Angry Birds: Star Wars PS4 review – At a price like this, no wonder they’re furious
Make no mistake: this Skywalker-styled spin-off of the biggest game ever to grace a smartphone is one of the most creative, addictive, and just plain cute offerings available on your PS4 right now. To own Angry Birds: Star Wars is to instantly commit yourself to endless nights of just-one-more-go mania, as you slingshot variously-powered avians at an assortment of bacon-faced enemies. It is, in a word, ingenious. Sadly it is also, in four, a scandalous rip-off.
Consider this: the PS4 version of Angry Birds: Star Wars retails at around £34.99. A reasonable enough price in comparison to, say, FIFA 14 or Call Of Duty: Ghosts – particularly as you’re looking at a good 20+ hours to smash through once, and unlockables like stickers offer up plenty of replay value. But a very unreasonable price compared to the iOS version of the same game, which as I write will set you back all of… 69p. Let me take a second spell to that out, Vidiprinter-style: SIXTY NINE PENCE. Compared to a copper short of £35. Mind blown.
Granted, you do get some content that’s exclusive to PS4 – though at that price, I’d expect Maggie Gyllenhaal to dress up as Princess Leia and serve me white chocolate cookies with Stormtrooper faces on as a bare minimum. But no, instead of ear-muffed Mags and snowy biscuits, you score a couple of multiplayer modes (co-op and competitive, both ace, neither worth 35 quid), and 20 new levels (welcome, but mostly based in settings from the iOS game, definitely not worth 35 quid).
What’s really galling is that ABSW does so much so well. The original concept – clear a screen of piggies by catapulting chicks of different colours at, and through, the obstacles protecting the little oinkers – is given a fresh, smartly canonical twist with the addition of Star Wars-themed weapons that can be triggered once airborne. Red bird (Luke) wields a lightsaber, yellow bird (Han Solo) gets a gun, black bird (Obi Wan) can activate a blast of the Force, and so on. As a result, analysing the birds at your disposal and planning your approach to each stage is almost as fun as unleashing your feathery friend and letting chaos unfold.
Level design, with settings set on Tattooine, Hoth, and many more series favourites, is original too – especially the missions set out in space, where you need to take the gravitational pull of planets into account before flinging your buzzards to their occasionally-glorious, mostly-just-painful death. The environments, the characters, the use of the Millennium Falcon to replace the original game’s screen-clearing Mighty Eagle: this is every Star Wars fan’s dream puzzler, in every aspect but price. It’s the duty of all Chewie wannabes to go out and buy it. But not, sadly, on PS4. An unmistakably devilish puzzler with a truly hellacious price tag, that it’s so flippin’ brilliant only gives Angry Birds: Star Wars’ exclusive-to-PS4 cost extra sting. C3P-no.