It’s crazy to think that it has been three years since we last had a new LEGO game, especially since we’d typically see multiple releases in a calendar year. TT Games have kept us waiting for their latest title though, but now, after multiple delays, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is finally here, bringing with it the biggest, prettiest, and most refreshing entry we’ve seen in the long running series.
Was it worth the wait? Definitely – it’s a fantastic experience that captures the essence of the Star Wars universe perfectly, even if it does have a few niggles here and there.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
One thing that’s worth noting straight away is that this isn’t just a rehash of previous LEGO Star Wars games, but instead a whole new release that brings with it expanded gameplay mechanics and a fleshed out re-telling of the Star Wars saga. Players will work through all nine episodes, starting with the antics of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi in Episode I all the way through to the final showdown of Episode IX. It’s a fun reimagining of the saga, especially since it has the light-hearted comedic twists that the LEGO games are known for, and all of the important plot points are explored in enough depth that even newbies to the Star Wars franchise will leave with a better understanding of the universe. It’s a surprisingly cinematic experience for a LEGO game and it gives the movies the justice they deserve.
The main level design of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will feel familiar to those that have played the previous LEGO games, with levels filled with enemies to beat up, puzzles to solve, and a little bit of LEGO building on the side. Once again, certain areas can only be reached if you have a character in your party with the necessary ability to access them, which doesn’t only encourage players to switch characters often during a level but also to re-play them with new characters when they couldn’t access them the first time around. The series has always embraced a ‘why fix what isn’t broken’ attitude with its gameplay, and in fairness it has worked. However, this time around some of those gameplay mechanics have been overhauled to offer a more varied and intuitive experience, and it helps make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feel better than ever to play.
One big change comes with the camera, which can now be freely controlled by the player. Rather than seeing everything from a top-down perspective, you’re able to view the action from behind the character which gives the game a more traditional third person feel. It allows players to see more of the environment and get up-close and personal with the action, and honestly, it makes the experience a lot more enjoyable. Sure, there are occasions where it can get a little bit TOO close and you might miss some things you need to interact with, but those issues are few and far between and certainly outweighed by the cinematic presence that the shift offers.
“The new mechanics take the combat of the LEGO games in a whole new direction and I’m ALL for it, whilst they also complement the already sublime set pieces and vehicle sections the series is known for. “
The combat has also been refined, with melee attacks more varied and tied to a combo meter that rewards players that string together attacks in a stylish fashion. The LEGO games have often felt guilty of being button-mashing affairs, but this encourages players to add more variety to their attacks (and it just looks cooler in-game which is always a plus). There’s more finesse with the shooting mechanics too (not everyone has a lightsaber after all), with the new camera perspective allowing for proper shooting mechanics where you’ll line up a targeting reticule and shoot away with the trigger buttons. You can even take cover, whilst things like headshots will prove more effective than standard shots. It makes LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feel like a modern third person shooter and, like the melee combat refinements, it just makes the game feel more exciting and fun to play. Sure, it doesn’t offer anything you wouldn’t have seen before in gaming, but it offers something you wouldn’t have seen before in a LEGO game.
The new mechanics take the combat of the LEGO games in a whole new direction and I’m ALL for it, whilst they also complement the already sublime set pieces and vehicle sections the series is known for. Piloting the likes of the X-Wing on the Death Star trench run still feels superb for example, as does speeding through the woods of Endor on a Speeder Bike. They change up the pace of the game and give an extra burst of excitement, with plenty of iconic vehicles and ships showing up across the whole adventure.
Everything about LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels more expansive than previous LEGO releases. It’s already a big game thanks to the fact that each of the nine episodes bring with them five levels each, but there are also large open areas to explore in between them that offer plenty of secrets to discover and collectibles to find. They’re all built around iconic Star Wars locations from the nine movies too, so you can expect to find PLENTY of cool easter eggs that’ll put a big smile on the faces of long-time fans. They’re a lot of fun and it’s easy to find yourself more interested in seeing what you can discover within them as opposed to playing through the story, especially since LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga brings with it an abundance of unlockable to find, including around four-hundred characters and over seventy vehicles.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Presentation-wise, everything looks fantastic, with the environments more detailed than ever and the characters more… uh… shinier than they’ve ever been before. Given the fact that the characters are all your typical LEGO figures, it’s hard for the developers to go crazy with detail, but they still look great in-game and are perfect re-creations of the characters. The environments are a LOT more detailed and luscious to look at though, and whilst there are plenty of parts of them simply made up of LEGO bricks (something that I always love in these games), no effort has been spared in making them look good – especially on the Xbox Series X where it runs at 60fps with a dynamic 4K resolution.
That’s not to say that everything felt perfect in the game though, with a few bugs occurring during my playthrough. At one point the camera seemed to get stuck in the environment and wouldn’t move, whilst another time I wasn’t able to interact with a door to open it. On one occasion a level didn’t even load in, whilst I even found myself locked in place and unable to swap characters. In fairness, a lot of these bugs only occurred the once and only required a quick re-load to fix, but it’s clear that there’s still a little bit of work that needs doing to iron them out for good.
It’s disappointing that there isn’t online multiplayer either, which feels like a big omission at this point. Whilst the LEGO games have been great to play in local multiplayer (LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga included), I’d love to be able to play it online with friends. I suppose it’s something players have come to expect at this point, but with all the brilliant refinements made this time around, I had hoped online play would finally show up.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga refines the formula to make the LEGO gameplay more exciting and grander than it has ever been before. Playing through the iconic moments of the nine movies felt better than ever with the new combat mechanics, whilst exploring the expansive locales, uncovering their secrets, and seeing all of the cool little nods to the Star Wars universe kept me hooked in for hours on end. Believe me, there’s a LOT of top-quality content on offer here and you’ll have a lot of fun uncovering it all.
It does have a few little technical hiccups here and there and it is a shame that there’s no online multiplayer, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is easily the best title released in the LEGO franchise. Whether shooting enemies as Han Solo, smashing through them with a lightsaber as Rey, or speeding down the trenches of the Death Star in an X-Wing, you’re definitely going to have a good time in this magnificent brick-filled universe.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): Xbox Series X (Reviewed), Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC