be particularly complex in its main loop to keep you hooked, but the LEGO games have fallen into a habit of creating boring ones.
Solve puzzle, have a little fight, collect studs, repeat. Some recent games have mixed this up with combo attacks, free roaming and actual toys (in LEGO Dimensions, which we still don’t have in this country), but it still feels bland at the end of the day.
Add in some satisfying combat! Make the building more tactile! Do something new! Even if it doesn’t work out, the game will sell anyway. It’s LEGO and Star Wars; it could be an eight hour campaign of BB-8 building rolling around in blocks and it would still make a return on investment.
3. Let us build things. Specifically: Star Wars things
Again, with the exception of LEGO Dimensions, there’s very little actual building in these games. Sure, most puzzles are solved by your character(s) putting blocks together, but it’s all automated and played out in static animations.
Let us use a grab bag of assorted pieces to try and fix out X-Wing, let us make a lightsaber with a hundred blades. Let us actually build, dammit.
2. spaceships, spaceships, SPACESHIPS!
Let’s be frank here: aside from The Force and lightsabers and all that, the spaceships are one of the most awesome parts of Star Wars. LEGO’s sets based on them are just as fun to swoosh around the house as they are to build and break apart.
So put a focus on that in the game. Lightspeed travel, dogfights (in spaaaaaace), even being able to call on Poe Dameron for a bombing run in the middle of a fight. All the elements are there, they just need to be put together.
Drivable vehicles are also a mainstay in this series, but they’ve always been under-used, especially in games where they’re not needed. I’m Iron Man, why the heck would I want to drive a tank around the city? I am the tank! Also: see point three above, let us build and customise the ships. What Kylo Ren really needs is a neon pink Command Shuttle to cheer himself up.
1. Make the world out of LEGO
Come on LEGO, you’ve been jerking us around for years. Why is half of your game actual LEGO bricks and the rest is just cartoon graphics? You showed us in LEGO Worlds that it’s possible to make an entire game world out of the stuff, so stop being lazy and just do it in your other games.
Hell, here’s an idea: let us make the levels for you in LEGO Worlds and then import them into the game. Anything to make the dream a reality.
If it sounds like I’m coming off a bit negative, it’s because I am. I’m a massive LEGO nerd, hell, I write about it for fun and sneak it onto this site as often as I can (like now). I just want a great LEGO game, and I don’t think it’s that difficult to get right.