Fun for fans of Angry Birds and Star Wars alike, but the few new gimmicks mean The Force is merely strong(ish) in this one.
Angry Birds Star Wars HD Review
by on December 14, 2012
We should have seen this coming. The most dominant game of the modern age, and the most enduring fantasy film in living memory; Angry Birds Star Wars wasn’t so much a surprise tie-up as one that in hindsight seemed inevitable. However, with Star Wars itself focusing on atmospheric set pieces, exciting lightsaber battles and thrilling dog-fights in space, we were curious to see how Rovio would translate the much-loved films to the Angry Birds formula: using a catapult to fling miffed avians at ramshackle buildings that house egg-pilfering pigs.
The answer, of course, is Rovio essentially created another Angry Birds game that, with few exceptions, does little to deviate from its predecessors. In a sense, you get Angry Birds Star Wars Cosplay HD, with birds dressed in rebel garb, and pigs taking on the adversarial roles: Sand People, Imperial Stormtroopers, and, oddly, TIE fighters. With our geek hat firmly on, the last of those (black metal pigs with wings) put us in mind of cyborg Cylon fighters in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, although in Angry Birds the goggle-eyed SWINE fighter – as we’re calling it – is rather more on the goofy side of threatening.
Anyway; the game. As already noted, it’s essentially Angry Birds. But along with some nicely drawn and appropriate backgrounds, the occasional still aping an important moment from the movie, and the way the characters look, the game does at least borrow a little more from Star Wars lore. For example, the Obi-Wan bird uses The Force, blasting objects away in gloriously messy explosive fashion. The red Luke Skywalker bird has a little lightsaber that slices through objects, primarily for dropping heavy things on unfortunate Empire piggies lurking below, and the Han Solo bird is armed with his famous blaster that unleashes three shots that ricochet off of mirrored surfaces.
These new components add scope for complex level design, both on the ground and in space. On Tatooine and in the Death Star, Han Solo frequently has to precisely aim shots to destroy structures and obliterate seemingly safe Stormtroopers. In space, levels are, suitably, based on Angry Birds Space, where birds’ paths are influenced by planetary gravity; here, Obi-Wan is sometimes tasked with using The Force to send asteroids towards space stations the Empire has decided to make out of wooden boxes, the fools. The game’s still too often handicapped through the series’ penchant for fling-and-hope randomness, rather than precision puzzling, but we nonetheless found it more fun than most other Angry Birds titles.
There’s a point, though, where it begins to unravel. You realise the imagination from early levels doesn’t stretch to the entire game. Little pilot birds introduced later on split into three, just like the blue birds in Angry Birds; Chewbacca is dull, merely a heavy bird for smashing through objects; and the Mighty Eagle becomes the Mighty (Millennium) Falcon, out of scale and place when it arrives to blast a level to smithereens. We also weren’t enamoured with the brevity of the game, the dreadful camera that’s determined to focus on birds or pigs but not where you leave it, nor the Path of the Jedi levels (Yoda; swamps) requiring you to three-star literally every other level or fork out another £1.49. In a sense, this one’s more Angry Birds: Return of the Jedi (initial excitement followed by slight disappointment) than Angry Birds Star Wars (a roller-coaster ride from start to end); still, despite the game’s level-packish nature and mere lip service to innovation, we doubt many Rovio fans will be angry on plonking down their two quid.
Download this app: Angry Birds Star Wars HD for iPad
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Review courtesy of Tap!