Title: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Developer: TT Games
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Reviewed On: Xbox Series X
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
LEGO has been delivering quality adventures based on the Star Wars license for years. Using memorable scenes mixed with humor, there are plenty of ways to enjoy these games. With the announcement of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, I was afraid that the venture bit off more than it could chew by offering games based on all nine of the mainline films. However, that was quickly put to rest because the development team has spared no expense in delivering a fun and exciting LEGO Star Wars experience with hours upon hours of content.
From a new game, players can begin LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga from either of the three trilogy’s beginnings. For example, completing A New Hope will unlock Empire Strikes Back and so on. Regardless of where you start, prepare for a good time. I’ll be honest about my biggest critique of the game, the voices for the characters don’t sound like their theatric counterparts. It removes the weight of some scenes, especially when the story speeds up the pace by rushing plot points.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer scope of what was included. Every notable environment and event is here, Pod Racing, flying the Millennium Falcon; ah, there’s too much to list. There are two ways to play through this adventure, and that’s found out early on. You can simply go through the story or explore the large maps to solve puzzles and find items to acquire collectibles used for upgrades.
Still, not everything can be completed in one visit as you’ll need specific characters to get into some areas, so there’s no point in stressing too hard about clearing the map. Each interaction and collectible is made to encourage exploration, with various levels of challenge offered to the player. It’s like a playground with dozens of things to do, but there’s no stress to playing with everything because you can just come back later.
Each playable character is equipped with unique weapons and abilities, but I found the Jedi to be the most tuned for combat. Combat is better than it has any right to be, but some episodes see more action than others. You can deflect blasters, force grab, and string together button presses to make encounters more than simply pressing one button to attack. Everything feels natural, even when utilizing some of the ranged abilities.
However, boss encounters received the most love with some of the coolest multi-tiered fights that will grab hold of your nostalgia and not let go. This is where many of the best moments take place as you dodge and block attacks through an epic battle of good versus evil. Of course, everything is made to be fun, but there are added challenges in these fights that will test your skills as a Jedi. These challenges are spread across the missions and give an extra layer of reasons to replay quests, if only to unlock more stuff.
I found it exceptionally fun how the development team toned down some of the more intense scenes of the series with a dash of humor. Sometimes it lands, and sometimes it doesn’t, but this is a kids’ game, so I think they did a good job delivering a summed-up and entertaining retelling of these adventures that shows the writers are true Star Wars nerds.
There’s a lot of content to unlock here, and everything you do is rewarded with the option to upgrade characters or unlock new ships. It makes replaying levels easier, too, as your character’s speed can even be enhanced, which is great because these levels are huge. Still, I can imagine that this might be overwhelming for some players, especially those who want to clear each map before moving on. So here’s a tip: don’t worry about it, do a few side missions here and there, but focus on completing the Episodes and unlocking Freeplay to clean up the stage.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a beautiful game. There’s a considerable amount of pop in during the grander stages, but the backdrops and scope of each area are gorgeous. The character animations are great, and some of the more impactful story scenes show a significant layer of texture on the blocky characters.
There are a ton of accessibility options found in the menu to help fans of any age or skill level. Everything is here in terms of added hints, health restoration, difficulty options, and fine-tuned controls.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an enormous offering that feeds your nostalgia for both Star Wars and LEGO. No matter how old you are, if you’re a Star Wars fan, there is something here for you to fall in love with. No corners were cut, and every event is delivered with the utmost character to the brand without it feeling tacked on or half-developed. The additional upgrades, exciting boss encounters, and gorgeous environments will easily make you forget about the strange voice-over.
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