Star Wars is a massive franchise that has seen its fair share of adaptations across all manner of media, including a smorgasbord of video games of varying degrees of quality. Though each title attempts to mold an aspect of the galaxy far far away into a particular genre, there’s little deviation from the signature melodramatic Star Wars tone. The new LEGO Star Wars game, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, not only takes a sharp turn in the opposite direction, but it also barrel rolls and Force reflects away anything that threatens its downright silly reprisal of its source material. On top of that, the title aims to serve as a culmination of all of the blood, sweat, and tears developer Traveller’s Tales has poured into the LEGO video games since its first foray into brick-based titles in 2004.
There are a flood of reviews of the game circulating the internet already, so what else is there to possibly add? Glad you asked! So how does Skywalker Saga hold up?
LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga’s Story – You Know the Drill
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Let’s start with the “story”. As the words on the box of this new LEGO Star Wars game imply, within this title you’ll find brick-based incarnations of all nine movies that are now dubbed The Skywalker Saga. Each one contains roughly 2-4 hours of gameplay that covers most of the major beats of the story. You’d expect that this would lead to jarring pacing that feels rushed and cobbled together. On the contrary, through clever structuring of gameplay sequences, story cutscenes, and gag moments, the stories are given an entirely new dimension that’s sure to be both entertaining and appropriate for kids.
For real though, no one is playing this game for story. This is more of an action smash-and-grab with a myriad of characters to play around with. Overall mindlessness notwithstanding, it is addictive to toy around with the different characters and abilities and upgrades. So the core gameplay definitely has that fun element going for it.
While blasting through memorable moments like the trash compactor escape and the Battle of Hoth – all of which have been faithfully recreated in full brick glory – you’ll be dosed with quirky LEGO humor that feels childish in all the right ways… or just childish. There’s no other clash of properties that can pull off a TIE Interceptor menacingly descending upon Luke’s X-Wing only to cut to a shot of Darth Vader frantically trying to cycle through his onboard radio in search of The Imperial March.
The game is full of little gags and jokes like these, all of which range from small fun-poking to hyper-self-aware inside wisecracks. If you’re still arguing about who shot first (oh brother…), this game won’t give you any more clear of an answer because it doesn’t want to; it’s too busy putting headphones on Stormtroopers.
Speaking of which, the white-armored grunts and the rest of the villains you’ll be trading laser beams with are still as lousy at shooting as ever. You’ll easily notice through playing the game’s nine campaigns that there’s hardly any challenge to be found. It’s no surprise, either, given that it’s a LEGO game in the Star Wars universe. Naturally, kids are the target audience. But, this doesn’t mean there’s no enjoyment in playing either, as long as you don’t go in looking for a mental or reflex challenge. Blasting through waves of brick versions of Imperial scum is as easy as mind tricking Stormtroopers but it’s also admittedly and exceedingly satisfying when you mix in some Force powers with characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
New LEGO Star Wars Gameplay and Replay Value – Do You Want to Play Again?
Apart from combat, there are also tons of puzzles littered across the game’s vast galaxy, all of which reward you with a shower of LEGO Studs and Kyber Bricks. Most of these brainteasers will have you use a combination of your characters’ unique skills and building mechanics. For instance, pre-Jedi Luke has a grappling hook he can use to traverse up a hill to activate switches while Force users can use their powers to move objects and stack them so that they snap in place like putting together actual LEGO bricks. That’s about the extent of the LEGO “building” however, which unfortunately feels like potential unrealized. Imagine if players could build their own craft and characters to experiment with?
And this is where we start to get into the replay value of The Skywalker Saga.
Skywalker Saga’s Freeplay Mode
After clearing each of the nine parts, you’ll gain access to its Freeplay mode. This allows you to play them again with any of the 380 (!) playable characters. What’s cool is that you can either revisit each story or roam through its hub areas, all for the purpose of looking for more puzzles to solve and stuff to collect. And there’s a lot of stuff to collect. Though the campaign will take between 18-30 hours to complete, depending on how much you deviate, the side-quests and puzzles add enough content that’ll occupy you for weeks.
Side Quests in Skywalker Saga
Completionists and collect-athon-aholics will have a field day as they try to unlock all of the game’s various treasures which include character costumes for the LEGO Star Wars fashion metagame, Kyber Bricks for character upgrades, Data Cards, Minikits, and a whole host of other knick-knacks scattered across the Galaxy.
It’s at this juncture where you’ll likely find yourself feeling the tedium, particularly when it comes to maxing out LEGO Studs to achieve True Jedi status in each level to receive one measly Kyber Brick. The puzzles are also mixed in terms of challenge, with some requiring a good amount of skill and thinking, while others could even make a toddler yawn in disinterest.
Either way though, once you know how to solve a single-answer puzzle, it’s not exactly the most compelling thing to replay.
Regardless, a substantial amount of replayable content exists… but the real question here is whether the game is worth exploring again even after 100%-ing it.
So do you want to come back again and play Skywalker Saga after you’ve seen and done it all?
Depends on your taste.
If you want a quick beat-em-up session with simple gameplay controls, Skywalker Saga is for you. If you want an action brawler with more craftsmanship and depth (or even a true LEGO building game, imagine that!), then this title is unlikely to fully satisfy you even during the first play through.
However, without a doubt, the main campaign does feel like it would hold up to repeated playthroughs for the average player. It’s like watching Star Wars again and again… obviously only shorter and more whimsical.
It’s doubtful anyone would stomach another repeat of the LEGO Stud grind, though.
Is New LEGO Star Wars Much Different From the Old?
Despite its flaws, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a pretty well designed video game in the existing Traveller’s Tale’s formula. From smartly implemented UI elements that guide without patronizing to the addition of split-screen multiplayer, it feels like a complete gaming package that gives you your money’s worth, and then some. And it all looks quite gorgeous, even on the more underpowered Nintendo Switch.
My criticisms of rampant Star Wars LEGO aside… I can say that this game is pretty decent from a pick-up-and-play gaming perspective, especially if you’re already a Star Wars fan.
From the perspective of a salty LEGO fan on the other hand, ehhh… it’s nothing too special that hasn’t been seen before. This is especially apparent with the (potentially deal-breaker) lack of true buildable character customization, perhaps the most truly LEGO-like element of the series previous.
So overall, do I recommend LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga?
Yeah! A bit begrudgingly.
Yes – The Skywalker Saga is a good game. But I dunno… I want LEGO to start celebrating LEGO more. The Skywalker Saga celebrates Star Wars… with a LEGO skin. Like an afterthought. I can recommend the game as a fun, pick up and play, and relatively mindless jolt of entertainment alone or in multiplayer. However, if you’re looking for a LEGO (emphasis on LEGO) experience, you can pass on The Skywalker Saga without missing out.
If you’re already familiar with the past Traveller’s Tales LEGO Star Wars games formula, this conclusion really shouldn’t surprise you, even if current hype has (perhaps rightfully) lauded this title as the best entry yet in the series.
Like it or not, the LEGO/Star Wars pairing has always been a match made in heaven and it’s hardly ever been more apparent than with this latest wild ride of a game. Its fluid gameplay takes you through various playstyles, keeping things fresh (with the aforementioned caveats) from the moment you kick off the first part of your favorite trilogy… all the way to the end. All while being a fun ride for the entire family.
Regardless of whether you just love the look of Star Wars in LEGO form, or are fanatical about imitating lightsaber duels – or both – Traveller’s Tales’ new LEGO Star Wars game more than likely has something in it for you.
Check it out for yourself when you get a chance. You may enjoy it!