LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Review
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga takes the DNA of past LEGO games from developer TT Games, but puts a modern spin on it. Gone is the pulled-back, almost isometric camera from the likes of LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Marvel, traded in for a third-person view befitting a next-gen action game. And LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is mostly an action game, putting players in the middle of high points from all 9 Star Wars movies. Players can jump into either Episode 1, Episode 4, or Episode 7 to begin their adventure and progress in their respective legends. They can still jump between the three trilogies, but the starting point is fixed. From there, they will experience a quick run through the events of the film, some of which are represented as full levels and others take place in small open world sections. Podracing in Episode 1, for example, gets the full race treatment, but all other major scenes take place while exploring the open-world Tatooine. Where previous LEGO games tried to expand almost every scene to a full level, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga focuses on the highlights. But make no mistake, TT Games has not skimped when it comes to gameplay experiences. From lightsaber melee combat to spaceship battles, if there was an opportunity to deliver a fun gameplay experience, the devs took it. Anyone who has played LEGO before should feel right here. LEGO stud collecting, destructible environments, light puzzle solving, and character unlocking are all present in the game, but exploded to dizzying levels. There is scope in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga that should satisfy the collectible-obsessed in a way few games do. From upgrade paths for different character archetypes (Jedi, bounty hunter, smuggler, etc.) to Kyber Bricks galore, there’s no shortage of things for players to do when they’re not advancing the story of an Episode. The focus on moving from vanquished to vanquished is the core of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and it’s a joy to experience. Jump from controlling Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan battling the Trade Federation Blockade ships at the very beginning of Episode 1 to Luke’s Cloud City showdown with Darth Vader to an epic Finn and Rey effort to save galaxy in Exegol is exactly what Star Wars fans are looking for and TT Games delivers. As mentioned in our LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga preview, melee, ranged, and ship combat have been improved but not completely overhauled. Small changes like a combo meter for melee or a cover system for ranged are enough to keep older gamers going, but they’re not so advanced that casual gamers will be left in the dust. It’s still entirely possible to pass LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga as one of the earlier LEGO games, it just looks and plays better. Co-op has been a major selling point for the LEGO games but was a mixed bag for The Skywalker Saga. Playing with a friend or family member is great but the new camera angle can often lead to awkward views with limited screen real estate. In previous games, TT Games introduced systems to help each co-op partner get their bearings, but for this game, it’s possible for a player to explore a completely different part of the open- world or space place. The freedom is great but some players may find themselves missing more than usual. Not only is LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga fun to play, but it also looks incredible. On next-gen consoles, the visual fidelity is remarkable and the attention to detail is stunning. The environments mirror their cinematic counterparts, but TT Games has gone to great lengths to ensure that many parts look entirely made of LEGO. For example, the Podracing track seems like an honest hobby that includes a ton of LEGO and standard 3D models. It’s such a small part of such a big game, but TT took the time to get it right. Some may even forget they are playing LEGO at times because of how everything works. Storytelling is a mixed bag for TT Games in its many LEGO games, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is locked in using soundallike voice actors (including some recognizable voices from the animated series) and the physical comedy that often elicits a laugh or two. Since there’s still a narrative to stick to, the writing and comedy don’t stray too far from the expected tone and presentation, but the game is entertaining in its cutscenes. Trying to juggle so many different elements and 9 movies together, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels awkwardly paced. It goes through several elements that players might think would make for interesting levels, often turning them into cutscenes or open-world exploration areas. There are many key scenes to hit and the game ticks all the expected boxes; it’s just surprising to see that other sequences aren’t as fleshed out. Maybe that’s a response to criticism that previous LEGO games were too bloated or maybe it’s a limitation of development resources, but whatever the case, the game feels a little rushed. Criticisms will vary regarding the gameplay, which is admittedly simple. Introducing combos and giving ranged combat a third-person shooter feel is appreciated by modern touches, but LEGO games still need to appeal to a wide audience. TT Games is enough to boost everything above a basic level, however, and that should satisfy many players. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is easily the best compilation put together by TT Games. Visually stunning, mechanically evolved, and endlessly entertaining, the game puts its foot on the gas and never lets up. Despite the issues and simplicity, the fact that the devs can revisit the games they literally made and make this package new is a triumph over it all. Regardless of how gamers feel about the stories of the three trilogies, it’s hard to argue that this is the best video game representation of them that just happens to be LEGO. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga releases on April 5, 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Today Technology was provided the Xbox Series X code for this review.