Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: Brick by Brick
You’d never think of a Lego game as something that would face multiple delays and be long-awaited honestly, but here we are with the latest and most ambitious Lego game to date. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. At first glance, the game might seem like pretty familiar ground. Lego games, especially in the format we know them as today, have been around for over 15 years. Star Wars is a franchise they have visited multiple times over. Granted this is the first time all 9 films in the “Skywalker” saga have been covered in one game, and The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker have never previously gotten any kind of video game treatment, but you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga is something you can skip, especially with a ton of fantastic games out recently.
And in some ways, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is extremely familiar territory to be sure. You are still brick people with separate abilities used to get through levels and you smash tons of things to collect tons of Lego bricks to buy stuff while reliving famous sequences from hit movies. That is the majority of Lego games in a nutshell.
However, how that is accomplished and executed in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga makes a load of difference. Firstly, the game, especially on next-gen consoles (I have it for Xbox Series X for the record), looks absolutely incredible. The details in the Legos look great but also the worlds and lighting and just how smooth everything is. There’s a whole different change in perspective as well, going for a more over-the-shoulder look which honestly helps make the game feel unique from any other previous game in the Lego franchise.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in pretty significant changes. The new perspective turns Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga into more of a third-person action game that even throws a little bit of Gears of War-style cover shooting in there along with lightsaber fighting. And there are combos! And enemies can block your attacks and you have to switch it up! It’s not Devil May Cry, but a huge change from previous entries.
Then there are the expanded options of what to do with all those collectibles. Previously you’d be collecting tons of Lego bricks by smashing enemies and objects and those would mostly be used to unlock characters and vehicles. That is certainly still very much a part of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, but now, in conjunction with a couple of other collectibles, you use them to get this, upgrade your characters! The Lego games already had a formula where characters fit into different roles so this is a pretty natural extension of that, but just seeing a skill tree with different classes in a Lego game seems wild.
And finally, there are the hub areas. You have story missions that represent the movies of course, but also many of the planets present in the Star Wars franchise are represented in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and they are all their own little free-roaming areas loading with side quests, little secrets and diverting activities if you just wanna fool around a bit without engaging in the story. None of it is incredibly deep but it’s a little like Super Mario Odyssey in that exploring every nook and cranny will often reward you with something.
Then there are the space battles. While flying around in spacecraft is nothing new to Lego games, these are easily the best yet. In previous games, these sections often controlled poorly and just weren’t very fun. These sections are massively improved and even the space just outside of the planets you visit acts as its own little free roam area with asteroids to destroy containing riches, bounty hunters to have dog fights with, and larger battles to participate in, it’s all really quite impressive.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is also quite funny with a lot of great jokey takes on classic scenes and fun little easter eggs and nods to the whole franchise. Granted, the Lego games always strive for comedy, but it can be very groan-worthy at times and I feel this time they mostly nailed the humor.
Finally one more positive I want to touch on: In previous games, objectives and how to accomplish them could be extremely obtuse and it would be incredibly frustrating, the guidance just was not there. I haven’t experienced that once in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Objectives are extremely clear and I never had trouble finding my way around.
Now despite all these positives, there are a couple of negatives I need to touch on as well. Firstly, it’s obviously a side effect of cramming nine movies' worth of content into one game, but a lot of odd choices were made in what to keep and cut and as a result, the flow of cut scenes feels off and a little weird at times.
The sound design and music are also not quite what they could be. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll hear all the familiar classic music and sounds you associate with Star Wars, it’s just sometimes they’ll be a little quieter than you’d expect or a track will play that seems a little inappropriate to what you are doing (mostly on the hub worlds). The music and distinct sounds are such a huge part of Star Wars that this stands out more than it might in another game.
Finally, I know, I know. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and indeed virtually every Lego game to date, is a game aimed at the younger set and it’s not meant to be a challenging game. But boy, especially with all the new combat changes and expanded class upgrades (which include extra health! why is there extra health when you can’t really die?!) I’d at least like an option for a higher difficulty level because there’s never any tension to anything you are doing, none of the boss fights feel like they even try to give you a challenge, etc.
It’d be one thing if maybe the difficulty was present in puzzles, but what puzzles are in the game, boss patterns or otherwise, are extremely simplistic. It doesn’t make Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga a dull affair, but it does make what should be bigger moments in gameplay lose their impact some.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga isn’t a complete reinvention of what a Lego game is, but there are a lot of significant and almost all positive changes resulting in arguably the best and certainly most ambitious Lego game to date. I’m hoping they continue in this direction with a new license because I’d really like to see what they can do with completely fresh material rather than something as well-worn as the Star Wars movies. However, if you are a fan of Lego or Star Wars, I do feel Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a very worthy purchase that will provide dozens of hours of entertainment not just in playing through the movies but uncovering all the cool and cleverly hidden secrets within.
That’s all for today, I probably won’t have another post this weekend but will try and have one early next week so see ya real soon!