In the realm of video games, no other medium has made a more seamless transition than that of LEGO, as the Danish building blocks continue to see its popularity rise even without a physical block in sight, as combining the colourful pieces with other well-known properties usually results in action-adventure magic. This appears to be mostly the case with TT Games’ LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which brings together all nine films in one neat little package, often revisiting content that was seen in older games, and throwing in new content for the later films.
That said, considering the outdated nature of the older titles in the series, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an entirely different proposition in the areas of gameplay, visuals, and overall design, and that is a great selling point for returning veterans and new players alike.
Right from the start, players are able to choose the order in which they want to play with the three Star Wars trilogies, with five main levels per movie. Of course, you are never really done with a level on the first try, and replaying these levels will yield more secrets and collectibles as you progress.
With nine films to cover in a game, it is best not to expect The Skywalker Saga to cover every single event that happens, and if you’ve been a fan of LEGO movie tie-in games, you already know better. There may be references here and there, mixed in with the typical LEGO humour, but it is the vital events that rightfully get the spotlight here.
On that front, the main mission content is always a fun time, especially when players find themselves in the more constrained and linear sequences. These are reminiscent of how levels used to be, and with the improvements made in every aspect, they shine even brighter than before. There is also more choice involved in tackling obstacles, paving the way for different approaches when it comes to problem-solving in certain instances.
Yet, the majority of The Skywalker Saga tends to rely a little too heavily on the open-world nature of the world, resulting in far too much walking and navigation to get into the meat of things. Sure, it does give players more of a chance to admire the scale and scope of these different planets and the details that went into them, but when you are trying to get to the next big mission, it can become a chore.
However, being able to explore the different planets up close does have its moments, and the ability to fly off into space and then land on another lends a sense of freedom that is entirely new and refreshing, to say the least. Not to mention the various space battles that can come up every once in a while, these are exhilarating sequences that are up there with the best LEGO gaming experiences.
What is not so great are the different activities that one can get up to in order to collect the more than 1100 Kyber Bricks and the characters. Side quests are often too similar in nature and repetitive, and that can be a pain for completionists looking to consume everything The Skywalker Saga has to offer. There is some scant comfort though, as the game does really well in helping players track what else is missing from their growing collection.
Perhaps the best addition from The Skywalker Saga is that of character classes and growth. Each of the characters one can unlock in the game will fulfil a certain role, which is not exactly new to the series, but the ability to give them permanent boosts via upgrades is another incentive for players to strive to do their best. This can range from individual improvements to walking speed or attacking power, or class-wide upgrades that are useful in every situation. For those that like focusing on certain characters, this could be an excellent way to make that power fantasy of yours come to life in true LEGO fashion.
Another noteworthy feature is the expanded combat system in The Skywalker Saga. Gone are the days when button mashing was the only way to go in LEGO games. Now, enemies will learn how to block your attacks, and more varied combos are the solution. Button combinations will result in different attacks, and there are even signature combos to pull off that deal unblockable damage, so learning how to achieve them is a satisfying endeavour.
The shooting has also been improved greatly this time around, with the third-person over-the-shoulder view when aiming a marvellous addition. Characters with blasters can even hunker down behind cover, aiming for the precise shots, and knock Stormtrooper helmets off for even more laughs.
The Skywalker Saga is not limited to a solo experience either, with TT Games retaining the capability of couch co-op for players that like to do things together. Rather than a dynamic split-screen, the game opts for a divide straight down the middle, which is both good and bad.
Players will always have their own field of view, but when things get too hectic with everyone up to their own business, it can get a little bit confusing. Nevertheless, having the option is always a plus, especially for those who want to enjoy the games with others, and there’s no better way to start than with a LEGO title.
There is definitely something magical about LEGO games, and The Skywalker Saga enables fans of both properties to enjoy the proceedings in a typically humorous fashion.
There may not be groundbreaking innovations when it comes to quest design or more to do when building objects to get past obstacles, but The Skywalker Saga does a great job in retelling an expansive narrative through entertaining moments and improving on everything else that comes before. Even with a few missteps, this is still arguably the best LEGO game available here and in a galaxy far, far away.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga delivers memorable moments throughout nine films and more in humorous fashion, held together by improved gameplay design and refined visuals that are unable to mask a repetitive nature that seeps through occasionally.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 8.5/10
Presentation - 9/10
Value - 9/10