The LEGO Star Wars franchise, for the better part of 2 decades, has been home to some of the most innovative, funny, and ambitious game design, but one that is often overlooked. Maybe because the games are packaged in a way to appeal to younger audiences or perhaps don’t appear like the standard AAA blockbuster, the Lego Star Wars franchise still hasn’t quite got its due, but perhaps that’s about to change soon.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is perhaps the most ambitious, expansive, and comprehensive Star Wars game in existence (and there are a lot of them) and it is truly astounding how much the studio, TT Games, was able to pack into one regular-sized game. Essentially, this is the entire Skywalker Saga, all 9 films, packed into one, including the previously released prequel titles and the original trilogy.
TT Games has put out critically-acclaimed LEGO Star Wars titles but it is clear to see that this isn’t a re-tread of same-ish ideas, but a complete overhaul of everything fans have loved about LEGO games for decades now, but with a scope that can rival the biggest open-world games of today.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, A Massively Impressive Feat of Galactic Proportions
The Skywalker Saga presents its story in actually a pretty non-linear way, giving players the option to pick the starting movie of any of the three trilogies. Right from the start, players have the option to drop into either Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Episode IV: A New Hope, or Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Playing each of these Episodes will unlock the next subsequent game in the trilogy – allowing players a lot of choice as to which order they would like to experience the story. This is a pretty masterful choice as it doesn’t lock down the game to a strict linear path, allowing players to create their own order of things and figure out which way the entire saga makes more sense.
To me, the best way I felt was to start with the prequel trilogy and then move in the chronological order of events in the Star Wars series. But, players can do as they wish as each trilogy essentially offers a different time period in which these areas exist. So, for instance, even though locations like Tatooine appear in multiple games, it feels and looks sufficiently different in all iterations.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, in many ways, presents players with the ultimate Star Wars offering, a chance to explore familiar worlds from the movies, TV shows, and countless other source materials in a way that feels truly unique and expansive. The game is an earnest love letter to the franchise, and in the process, is an extremely fun game to play as well.
At first glance, The Skywalker Saga might seem a bit too overwhelming. While I have enjoyed some LEGO games back in the day, I wouldn’t consider myself someone who is extremely familiar with the trappings of a LEGO game. So safe to say, everything about The Skywalker Saga felt fresh to me, albeit, a tad bit overwhelming.
Gameplay in The Skywalker Saga consists of combat and exploration. While at first, this might seem thin, it is only when you realize how seriously TT Games emphasize exploration that you begin to see the massive scale of this game. Finishing each level in the game opens up the area for Free-Mode, where players can pick any of their unlocked characters to explore these open-world type areas and gather all sorts of collectibles. Speaking of unlocked characters – it is truly astounding the number of characters and character types you can play as in The Skywalker Saga. Upon a quick recheck, I can confirm that there are a total of 380 characters you can play as in the game.
While not all of them have totally different movesets – they are broken down into several different archetypes such as Bounty Hunters, Jedi, Droids, and more. Progression for each of these archetypes is tied to the collectibles, which you can hunt down in the area or simply break open boxes and defeat enemies to get Studs, which is the primary collectible in the game.
Combat certainly feels like a step-up as Jedi lightsaber duels now feel truly responsive and allows players to perform combos in a very Batman Arkham-style combo-counter. Feedback on the Dualsense Controller also feels really good as each Force Attack and Lightsaber swing feels powerful. The game’s combat, however, truly shines when using characters like Han Solo (Bounty Hunter) as the over-the-shoulder 3rd person camera is new for the franchise and makes the game a solid 3rd-person shooter experience.
Each individual Episode has about 5 levels each, which, in turn, also means that there are 5 massive open-world areas that can take up hours upon hours to complete. Each Episode can take up to a few hours to complete, depending on your playstyle. If you feel like sticking only to the story and blitzing past levels, each episode is going to take up about 3-4 hours, rounding up the total play-time to a respectable 25+ hours. However, that is only if you play the story context exclusively, as adding exploration to the mix can easily bump that number up significantly.
Progression in the game is tied to the collectibles and players can dump their points into the aforementioned archetypes (Jedi, Bounty Hunter, etc) to perform better with specific character types. However, this mostly felt superficial as you can play through the story without ever feeling the need to upgrade past the original state of your character. While it doesn’t affect things in a major way, it is still a nice touch for the game to have the collectibles act as more than just a checklist item in an area.
A major part of the game that I haven’t yet touched upon is the Starcraft flying and combat. Apart from the individual levels in planets such as Naboo, Tatooine, and Coruscant, the vastness of the Galaxy is also open to exploration. Players can pilot their craft to take up side quests from random NPCs or go exploring for more collectibles. Each Episode will have more than a few vehicle sections to break up the routine from the regular combat, which is always a welcome change of pace.
Overall, each individual facet of the gameplay feels polished, except for friendly AI. Most of your companion AI will attempt to deal out a couple of hits of damage and perhaps stay out of the danger zone, so as to allow the player to switch characters in case they run low on health. They aren’t much help in boss fights either as I found myself taking on Darth Maul all by myself with my companion AI simply avoiding the Sith lord’s hits and barely taking a swipe at him throughout the fight.
The companion AI feels like a remnant from the past and is perhaps the only dated aspect of the game design. Whereas everything else, even exploration, feels like it is a major step-up and feels right at home in a 2022 game. The feeling I got was that the game and the companions would feel a lot better when playing Co-op split screen as the game does allow for that. So in case you have friends over or are playing with a sibling, this is one of the best couch co-op games currently on offer.
Story and Presentation, LEGO: Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
If you’re familiar with Star Wars, you’re going to find this to be an earnest retelling of the story, albeit, in a way that pokes fun at the franchise. Even though the game pokes fun at even the most serious of moments of the story, it doesn’t feel disingenuous or out-of-place. However, that said, it also means that the game’s story has all the positives of the 9 movies as well as their flaws.
This means that if players were on board with the movies, they’re going to be on board with the game’s stories as it’s not like the creators make major changes to the overall plot or characters. In my mind, and this might be a minor tangent, the prequel trilogy makes for the most fun experience of the 3 trilogies on offer. Mostly because, even though the movies were not quite on par with the original trilogy, the script for all 3 prequel movies is perfect for videogames and even in this game, the prequel trilogy is, by far, the most enjoyable of the lot.
In my opinion, it is not like the games can act as a great substitute for the movies but it still does a fair job of briefing players of the big overall plot points and major events of the movies. At its best, The Skywalker Saga is hilarious, earnest, and fun and it rarely ever moves away from being at its best. However, in the game’s lowest moments, it can begin to feel a little repetitive and some of the game’s boss fights didn’t quite live up to expectations (looking at you, Darth Maul).
The aspect of the game that caught me most off-guard was the visual and sonic presentation of the game. The game looks every bit as AAA as AAA gets even despite the LEGO characters and environments, it never felt any less real than the most modern Star Wars game in existence.
This is perhaps one of the best-looking Star Wars games I’ve ever played and it is truly astounding to see all these environments from the movies created with such excruciating attention to detail. From the sands of Tatooine to the swanky architecture of Coruscant, the game rarely ever fails to impress the player. Even my least favourite environment from the movies, Naboo, looks pretty great in the game.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is easily one of the better-looking games I’ve played on my PS5 and its environments are truly the most comprehensive experience of Star Wars you can have this side of Jedi: Fallen Order.
Final Score, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a massive undertaking, but one, that goes beyond just fan service and delivers an experience that is both earnest and fulfilling. While it is true that a major chunk of the game’s audience is going to be comprised of players who are already fans of Star Wars, this might also be a good introduction for players unfamiliar with the movies.
In my time with the game, I did not encounter a single technical difficulty, meaning my experience was pretty much devoid of bugs, glitches, or any other abnormality. Which feels truly massive for a game in 2022, and especially a game of this scale and scope.
While the game feels truly massive and expansive, it also suffers from being a little too bloated in some areas as the menu screens do little to no favours for the game. The overall feeling of navigating dozens of menus feels extremely clunky and it always feels like you’re missing a lot of information, even if you’re not. The upgrade system takes a while to truly understand and I’m still not quite sure what a couple of these collectibles are and what their function is in the game apart from just being a collectible.
Overall, even though there is a lot of meat on the bone, perhaps LEGO Star Wars could lose some of it. Elden Ring recently showed that less can often feel more and I believe The Skywalker Saga could feel a lot more satisfying if it could trim down on some of these collectibles and allow these spaces to include more interesting elements such as side quests and such.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaRs 3,499
Value for Money9.0/10
What Is Good?
- Fantastic Recreation of the 3 Trilogies.
- Genuinely Funny Gags and Jokes.
- Vast Open Worlds for Exploration.
- Masterful Recreation of Locations from the Movies.
What Is Bad?
- Both Combat Exploration Get Repetitive.
- Progression is Superficial.
- Certain Boss Fights are Underwhelming.