The Skywalker Saga is a Lego Star Wars game.
“The Skywalker Saga: Lego Star Wars has a lot of ambition, but it lacks focus.”
- Stunning visuals
- Extensive gameplay
- Increased combat effectiveness
- The Free Play mode is fantastic.
- Hasty retellings
- A disjointed structure
- Tonally incoherent
While previous Lego games were fun entry-level puzzle platformers, they were also simplistic games that many players, including me, outgrew. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, developed by TT Games, appears to have understood this, as it is the most ambitious Lego game in years.
It retells the stories of nine classic films, features a large lot of hub worlds for players to explore and acquire goods in, and introduces new class systems to combat. This makes it a great Lego game for players who have grown tired of the series, as well as a thrilling teaser of where the franchise can yet go.
Regrettably, it’s also an experience that doesn’t quite come together. Throughout my adventure, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga seems to be torn between being an accurate recreation of every mainline Star Wars film and becoming the liberating galactic sandbox it so plainly desires.
The journey from Padawan to Knight is a long one.
When I originally started The Skywalker Saga, I had the option of choosing the first film from any of the three trilogies. I decided to play the video games in chronological order, starting with A New Hope and ending with The Rise of Skywalker. The first level of A New Hope does an excellent job of demonstrating how far the game has progressed from previous Lego games.
The graphics are stunning, especially when the levels are entirely made of Lego blocks. The game also has fun adapting and satirising the plots of each Star Wars film while extending the gameplay, as I highlighted in my preview. The cover-based shooting in The Skywalker Saga intensifies confrontations, even though it isn’t any more challenging than earlier Lego games.
When it comes to new features, that’s only the top of the iceberg. Players must string attack combos together while periodically countering assaults in melee combat, which received a much-needed overhaul. The story of each film is adapted primarily in linear stages, but each planet has at least one large open level for players to explore. These open-ended hubs are by far the best part of the game, as they are enormous and full of fascinating challenges, Easter eggs, and even full-fledged side-quests to explore.
The Skywalker Saga is always coming up with new ideas and riffing on old ones.
In The Skywalker Saga, Kyber Bricks are the driving force behind all you do. Kyber Bricks are earned by collecting studs and performing challenges in the linear levels. They’re needed to increase each class’s skills and are frequently the main reward for the difficulties encountered across each planet.
The 300+ characters in the Skywalker Saga are divided into different character classes, each with their own part of powers in and out of combat. Jedi can employ force powers, droids can hack specific terminals, and heroes can disguise themselves as adversaries after defeating them, for example.
The Skywalker Saga is continuously coming up with new ideas and riffing on old ones, keeping the experience fresh. Some ideas aren’t fully fleshed out as a result of this method, and some character skills, such as a Protocol Droids’ ability to hack turrets, feel pointless. In such a vast game, I can forgive it, but this design attitude also gives The Skywalker Saga an unnatural framework that some may find unsettling.
Crisis of Self-Identity
I was excited to see how TT Games flawlessly merged the stories of nine Star Wars films into one open-world sandbox in The Skywalker Saga. I was disappointed to see that the game does not actually do that.
Many worlds and locations in the Skywalker Saga are fascinating to visit. Players can even soar above each planet in space. Despite this, each of the nine films follows a linear plot, and the game is continuously attempting to shuffle the user to the next major item. Because I couldn’t visit a planet until it was featured in one of the films, The Skywalker Saga’s sandbox seemed incomplete throughout my adventure.
Obviously, the story missions do not provide the same level of freedom as the open areas, and they favour some character classes and abilities over others. As I made through each film, I always felt forced to keep moving forward with the story and not stop to smell the roses, thus I was often missing out on the best part of the game.
Throughout my adventure, the sandbox of the Skywalker Saga felt incomplete.
This was also unsatisfying because The Skywalker Saga had to speed through each story in order to fit all nine films within the series. Some major moments, such as Lando blowing up the Death Star, aren’t playable, while some story levels, such as Empire Strikes Back’s opening level, in which players explore Hoth as Han, are completely unique. The developers appeared to be more interested in creating large 3D collect-a-thon levels than recreating classic Star Wars stories for a second or third time, but the experience suffers when these open-ended levels occasionally directly interfere with the story being told.
Whiplash of the tones
In Revenge of the Sith, the disparity between the sequential movie adaptations and the open-ended galaxy sandbox came to a head. After watching the cutscene in which the Jedi are wiped out by Order 66, I was resurrected at Corosaunt’s Jedi Temple Library, where I met a Youngling who excitedly told me about a riddle that would grant me a Kyber Brick.
Anakin didn’t seem to notice him.
That moment’s tonal whiplash was inadvertently humorous, but it also confirmed the fact that open-ended universes and film retellings don’t mix well. Even with the better gameplay, there are so many characters, ships, side objectives, and set pieces from dramatically different Star Wars periods that the experience doesn’t always feel unified.
The open-ended galaxy and the film retellings don’t get along.
Completing each film seemed like a long-winded pre-requisite for the game’s Free Play option, which doesn’t have to worry about Star Wars canon or certain side-quests that don’t make sense in the context of a film. As a result, the adventure appears to be disjointed. This high-level contradiction won’t bother the youngsters who will undoubtedly spend countless hours beating the game and then exploring the galaxy in Free Play mode, but it was a pain for me.
TT Games is attempting to redefine what a Lego game can be. The Skywalker Saga proves that games with deeper gameplay can still appeal to older audiences, and that these games are at their finest when the focus is on providing players with a massive sandbox to explore and interact with.
Exploring all of these concepts in The Skywalker Saga leads to a muddled experience. Still, I’m interested to see how the developer can expand on these ideas in an adventure that doesn’t have to faithfully recreate nine films.
Lego Because of its deeper gameplay and all of the beautifully reproduced Star Wars places that players can explore, Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the most engaging Lego game in years. The Skywalker Saga, like the characters of each Star Wars trilogy, has an identity crisis. It’s always torn between being a faithful Star Wars retelling and a grandiose galactic sandbox where players may go anywhere and play as anyone.
Is there a more suitable option?
The Complete Saga of Lego Star Wars holds up well. As a result, it’s a much more linear, level-based experience, but it’s also a much more concentrated game. Still, nothing compares to the scope of what TT Games achieved with The Skywalker Saga.
How long do you think it’ll last?
This is the most massive Lego game to date. It will take you more than a dozen hours to complete all of the Star Wars films, and there will still be plenty to unlock and explore in each level.
Should you purchase it?
Yes. Despite my criticisms about The Skywalker Saga’s identity dilemma, it is well worth reading if you enjoy Star Wars or wish to introduce your child to the franchise. It’s a lot of fun to play, especially once you’ve unlocked all of the game’s features in Free Play.