LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has arrived! It's the most ambitious and visually stunning LEGO Star Wars game yet, my full review.
The long-awaited LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has finally arrived, and it was worth the wait. The latest instalment in the series is its best yet, drawing on over two decades worth of games. This is the ultimate love letter to everything Star Wars, with over 500 characters, vehicles, and locations from all nine movies. The game features a brand new open-world sandbox design, allowing you to explore the galaxy and experience the story in any order they choose. It's time to journey to a galaxy far, far away and build a legendary tale brick-by-brick.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Developer(s): Traveller’s Tales
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone)
One of the best things about The Skywalker Saga is that it lets you experience the entire story of the Star Wars epic in a less linear manner. To kick off your adventure you'll be treated to a cutscene with key moments in the Skywalker saga. At first, you'll need to begin your journey with either "A New Hope," "Phantom Menace," or "The Force Awakens." Once you pick a film, you can start your journey from any of the three Skywalker Saga trilogies you choose. Each episode has 5 mainline missions, totalling 45 levels.
"Once you pick a film, you can start your journey from any of the three Skywalker Saga trilogies you choose."
Collectables and Secrets to Uncover
The amount of content will bring a smile to the face of any Star Wars fan as its positvely brimming with things to do. Each movie has its own unique "hub world" where you can explore, find collectibles, and engage in side-quests. There are full planets, moons and space stations that are packed with iconic Star Wars landmarks.
"There are full planets, moons and space stations that are packed with iconic Star Wars landmarks."
The hub worlds are where you’ll find the game’s new open-world sandbox design, which is a huge step up from the linear level design of previous LEGO games.
Midichlorian Enriched Gameplay
The other big change is to the combat, which has been completely overhauled. It’s now much more action-packed and engaging, with a variety of different weapons, Force powers and vehicles to use. There is now a much tighter 3rd person, "over the shoulder" view. It really helps to dial up the immersion in combat along with exploration in the game's many different environments. The camera has seen some improvements and I found it's a little less finicky. There still were a few instances where it was harder to focus on the action, but it wasn't hugely detrimental to the overall experience.
Lightsaber and Blaster Battles
One of the biggest changes to the combat formula are the revamped lightsaber mechanics, which have seen huge improvements. You can now use combos, dodges and blocks to up the ante in battle. In gunfights the accuracy is a little better but not perfect, but the battles are still fun and engaging.
"One of the biggest changes to the combat formula are the revamped lightsaber mechanics, which have seen huge improvements."
I especially liked the fact that you can rebuild cover in the middle of a shootout. It gives things a distinct "LEGO" feel and adds a new layer to engaging swaths of enemies.
Graphics and Sound
Visually, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is stunning, with beautiful models, textures and lighting that do justice to the source material (both the bricks and films!). The LEGO models are pixel perfect, and the environments are rich and detailed in their blocky form. You really can see the care that has gone into maintaining the authenticity of the vehicles and characters while in combat. When spacecraft get blown up, they shatter into hundreds of tiny LEGO pieces and it’s a marvel to behold. LEGO and Star Wars aficionados will be pleased to see everything has been modelled accurately both inside and out.
Lighting That Stands Out
One of the biggest graphical improvements for The Skywalker Saga is the fabulous lighting effects. The plastic bodies of characters now more accurately reflect the light around them. Light sabres glow and reflect in surfaces, it all adds up to many unexpectedly beautiful scenes.
Top Points for Sound FX and Musical Score
The game also features an outstanding score, with John Williams’ original music accompanying the action flawlessly. When it comes to the authentic sounds of ships and weapons everything sounds excellent. Besides the clattering sounds of LEGO, if you close your eyes you'd be hard pressed to find a difference between the soundscapes of the game vs. the movies.
"...if you close your eyes you'd be hard pressed to find a difference between the soundscapes of the game vs. the movies."
For LEGO game purists, there is a "Mumble Mode" which allows gamers to change between the original voice acting and characters mumbling and grunting in a similar manner to previous Lego video games.
Co-op and customization options
One of the best parts of the LEGO Star Wars games is the inclusion of couch co-op mode. This allows players in the same household to "drop in" to a game in progress. The Skywalker Saga is no different, allowing players to seamlessly join a solo game and "drop out" of the adventure at any time. The only downside to the mode is the fact that "Player 1" tends to receive all the limelight when it comes to combat and camera angles. I found as the second player, I was often excluded from major battles left to watch most of the action. This is something that could be remedied with a checkpoint reset, but it interrupted the flow of battle. That being said, I had the most fun playing the game with my son and wouldn't want to experience it any other way.
Lack of online modes and character customization
It would be ideal to see an online co-op mode included to extend the fun outside of your home, but local co-op is as fun as ever. Unlike its predecessor, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lacks a character customization tool. It's sad to see this omitted as I really enjoyed mixing and matching character elements to create my own Jedi and Sith Lords in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That being said, there is a deep class system that does allow players more control with combat. Each character has a unique set of abilities that can be upgraded and customized to create different playstyles.
Final Thoughts on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the best LEGO game yet, and one of the best Star Wars games period. It’s an essential purchase for any fan of the franchise, and a must-have for anyone with a love for all things LEGO. It’s not just a great LEGO game, it’s a great game, full stop.
Developer Traveller's Tales draws on over two decades worth of games and presents very familiar source material in fun and engaging new ways. It’s a huge game that will keep you busy for hours on end, and its replay value is off the charts. There’s so much to see and do, and it’s all presented in a witty, highly entertaining package. Whether you’re a LEGO fan, a Star Wars fan, or both, you need to play this game.
As a special bonus to LEGO Star Wars fans out there Warner Bros. Games has provided me with two codes to share for in-game characters, enjoy!
Admiral Holdo (left) unlock code: XV4WND9
Dengar (right) unlock code: OKV7TLR
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga PROS
+A brand new open-world sandbox design
+Lightsaber combat has been revamped and greatly improved
+Over 500 characters, vehicles and mini-builds
+Brimming with razor sharp wit that gives the source material new life
+Best graphics in the LEGO series of games
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga CONS
-Camera angle issues persist
-Lack of online co-op
-Side missions can start to feel repetitive
Overall Rating: 34/40 (85%)
A copy of this game was provided by Warner Bros. Games for the purpose of this review.