LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a sleek action-adventure full to the brim with RPG elements, plenty of open-world exploration, copious amounts of collectibles, and its hallmark slapstick humor.
Since 2005, there have been a total of 6 LEGO Star Wars games – each chock full of their own characters to unlock, studs to find, and plenty of memorable charm.
With The Skywalker Saga, everything is kicked up a notch, giving die-hard fans the chance to experience iconic movie moments in every Episode from the trilogies, alongside a sprawling Galaxy Map and sandbox levels of freedom like never before.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga key details
- Price: $59.99 / £49.99
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: April 5, 2022
- Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga trailer
The definitive LEGO video game experience
Right from the outset, it’s clear that the team at TT Games have put a lot of care and attention into making this the definitive way to experience these games.
Immediately apparent is the lack of a fixed camera – you’re now able to pan around with complete freedom to explore an environment. This gives the game a vastly different, less claustrophobic atmosphere – something that irked and frustrated me in previous games, preventing me from feeling fully immersed.
While many sections of gameplay will feel familiar to those that have played the original games, they’ve also been expanded upon, giving fans the opportunity to fully explore the likes of the iconic Gungan, Yavin 4, and Kamino. Entirely new sections of play have been added, too, like in the prequel’s Droid Factory level, where you’ll be met with revamped platforming fun as you traverse it to rescue Padmé from an untimely fate.
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During the Battle of Naboo, you’ll step into the shoes of the polarizing Jar Jar (who, controversially, I love) as you shoot down enemy droids while scrambling to fix catapults to keep the attackers at bay. It’s complete nonsensical fun, and it’s an absolute blast.
Levels like the one in Episode 4, where Princess Leia is racing to try and deliver those secret, stolen plans, have been rebuilt from the ground up in LEGO blocks, to lend a more authentic, plasticky feel. Cutscenes have been overhauled, too, helping to create a more streamlined cinematic experience than the slightly rough around the edges feel of earlier titles.
While voice acting has been a thing in LEGO games for a while now, I never really missed it in the earlier titles (they are supposed to be plastic Legos, after all). Their well-timed non-verbal retorts still were able to get a laugh out of me, but here, it turned out to be a welcome change that helped me to follow along with the narrative more closely.
What’s more, these performances were both simultaneously funny and sincere, and it never felt as if the writing ever overstepped that boundary of compromising the story in favor of the franchise’s staple humor. If you’re looking for a little bit of nostalgia, though, there’s an ‘Extras’ menu that allows you to turn the voice work back into those iconic mumbles once more.
The franchise’s trademark humor is consistently self-aware and present at every turn, full to the brim of puns like the ‘Better Call Maul’ level, hilarious cutscenes, and the droid ‘H1-NT’ who is delightfully funny with dry, cynical quips about his own existence while informing you of when he has new gameplay hints.
Classes, upgrades, and combos – oh my!
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga features over a whopping 300 characters to unlock and play as, from the Rancor (who causes NPCs to flee in fear) to those with their own variations, like Palpatine’s ‘Chancellor’, ‘Scarred – Red’, and ‘Senator’ looks, alongside a total of 9 classes: Dark Side, Protocol Droid, Scavenger, Scoundrel, Bounty Hunter, Jedi, Hero, Villain, and Astromech – each of which has their own unique abilities and upgrades.
There’s also an ‘Extra’ category for characters without special attacks, like Queen Amidala – my personal choice to explore the galaxy as alongside General Grievous – who comes with her own unique voice line quips, all while flashing a hilarious grin after taking down enemies or breaking objects.
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Every class feels fresh and unique to play, and though nothing quite tops the feeling of taking down enemies, lightsaber in hand, they all have their own merits.
Hero classes (Princess Leia, Jar Jar, Bail Organa) come equipped with a blaster and grapple gun to make their way around the environment. With an updated, third-person shooter camera angle when aiming, you can use the said blaster to aim at specific parts of an enemy, giving you the chance to take a Stormtrooper’s helmet clean off with a well-placed shot, opening them up to some cool combos.
Jedi and Dark Side characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker, and Darth Maul are able to string together lightsaber attacks while utilizing the Force to grab objects to lobby at enemies (or just as a stylish way to collect studs). If you’re feeling a bit destructive, they’re also able to use their saber to slice through specific LEGO walls as if they were paper to reveal new areas.
As droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO have hacking abilities that can open doors or trigger specific events to affect gameplay. At one point, I hacked into a terminal to trigger an alarm with C-3PO (there was an option to trigger a turret, too, if that’s more your vibe), causing Stormtroopers to flee the scene and run a mile. Droids also have the handy advantage of being completely ignored by enemies unless you attack first, making them a great choice for those who want to take a stealthy approach.
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Some characters crossover into multiple classes, too – like Rey, who has Dark Side, Scavenger, and Jedi variants – to mirror their film identities at certain plot points in the movie.
When fighting an enemy, you’re able to string together your attacks by using your selection of skills to fill up your combo meter, rewarding you with multiplier stacks of studs. The game forces you to utilize everything it gives you, though, and you’ll have to ensure you don’t end up boxed into just pressing one button, as your opposition will quickly catch on to this and start to block repeated attacks. This adds a sense of depth to your enemies, meaning you have to think a little more about what you’re doing rather than blindly spamming one attack button over and over again.
Boss battles are top-notch and truly show off combat at its finest alongside epic set pieces, quick-time events, and platforming, all of which marries together to create memorable video game versions of these iconic movie fights.
As you play through the game’s story missions, you’ll naturally collect studs that go towards filling up a bar to earn ‘True Jedi’ status for that level, rewarding you with Kyber Bricks (the equivalent of a Gold Brick from prior titles). These currencies can be spent on character upgrades for boosts and bonuses like faster sprinting, extra health, and being able to see highlighted collectibles out in the open world. These upgrades are then further broken down into ‘Core’ and class-specific categories, each with its own multiple levels to progress through.
Scoundrel classes (Han Solo, Chewbacca) can unlock a slide attack to take down the opposition in style, and Dark Side characters have an unlockable ‘Fear the Dark Side’ boost, which causes enemies and civilians to run away in fear at different levels depending upon how much you upgrade it. While each class’ boosts are undoubtedly nice to have, they never felt as if they particularly changed the face of gameplay, either.
The core upgrades, however, are essential – though the ability to see collectibles marked on-screen by a blue, Force-like aura quickly muddies the UI, causing the screen to feel cramped. Thankfully, TT Games gives us the option to alleviate this by allowing any unlocked upgrades to be deactivated swiftly by the press of a button.
Puzzles are, as expected, a big focus – requiring you to manipulate the environment around you by using a character’s skills to progress, and while these can be completed alone, these will be equally as fun to do with friends. Switches that need to be stood on, to locks, doors, and objects that can only be completed (or reached) once you’ve unlocked characters from within a certain class ensures that there’s always something new that you need to work towards which, in turn, kept me coming back to each world once I’d completed the main story beat there.
A dizzying amount of collectibles
One of my personal favorite features in a game is the freedom to truly explore the world in any order that I see fit, as well as being able to tackle tasks with multiple approaches and outcomes. In LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, I’m thrilled to say that there’s all of this and then some.
I’m absolutely overwhelmed (in a good way) at the amount of activities there is to do here. Each level has its own challenges to complete or Minikits to unlock, and coupled with that are the Galaxy’s hub worlds – each chock-full of trials, puzzles, side missions, and challenges. Add on top of that the whole array of characters to unlock, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the sheer amount of content.
As mentioned earlier, there’s an ‘Extras’ tab in the main menu that dials LEGO’s staple silliness up to 100. Acting as a cheats menu of sorts, these can be unlocked by finding Datacards throughout the world, providing everything from applying stackable multiplier boosts to studs to more novelty additions like ‘Baguette Lightsabers’ or ‘Television Mode’ for an old-timey vibe.
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TT Games give you total control over how you want to play, too, giving you access to all 3 trilogies right from the outset, with the only caveat being that you’ll have to play each individual trilogy’s Episodes in order.
As you explore the game world, golden trails and markers will tell you exactly where you need to go to continue the story – but you’re never forced to do this until you want to. While some parts of the world may be blocked off until you can later return with a particular class ability, for the most part, it feels as if you’re experiencing the Star Wars narrative while simultaneously existing in a sprawling sandbox world.
While roaming space, which can be explored just as freely as the hub worlds themselves, you’ll happen upon random encounters where you’ll have to take down and push back enemies. Here, both combat and space exploration feel fluid and easy to get the hang of, even though these particular gameplay moments, personally, are not my favorite.
In most games, I typically dread sequences like these and want to get them over as quickly as possible – and while space exploration is still not something I’m drawn to, I won’t be spending my time there clock watching until it’s over, either.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker saga is a graphically beautiful, sprawling sandbox game that blends humor together with more serious moments of the saga’s lore, all while providing a dizzying amount of content to chew through.
The game may not reinvent the wheel, but every gameplay feature from platforming to collectibles, classes and the open-world style of play is done masterfully. Without a doubt, this is a franchise-defining game for LEGO video games, and I personally cannot wait to see what the developers do next.
Reviewed on PlayStation 5.