LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review – Embrace the Light and Dark Sides

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a massive game with around 400 playable characters, 9 movies to travel through, and more puns, jokes, and visual gimmicks that not even Jar Jar Binks can handle . Developer TT Games has long been making Lego games, and this ambitious project showcases the studio at the top of its game, delivering brick-smashing fun and wonderfully ridiculous Star Wars humor from start to finish. While capturing small moments, the sheer scale of the project seemed too broad for TT Games, as some of the content was uncharacteristically dry or unbalanced.

A perfect example of this experience of jumping between highs and lows takes place on the planet Akhto, where Luke Skywalker retreats to cut himself off from the Force. The Last JediIn this desolate place, TT Games did as much as possible to make a silly porn joke, making Luke Skywalker funny enough to hum the theme song trying to ignore Rey. We also learn that Luke has set up a sizable operation to harvest green milk from the space sea statues on this island. All of this interprets the Star Wars storyline in a pleasing way, but the journey to it is often difficult, with players only able to travel great distances from one point to another. Along the way, there’s little to see or do, and the few pastimes that pop up on Ahch-To lack the creativity or sophistication found in the game’s proper levels. Much of the side content that’s a big part of this experience is largely underwhelming, despite offering great bonuses, such as more playable characters.

For the first time in a LEGO Star Wars game, unlock planets by completing chapters to freely explore the galaxy. The artists at TT Games have done a great job recreating these planets. Each one is full of life, vivid details, and tons of fan service. Packed with aliens and vehicles, Tatooine’s sprawling Mos Eisley spaceport feels very different from a desolate place like Hoth. All of these locations blend realistic backdrops with clever bricks that players can interact with. The ambience and lighting in many of these places are particularly impressive. The haze that accompanies Leia’s meeting with R2-D2 on the Tantive IV looks great, while smaller details like the lightsaber’s vibrant glow bouncing off surfaces – including the plastic head of the character wielding it – is another Nice feeling.

Skywalker Saga is at its best in condensed, story-focused levels that go back to the series’ early designs. Finding minikits and kyber blocks is fun, often pushing players (or couch co-op duos) to solve puzzles or destroy objects to reveal new paths. These stages are worth replaying when more character classes are unlocked, such as Sith. Some mini-games are overused, like R2’s Terminal Hack, but the instant gameplay flow in these levels is smooth and offers fewer obstacles than other Lego Star Wars games. Regarding the R2 hacks, you can later get upgrades that allow you to bypass them for a fee.

A heavy emphasis on combat, with brand new lightsaber technology and cover-based shooting – both disciplines get the job done in a pleasing way. Neither offer much depth, but their simplicity lends itself to conflict, letting stormtroopers drop quickly. Well-placed headshots knock off their helmets, and yes, you can wear them! Jedi can also use the Force to throw objects at enemies through their sabers. These mechanics are extended in boss fights and prompt players to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid attacks such as Darth Maul’s furious charge. Even unlikely characters like BB-8 or C-3PO are able to fight and are fun to control.

Some stages offer vehicle play that brings the intense space battles of Star Wars to life. I was very excited when I flew the X-Wing in the trenches of the Death Star and the Millennium Falcon in the asteroid field. Most of these conflicts are not difficult, but provide a lot of excitement when a chaotic storm of TIE fighters surrounds your ship. In addition to the characters, there are many ships to unlock.

The best part of The Skywalker Saga is the quest to unlock all of the characters. It’s a dizzying proposition given the scale of the adventure, but luckily you won’t feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack when looking for the specific character you want. You can trade your hard-earned studs for clues to character locations and unlock requirements. Studs can also be used to enhance skills and unlock new abilities for different character classes. I love the newfound depth that TT Games applies to the tried and true LEGO formula.

Despite its regular lulls, The Skywalker Saga is a thorough and entertaining examination of all three Star Wars movie trilogy. It offers the same feeling of being overwhelmed as opening a Blu-ray movie collection and not knowing where to start. Players can jump between the trilogy and deviate from the story path at any time to explore a galaxy far, far away. Some discoveries can be as dull as sand, but others can lead to something awesome, like having Babu Frik as a playable character, or seeing what Kylo Ren’s bedroom looks like.