Overall - 80%
I didn't dive into LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga expecting to have a lot of fun, but that's exactly what I had: a lot of fun. The witty writing is well timed and expertly delivered, reliving the events of the Star Wars franchise was a welcomed nostalgia trip. Even after completing the game, I woke up excited to dive in and explore more worlds, solve more puzzles, and unlock more characters.
Traveller’s Tales’ sixth installment in the LEGO franchise sees one of the largest LEGO Star Wars experiences to date. With over 20 planets from across all three trilogies, more than 300 unlockable characters, and nine movies to play through, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga brings with it everything you’d want in a Star Wars title, but the simplistic design of the LEGO games isn’t for everyone.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review
It has been many years since I’ve seriously played a LEGO game. I’ve enjoyed some couch co-op here and there, but I’ve always felt the simplicity in the gameplay itself to be quite dull. This review is from the perspective of someone returning to the LEGO franchise after quite some time, so while some features may be new to me, others may be more familiar with them. That said, I can’t deny that I was grinning from ear to ear from start to finish.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga features all three trilogies; nine movies from across the Star Wars universe. At the beginning of the game, players are free to start any of the three trilogies, beginning the story at Episode I, Episode IV, or Episode VII. Subsequent episodes are then unlocked as you progress through each episode, each containing five missions. Most of the episodes can be completed within a couple of hours if focusing primarily on the story, but there is a lot of side content available.
The story itself is fantastic. It’s true to the source material with LEGO’s iconic comedy thrown in for good measure. I often struggle with games that attempt to be funny; I find Borderlands to be an absolute chore to play. All too often the humor is forced or over-the-top, but the comedic elements of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga are delivered to such a high standard, it’s fantastic. It doesn’t feel forced or unnecessary and while few moments deliver that “laugh out loud” experience, I was grinning from start to finish and often chuckled at many of the jokes.
There are over 300 iconic (and far less iconic) characters from throughout the Star Wars universe. My favorite character? A droid named H1-NT. Patiently he waits, sitting near all of the docks across the Star Wars universe. His simple objective is to deliver hints (hence the name) to the player as they approach, but boy does he let you know. He complains about you never speaking with him, moans about the servitude of his design, and sounds so sarcastically excited when he receives software updates with new hints. He represents the very embodiment of the LEGO design in a single character. Put simply, he is aesthetically fitting to the environment, with LEGO’s signature humor thrown on top.
Fans of the Star Wars universe will experience all the highs and lows of the franchise throughout the nine episodes. The battle on Hoth, complete with Skywalker tying up the monstrous AT-AT’s, Anakin and Obi-Wan’s epic battle on Mustafar, the Gungan’s defending Naboo, it’s a well delivered story with varied objectives. Long enough to be worthwhile without feeling overwhelming or filled with fluff. If there’s a single area the campaign struggles, it’s the boss battles.
For a franchise built on imagination, the boss battles are incredibly lackluster. Regardless of whether you’re fighting Darth Vader or Boba Fett, each boss battle is hampered by too much focus on cinematic delivery and not enough on gameplay that makes sense. You’ll waste several seconds stringing a combination attack together, whooshing and whooing with your lightsaber, only to do no damage because the enemy hasn’t progressed to a cinematic cutscene or the stance required for its current health level. In an attempt to immerse players in a cinematic combat experience, the game instead constantly reminds you that you’re merely pressing buttons as witness to the event, and not truly a part of it. It’s the most disappointing aspect of the entire experience, and one I will forever struggle to understand.
Accompanying the rather short campaign is weeks and weeks of side content and grinding for unlockable characters and ships. Every campaign mission has multiple level challenges, hidden Minikits to find, and comedic nuggets to discover. Once you’ve completed an episode and unlock Galaxy Free Play, you can set your ship down anywhere in the game and begin exploring planets freely. There are over 730 puzzles, 140 side missions, 38 challenges, and 10 different skill trees for the 10 different character types. It’s a completionists playground, with intricately connected quests and character events. There is no shortage of exciting and engaging activities to complete.
The combat in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga follows the LEGO games tradition of being simplistic and accessible. Death means very little and while stringing combo’s together is good fun, you can progress just as easily by spamming random buttons, making it the perfect game to play alongside younger Star Wars fans. As someone that wants a bit more depth and variety to combat, it did begin to stale by the end of the final episode, but it’s still an improvement compared to the LEGO games of yesteryear.
I didn’t dive into LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga expecting to have a lot of fun, but that’s exactly what I had: a lot of fun. The witty writing is well timed and expertly delivered, reliving the events of the Star Wars franchise was a welcomed nostalgia trip. Even after completing the game, I woke up excited to dive in and explore more worlds, solve more puzzles, and unlock more characters.
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