The sheer scope of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is tough to comprehend, but it means that fans of the series (and Lego games in general) will have enough content to keep them engaged for quite some time. With fun, accessible gameplay, stunning graphics and incredible attention to detail, it’s hard to imagine a better homage to the Star Wars series than what Traveller’s Tales has achieved here.
- Enough content to last for weeks on end
- Massive levels to explore
- Revamped combat keeps you more engaged
- Co-op is an absolute blast
- Space battles are a bit mundane
- Camera sometimes gets in the way
- All nine films included:Revisit the series’ mainline films
- Co-op play:Explore the game’s contents with a friend
- Hundreds of playable characters:With tons of secrets to unlock
As a celebration to a film series spanning more than 40 years, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is as a fitting a tribute as any fan could ask for.
With so many fond memories of playing the first two Lego Star Wars games, Traveller’s Tales had my attention completely when it announced that it would be developing an entirely new entry in the series that would envelop content from all nine of the mainline Star Wars films.
After spending a good amount of time with the game, I can not only say that the wait was easily worth it, but fans of Star Wars and co-op experiences are in for an absolute treat.
- Over-the-shoulder shooting is great fun
- Combo-based combat is more engaging than previous Lego titles
- Space battles outside the main campaign are a bit dull
If, like me, you remember the Lego Star Wars games as having enjoyable, albeit not particularly difficult combat, then you’ll be in for quite a surprise with The Skywalker Saga. This isn’t to say that the combat is no longer accessible – far from it – but it’s now been given a major shot in the arm to become more engaging than simply mashing buttons to take down enemies.
For starters, hand-to-hand combat is now a combo-based system. Simply mashing the main attack button won’t be effective, as enemies will pick up on your pattern and block, forcing you to switch things up with other attacks in your character’s arsenal. Each character fights differently of course, but it’s great to see the animations that emerge from these combos – I’ll never get tired of seeing Leia uppercut a storm trooper before smashing down them on the ground with the use of her grapple.
In fact, characters who were previously only useful for opening up doors (we’re looking at C-3PO) are now more than ready to handle themselves in a fight. This helps to eliminate one of the issues that plagued the original Lego Star Wars games, as co-op play sometimes ended up being a discussion of who was going to take control of the boring character. By comparison, BB-8 ended up becoming my wife’s favourite character to play due to his terrifying arsenal of attacks.
Melee combat is just one part of the equation however, with the other compiled of run and cover shooting. First introduced in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, over-the-shoulder shooting is now available for any character wielding a blaster – it won’t dethrone Gears of War anytime soon, but it adds a great amount of variety and it even rewards more accurate aiming for advanced players.
This amounts to a gameplay loop that has just enough going on to keep adults engaged, but it’s simple enough that children are highly unlikely to run into any problems. The same can be said for the puzzle sections that, in previous games, ended up being real head-scratchers. Here, you can blitz through any given level without much pushback.
What feels slightly out of place however is the existence of multiple skill trees that players can invest in for perks and additional powers. There’s a skill tree for every type of character – which is a nice touch – but the concept of investing in more health bars for example feels like a moot point in a game that’s already so accessible.
Occasionally, the action will move off the ground and into the skies as several of the series’ most iconic dogfights are recreated in Lego form. For the story-based space battles, where the whole experience is more cinematic and there are tons of things going on on-screen, the feeling or dodging in and out of oncoming fire is exhilarating – but the same cannot be said for the optional space battles that you can engage with during your travels.
I can understand why these battles were put into the game, as it does make The Skywalker Saga’s space sections feel more alive, but with nothing interesting to look at and almost no challenge whatsoever, I found myself avoiding them after a while.
Level design and content
- Massive, sprawling levels to explore
- An absurd amount of collectibles to find
- Sure to keep players invested for ages
Over the last few years, Traveller’s Tales has become more adept at adding open-world segments to its Lego games, and has become one of the biggest upgrades for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga compared to 2007’s Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. In-between the campaign missions, you’re free to explore massive levels based on some classic Star Wars locations.
For example, you can rummage around the barren wastelands of Tatooine, or the wealthy streets of Canto Bight, and in both cases there are tons of secrets, optional missions and easter eggs to find. While not large enough to be considered “open-world”, these levels do bring to mind titles like Super Mario Odyssey and It Takes Two, where players are free to explore at their own pace.
These levels are so tightly packed with things to find that I ended up spending most of my playthrough scouring through their secrets, always sure that I was about to find one more collectible around the next corner. In addition to the usual mini kits, there are over 1000 Kyber Bricks to find throughout the game, which are glowing Lego pieces that can be used to buy ships, upgrades and more.
That’s not all – in the deepest depths of the galaxy, there’s a small handful of datacards to find which offer fun gameplay tweaks in return. For instance, one of these datacards can be used to turn all civilians into the shifting, ever-gonking GNK droids.
There’s just so much content packed inside the game that it’s sure to keep younger players hooked for ages, and older completionists will appreciate a challenge that’s reminiscent of classic collect-a-thons.
Graphics and performance
- Stunning graphics
- No technical issues to speak of
- The Nintendo Switch port is also impressive
One of the first things you’ll notice when you boot up The Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is just how great the game looks. Almost everything about it has been designed to attract the eye, and particularly on newer hardware, the game is a visual feast. Even so, there are two distinct art styles here that I believe are worth drawing attention to.
For everything that’s constructed of Lego parts, be it characters or objects, there’s a lot to see beyond the obvious cartoonish colour palette. When you look a bit closer, there’s an impressive amount of detail to be found. In Leia’s iconic hairdo, you can see the shine and finer markings that you’d expect to find on plastic, and the Lego logo sometimes makes an appearance on the inside of an arm, just as if someone’s taken a real life minifigure and transported it into the game. As mentioned however, this is just one of the game’s two art styles.
For the portions that aren’t constructed of digital Lego, such as environments and buildings, there’s a sheen of realism to the point where these assets wouldn’t look out of place in Jedi: Fallen Order. At various points, I found myself taking a moment to savour just how well some of the films’ most iconic locations had been recreated – the underwater city of Otoh Gunga is particularly dazzling.
The lengthy development period is also reflected in the game’s performance. At no point in my playthrough did I come across any visual hiccups or framerate dips. Sound design is equally fantastic, and the game’s voice actors do such a good job with the series’ well remembered dialogue that it’s often hard to tell the difference from the original recordings.
The only aspect that did run amok was the game’s camera. To its credit, this was an irregular occurrence, but there were times when the camera got stuck on a piece of the environment and it took a few seconds to figure out what was going on.
During this review, I also tested the Nintendo Switch port to see how the game fared on the portable console. On the whole, it’s a very impressive port and during the game’s missions, the experience felt almost identical to the one found on other consoles.
It’s only during the cutscenes and the larger free-roam levels that the port’s technical limitations can be spotted. While the game manages to keep the frame rate steady, there’s a decent amount of pop-in as a trade-off. It’s not dealbreaker, however, as I still found myself having fun playing the game on the go, so it’s an easy one to recommend to any Switch owners out there.
Should you buy it?
You love Lego or Star Wars:
With so much attention to detail and a ridiculous amount of content to sift through, it’s hard to imagine a more entertaining package for devotees of the Star Wars universe.
You’re after a challenge:
Because of its child-friendly nature, The Skywalker Saga lacks any real challenge to put adult players in their place. If you’re after something tough, then Fallen Order fits the bill far better.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a triumph and everything fans hoped it would be. For Star Wars fanatics, the love of the source material can be found in the game’s countless details, and it’s hard to imagine a more polished Lego title than this.
Even if you’re a complete novice to the world of Lego Star Wars, the game is so much fun as a co-op adventure that you’ll soon come to love it. Not since It Takes Two have I enjoyed spending so much time in a digital world.
How we test
We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.
Reviewed on PS5 and Nintendo Switch
Played every avaible game mode
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The Skywalker Saga can be played in two-player co-op.
The Skywalker Saga features content from all nine of the numbered mainline Star Wars films.