I don’t think there’s a person alive today who hasn’t played some form of Angry Birds, whether it be the original or one of their spin off themed games. Though Angry Birds first appeared long ago on Apple’s iOS devices, it has since shown up in almost every consumer device out there from mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and even media streamers like the Roku. In fact, I dare say that it is the single most played gaming franchise in the history of gaming. I may be over exaggerating that but it sure feels like everywhere I look, I see someone playing it and everyone I’ve talked to says they’ve played it as well.
Over the years, Angry Birds has evolved its gameplay to feature more variety of level types and bird types with Angry Birds Space being the major turning point. My favorite series however is Angry Birds Star Wars, mainly because it combines traditional Angry Birds with some of the more advanced gaming found in Angry Birds Space. Of course the biggest reason why I love this series is because of its Star Wars tie-in. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and really loved the way Rovio incorporated Angry Birds into it. I’m not the only one who loved it as the sheer popularity of it warranted a sequel.
Angry Birds Star Wars was a terrific series on mobile phones and tablets, but how well does that experience translate to a next generation gaming console like the PlayStation 4? Is it as much fun on the big screen as it is on smaller handhelds? Are there any next gen enhancements that make it better than the older mobile versions and is the game worth the steep $49.99 asking price? Read on to find out.
(Disclaimer: Angry Birds Star Wars PS4 is published by Activision and though this is developed by Rovio, they aren’t the ones distributing the game. Also, I received an online game code for this from their PR firm to review.)
Since this game is being played on a console, you can probably guess that playing Angry Birds Star Wars on PS4 plays a bit differently from its touch brethren. The main difference being that you will be using a controller to play instead of a touchscreen, though you can play with the DualShock 4’s touchpad if you prefer a bit more familiarity. However, for a game that has been predominately a touch based game, it plays surprisingly well with a controller.
Controls are pretty basic in order to keep the game as simple to control as possible. You use the left stick to aim and depending on how far you move the stick, that’s how much power you’ll be applying. To release your bird, you hit the X button to deploy. If you want to quickly restart a level, hold down the square button, and to release one of your special power ups, use the triangle button. You would also use the left stick to aim any of the power ups that need aiming. The right stick and the shoulder buttons are used to zoom in and out and for panning across the screen.
If you want controls that are a little bit more traditional, you can use the DS4 touch pad instead. The touch pad allows you play similar to how you would play on your mobile phone or tablet. Basically you just tap, swipe, aim, and release. This is the closest you’ll get to the traditional controls without actually touching your television.
If you’ve played Angry Birds before, then you know that the object of the game is to use the available birds given to you to destroy all the piggies. You can do so by directly hitting them with your bird or destroying the structures they are on and watch them topple to their doom. It’s a physics based game so you’ll have to take into consideration the effects of gravity. What you will discover is that the PS4 version seems a bit easier because there is always a guide line present to show you what path your birds will take.
As far as I can tell, Angry Birds Star Wars on the PS4 is exactly the same as it is on mobile platforms, except for a few minor differences. (I’m comparing it to the iPad version which I have too). The PS4 version seems to have all the levels included from the past games as well as new PS4 exclusive levels. Gameplay is pretty much the same, though it doesn’t have the micro transaction stuff the mobile versions have. What you do get is the Millennium Falcon added to your inventory every day you log in to play which helps. You also don’t get access to the Angry Birds Toons portion of the mobile app here which I admit, would have bee a welcome addition as my kids actually like watching them.
Despite the some missing features, Angry Birds Star Wars is still a very solid game. Star Wars fans will love what they did by making Star Wars themed Angry Bird characters as well as the familiar Star Wars backdrops. Obviously your kids will love the game too as I know my kids love anything that is Angry Birds.
- The Best of Both Worlds: Combining the engaging gameplay of Angry Birds with the beloved lore of the Star Wars universe, Angry Birds Star Wars delivers an epic saga featuring a ragtag group of familiar, feathered faces, iconic environments like Tatooine and the Pig Star, incredible Jedi powers to upgrade and unleash, and R2-D2 and C-3PO bonus levels to unlock.
- Exclusive, New Content: Angry Birds Star Wars is flock-full of new challenges designed specifically for consoles, including 20 never-before-played levels. It also capitalizes on the unique, special features of these platforms, adding achievements and trophies, leaderboards, voice commands and motion controls.
- Allies for the Alliance: Angry Birds Star Wars introduces new multiplayer modes in the fight for the galaxy! For the first time ever, players can bring down the Empire with friends in two-player co-op, or play against them for bragging rights in four-player competitive mode.
- The PlayStation 4 edition of Angry Birds Star Wars supports a wide variety of interface preferences, giving players the opportunity to choose between a traditional controller, the precision touchpad of the DualShock 4 controller, the fun motion controls of PlayStation Move and remote play using Vita.
- Automatic video and screenshot capture makes recording easy, providing for fast and easy sharing between friends and family!
If you’re a huge Angry Birds fan and absolutely have to play an Angry Birds game on your newly purchased PlayStation 4, then Angry Birds Star Wars is for you. The entire experience that made Angry Birds Star Wars such a hit on mobile devices has been translated very well to console experience. The graphics look amazing in HD and playing it on a much larger screen means you can actually see more of the fine details in the game. The control scheme is solid and makes the console experience just as simple to play as the mobile experience. It’s definitely a fun game that the whole family would enjoy.
It’s just a shame though that the price of entry is so steep. For a game that costs $0.99 on other platforms, it just seems a bit crazy that one would pay $49.99 for the console version. I can understand if they want to charge a bit more for the Blu-ray version of this game but since this game is also available as a digital download, there really is no reason for it to be this expensive. Activision should really consider dropping this down to around $9.99-14.99 so it’s more in line with other “indie” games on PSN because at its current price point, I can’t see many people choosing this over what they can get over on iOS or Android. I hope Activision has a change of heart and decides to lower the price of this game soon because it really is a fun game that looks great on the big screen and works well with the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller. I really like that they included some PS4 exclusive levels and the addition of a multiplayer mode, but still, $49.99 seems a bit much.