Everybody knows Star Wars. Everybody knows LEGO. So it’s natural that the two brands have collaborated time and again on video games. There have actually been a ton of LEGO Star Wars titles before, including a couple just for the prequels and OT but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the first time that a LEGO Star Wars game has tried to tackle every mainline Star Wars movie in a single game.
When Sal approached me to review the game, I was a bit hesitant. I love Star Wars but didn’t have an Xbox Series X or a Playstation 5. I was game to try out the game but lacking the prerequisite hardware seemed to be a dealbreaker.
That’s what most people who don’t know Sal would think.
Sal just loaned me his Xbox Series X (he has another he says) just for me to review this game.
So here I am, talking about it. Is it worth the money?
Read on to find out.
What is LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga?
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a third person action adventure title developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. It’s available right now for the Playstation and Xbox consoles, as well as the Nintendo Switch and PC.
Our review copy was gifted to us by the folks at EpicSoft, the local distributor for the game. Thanks a lot for the code!
As you have probably guessed, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga encompasses the entirety of the main Star Wars movies. From Episode I to Episode IX, the game summarizes each entry in the series and replicates pivotal moments for players to experience. These summaries might not be technically accurate (Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter in Episode II doesn’t have its hyperdrive ring for example) but they convey the general message.
That means you get to rescue Queen Amidala and fight Darth Maul, dogfight with Jango Fett over Geonosis and all the other set pieces from the various movies. It’s a heady mix of different gameplay styles, which serves the game well.
There are some weird omissions though…For example, there’s no stage to represent the first fight between the Clone Army vs the Separatists on Geonosis. Same thing with Obi Wan chasing Grievous on Utapau or the Battle of Coruscant as seen in Revenge of the Sith’s opening.
The game’s broken into multiple hubs, each representing a planet from the movies. Included among them are Coruscant, Theed (the capital of Naboo), Mos Espa (one of the ports on Tatooine) and multiple other pivotal planets. The hubs are HUGE, and you can easily spend hours exploring each of them.
Scratch that. You will spend hours exploring each of them.
That’s due to each hub having a number of Kyber bricks scattered around them.
These, along with the collectible stubs, are essential, because they are used to unlock new content, upgrade your abilities and characters. Unless you’re content to be using the same old handful of characters the game gives you as you progress, you will have to nab the blocks whether you like it or not.
Most of the blocks are easy enough to get. They show up on the radar and most times, you just need to reach them to collect. Sometimes it’s a matter of just walking up to them, other times you might need to jump around to get to their location. Nothing too hard.
Some blocks require certain skills. These will have you changing characters into whatever character type they require so you can do what needs to be done. There are multiple categories, such as Jedi (or Sith), Bounty Hunters, Imperials and more…each with their own unique skillset.
Finally, you can only get some blocks through Quests. Yup, the game’s like an RPG now, where you can get specially marked tasks through certain NPCs. They even have their own cutscenes and all. Completing these always gets you a brick.
What I love are the blocks that have puzzles or events associated with them. These usually require you to find keycards or other requisite objects to unlock their locked boxes. They’re very entertaining to puzzle out and is one of the reasons I look forward to getting to new hubs.
One of my favourites has got to be the statue puzzle from Theed, where you need to find huge statue pieces and then piece them together to get a block.
With more than 1000 blocks to find, it’s safe to say that a lot of your time in the game will be spent looking for and nabbing them.
What you’ll be spending the rest of the time on however is a bit more action packed.
Yes that’s right, combat.
Fights in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a lot more involved than in previous LEGO Star Wars titles. Characters can do basic combos now (the Jedi and Sith are especially powerful in the game) and melee combat feels much more responsive and tighter as a result.
Ranged combatants can now take cover too, though there’s very little reason to. I mean, the character health is just an afterthought in the game as you can continue right where you die as many times as you’d like.
Death is literally just a minor annoyance.
Unfortunately, that makes the fights still as repetitive as other games in the series, with not much strategy involved.
With nothing at risk, there’s really no feeling of triumph or accomplishment. Even the boss fights devolve into who can hit each other more times. It’s an unfortunate issue that Traveller’s Tales has been unable to solve for years now, as it plagues every single LEGO title they’ve developed.
There are also space dogfights (such as the epic Naboo Resistance vs Trade Federation fight in Episode I) and these fare much better than regular ground combat. Space combat is rather basic compared to other Star Wars space combat games such as Star Wars Squadrons, TIE Fighter or even Rogue Squadron but there’s a charm in its simplicity.
All you do is just zoom around, shooting whatever your particular targets are, hitting LB or RB whenever the game prompts you to to dodge incoming fire. It’s brainless fun and entertained me more than the fights on land. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of space combat stages.
You also get to fly around in free roam mode in space, but there’s really nothing much to do apart from blasting asteroids and some mini-games. I wish the game integrated the ground and space portions better, maybe even make them into a seamless experience like No Man’s Sky.
It’s sad but what’s worse is how Traveller’s Tales have neutered one of the most iconic features in their LEGO titles; building.
In past games, you regularly need to destroy the environment to get LEGO pieces you can assemble to get past certain sections. It’s a fun diversion and exemplifies the core appeal of LEGO. Now, you barely do it in the game.
Other changes Traveller’s Tales have made are better.
One thing’s for sure, the graphics for The Skywalker Saga are much improved over every other LEGO title.
There’s more detail, reflections and the camera is a bit closer to the action by default, which really allows you to appreciate the new visuals. Framerate’s stable too, with the game running silky smooth on the Xbox Series X no matter what stage the game is on.
Loading could be faster (remember all the BS about lightning fast loads we were supposed to get off the new console SSDs?) but it’s nothing much to complain about.
Audio is also a mixed bag.
John Williams’ music is used liberally but only certain portions. Due to that, they loop continuously in some stages and hubs which grate on your nerves. Some tracks (Across the Stars being MIA is a travesty) are completely missing too, which as a Star Wars fan, saddens me a lot.
The humor’s still childish, but it’s genuinely funny enough at times that I actually chuckled. It’s nothing hilarious or original, but the jokes are pretty decent that they don’t come off as trying too hard to pass muster.
Voice acting is similarly mixed. Some of the actors are from the movies and shows but a couple are new. These are the ones that stand out…for the wrong reasons. Qui Gon Jinn’s voice actor for example, sounds nothing Liam Neeson Neither does Dooku’s sound like Christopher Lee. He doesn’t even try to. It’s…bad.
There are a couple of bugs in the game I encountered, including one that kicks me completely out to the Xbox dashboard and another that only happens during cinematics. The audio tracks (and subtitles) show up, but the screen is completely black. Once the cutscene is over, the game locks up and I need to quit to the dashboard, close the game and restart to continue.
I’ve encountered both bugs multiple times, though I’m not sure what triggers it.
The Bottom Line.
Plagued by delays, it’s a wonder that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga isn’t much worse off than it is now. It’s a pretty solid and chunky entry with great visuals and lots of content but is let down by inconsistent audio, bugs and boring melee combat.
With Traveller’s Tales moving on to Unreal Engine 5, here’s hoping there’s more LEGO Star Wars coming which beefs up the good parts of this game and improves on the bad.
Thankfully, the bad parts aren’t so heinous that you cannot overlook them because if you go past them you’ll find a great game that’s worth your time to play, alone or multiplayer.
Boring ground combat, audio issues and bugs but an otherwise great game.
- Huge amount of content.
- Great visuals.
- Smooth framerate.
- Returning voice actors.
- Space combat is fun.
- Upgradeable abilities.
- Boring ground combat.
- Audio loops.