Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release date: April 5, 2022
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S (reviewed), Xbox Series X
LEGO and Star Wars have gone hand in hand since the franchise launched back in 1977, and have done so in videogame format since 2005, when LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game hit the PC, PS2, Xbox, GameBoy Advance, and the Gamecube. The game dealt with the prequel trilogy, and another followed up a year later dealing with the original three movies. In 2007, the developer released LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, covering all six films in one set and jumping to then next gen consoles of the PS3, Xbox 360, the Nintendo DS, and the Wii, along with mobile platforms iOS and Android. In 2011, LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars arrived, delivering an original story across sixteen planets based on the Clone Wars series. 2016 saw the arrival onto the PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and the Wii U with the title LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, here in 2022, the new consoles- the PS5, the Nintendo Switch, and the Xbox Series X/S- get their own massive compilation with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
The new game features all nine of the main Star Wars films, from Episode I: The Phantom Menace to Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, along with DLC character packs from the films Solo and Rogue One, as well as the television series The Bad Batch, The Mandalorian, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The game features 300 characters and nine hub worlds. You can tackle the three trilogies in any order, starting with each one’s first film. There are five story missions per film for a total of 45 in all, with plenty of side missions, puzzles, challenges to go with freely exploring an assortment of planets, including Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Kamino, Kashyyyk, Utapau, Mustafar, Yavin 4, Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin, Endor, Jakku, Takodana, D’Qar, Star-killer Base, Ahch-To, Cantoninica, Crait, Ajan Kloss, Pasaana, Kijini, Kef Bir, and Exegol. The game features a fully voiced cast, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for the earlier LEGO titles there is a mumble mode available as well.
Gameplay has been modified from previous LEGO games. Combat is smoother and more akin to an action game. Environments are more realistically rendered than earlier games, and even the LEGO bricks themselves look better with more detail and texture. A lot of the environments are destructible, with the object being to obtain True Jedi status per level by collecting the various studs found spread throughout the large levels. Objectives have been changed, so even if you’ve played a similar level in one of the older games like LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy it won’t be just a rehash from the older game. The new game has been remade entirely from the ground up, making everything feel fresh instead of just a trip down memory lane.
Between challenges, collectibles, and codes to unlock further items or characters, The Skywalker Saga is chock full of content, giving you loads of gameplay beyond just the story modes. The trademark sense of LEGO humor is prevalent throughout, as is the sense that those who made the game truly love Star Wars. The game is an absolute love-letter to the films, and that amount of care and the attention to detail shows in every frame, making this not only one of the best LEGO games to date, but also one of the best Star Wars titles ever made. There is something for just about any type of gamer here. Like platforming? There’s plenty to be found on every planet. Like using the Force and lightsabers? There’s plenty of that, too. Fights with blasters are well staged, there’s plenty of exploration off of the common path, and space combat is also well done. The game rewards you constantly, be it with an upgraded ability, new character or new vehicle.
The game does have a couple of issues, but thankfully they prove to be minor and don’t impact the overall enjoyment. On the X/S. the Attack of the Clones level had some sound issues at launch. Occasionally there is a puzzle that can be a real headscratcher, and on other levels it may not be readily apparent as to what to do next. But as I said, they tend to be minor squabbles.
In all, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, proves to be a love-letter to the franchise and one of the best LEGO games ever made. The amount of content will keep you busy long after you complete the 45 main story missions..With 300 characters to unlock, everyone will find a favorite, and the vehicles can all be fun to operate. The music is spot on, the environments well detailed, and the voice acting is fairly good and the humor is genuine. There’s enough differences here that make it still worthwhile to replay the older titles, which all still look good and control fairly well. The characters are all fun to play and level up. This game proves to be not only one of this year’s best games, but also one of the most fun to play as well. It’s a must buy for Star Wars fans and LEGO fans alike. A true joy to play.