LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review - I Have A Good Feeling About This
Celebrate the three trilogies in one place!
Review copy provided by the publisher
There are numerous LEGO video games based on licensed properties and now developer Traveller’s Tale is going back to their roots with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
After working on various licensed Disney games like Mickey Mania and Toy Story in the ’90s and later a couple of Crash Bandicoot games in the early 2000s, Traveller’s Tale really found its niche starting in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game.
Since that time, they have released LEGO video games based on franchises such as Harry Potter, DC, Marvel, and many more. With the sequel trilogy of movies being complete, they are now celebrating all nine mainline films with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
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There have been 11 live-action Star Wars movies that have released in theaters over the years, but the three trilogies within those 11 are what this game is based around. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is split into nine specific episodes based around each of the nine films, from Episode I through Episode IX, with the first episode of each trilogy being available from the start and the subsequent episodes unlocking by completing them.
Where LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga shines most is in its overall presentation, which is top-notch throughout. This starts from the opening of the game that utilizes classic audio from throughout the series and leads right into the select screen for each of the games that are split up by episode.
After selecting which episode you are going to play, the game jumps right into the usual “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” screen and the respective movie’s opening crawl. The full opening crawl is displayed here for each movie exactly as it was originally, though it is run at a faster pace than the movies themselves. There are even some jokes added in if you quit out of the game and rejoin part the way through the story, with the Revenge of the Sith one specifically having one about the crawl having so many capital letters in it.
It may seem a bit meaningless to talk about the visuals when it comes to a LEGO game, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is still talked about in that department. The level and character designs are crisp and really pop on the screen with colors everywhere. The performance does not suffer in any way either, as it remained at a high frame rate throughout with next to no issues. Just about the only bugs that ever popped up were getting stuck between objects and having to switch characters or the one time that the game glitched out in space flight to where I had to completely exit out of the game.
Even though the games do cover most of the key beats of the Star Wars story for each of the nine films, there is still a lot of context that is lost if one were to play this before ever watching the movies. Some moments get much more screen time here, while some others are brushed over rather quickly. However, the game is not meant to be played like that anyways, as it’s a perfect complement to the films by adding the humor and charm that LEGO games are known for.
Where LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga shines most is in its overall presentation, which is top-notch throughout.
In regards to the gameplay in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, it is very much what you would expect it to be on a base level. This includes running around from place to place destroying pretty much anything in sight to collect Studs, whether that is enemies or the environment itself. Each character has their form of a basic attack where you can punch or in some cases use a melee weapon like a lightsaber, or in the case of characters like R2-D2, bash everything. There are also characters with projectile weapons like blasters as well.
As veteran LEGO game players will know, having broken bricks laying on the ground usually means that there is something to be built nearby. These can just be to rebuild barriers or more often than not be used to solve puzzles to help you advance. There’s really nothing special here from the past other than the occasional options where you can choose between two types of objects to build.
Each episode is split into a certain number of missions that you have to complete in the game, multiple of which feature boss battles for you to complete. This will put you up against people like Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and even Jabba the Hutt. I have to say, I never thought I’d be taking part in a boss battle against Jabba with Leia and R2-D2, where you have to go and beat up Salacious Crumb with R2-D2 as part of it. Wacky moments like this are what make the LEGO games a lot of fun and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is chocked full of them.
The game also features space flight as well, with there being two variations on this. Some of them will just be used as a way to travel between planets for missions, with you able to pick up side missions and even find things like comets that you can break for specific items. The other is actual space combat, which may be part of a story mission or some of the side missions you pick up while in space otherwise.
Those expecting full-scale Rogue Squadron like space combat are going to be left disappointed, but what the game does offer is still pretty fun. There’s nothing too complex here, with you being given tasks to complete like destroying a certain number of Tie Fighters or destroying cannons on a Star Destroyer. One of the most fun is the classic Death Star Trench Run, though it feels like it could have been much longer and more expansive for such a big moment. In fact, it was very disappointing when the game skipped over the destruction of the second Death Star in the Return of the Jedi episode by only showing it in cutscene form. The game does also include podracing on Tatooine when playing through The Phantom Menace episode, but it is even more basic than the space combat.
Like much of the game, the space combat in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels very low stakes. This is largely due to the minimal difficulty found throughout the game so that it can be designed for all ages. Even with keeping that in mind, it would have been nice to have some of the space combat missions actually requiring a couple of tries due to not being fast enough. However, this is really more of a nitpick than anything for this series of games.
The 380 total characters available in the game are split into one of nine different classes, each of which has its own mini skill tree for you to upgrade them with. The classes include Jedi, Scoundrel, Dark Side, Astromech Droid, and more, with each class having four abilities that you can spend to upgrade multiple times. On top of the classes, there are also Core Upgrades that you can pay to unlock that give you things like more health or increased range to pick up Studs.
These upgrades are purchased by spending Studs and what are known as Kyber Bricks, which take the place of the traditional Gold bricks in this game. These are earned in a number of different ways while playing through the game, including just collecting a certain number of Studs per mission or completing various side missions.
Kyber Bricks are far from the only collectible in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga either, as Minikits are back once again. These are scattered across each mission, with 225 total to find in the game. In addition, you have all of the characters to collect and numerous ships to collect and use as well. This is where the game’s exploration really comes into play, where you can explore all the different planets and locations much more beyond just doing the story missions.
Even though it likely will not change the minds of those who do not enjoy the LEGO series of games, the stellar presentation, humor, and overall joy found in these recreations of each movie make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga one well worth picking up.
As has been the case with LEGO games for a long time now, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has full voice acting throughout the experience. This includes not only during cutscenes but also during the gameplay and also adds in some lines that are pretty spot on from the original movies, while plenty of other dialogue is brand new to the game. As it’s a LEGO game, there is a lot more humor injected into the conversations too with the zany situations being presented compared to the movies. The majority of the voice actors from the movies have been replaced except for a few like Anthony Daniels, but many of them do return from the animated series that fans of those series will find familiar.
For those that would prefer a more classic LEGO Star Wars experience, the game also includes a neat feature known as Mumble Mode. This can be unlocked and activated during the game, which replaces all of the voice acting in the game with the traditional mumbles that were in the original LEGO Star Wars releases before the LEGO games started adding in actual voices.
LEGO games have found a very unique niche in gaming and yet have still managed to continue to get better and better. Even though it likely will not change the minds of those who do not enjoy the LEGO series of games, the stellar presentation, humor, and overall joy found in these recreations of each movie make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga one well worth picking up.