LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on PS5

Like two interlocking bricks clicking together, both the LEGO and Star Wars properties have found mutual success joining forces since their first collaboration back in 1999. Spanning books, movies, TV shows, and — most importantly — video games, these two emblematic licenses have made a pair of recognizable brands exponentially more recognizable through their partnership. But with Traveller’s Tales’ latest block-shaped outing, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, has the series used the force or fallen to its demise down a reactor core? Let’s jump in, shall we?

First things first, it’s important to note that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an ambitious project that packs in all nine core movies into one jumbo-sized video game collection. That’s right, each of the respective films from that galaxy far, far away has been lovingly recreated in surprisingly impressive detail. From young Anakin’s descent to the dark side of the force in the prequels to the rise of the Resistance in the original trilogy to the concluding chapters of the sequel trilogy, no stone is left unturned by the UK-based studio.

Upon first booting up the game, you’ll be greeted with an incredibly charming menu popping with nostalgic stop-motion LEGO animation. Here, you’ll be given the option to dive into the first episode of each trilogy, and upon completion, you’ll unlock subsequent episodes in said trilogy. In essence, I’m happy to report that you do get a choice as to where you want to begin your new Star Wars adventure, which is always welcome.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Speaking of choice, I was surprised to see several instances where you’re given the choice to tackle certain obstacles as you see fit. Specifically, early on in Episode IV: A New Hope you can choose between blasting through a group of enemies with a turret, or, on the other hand, finding a way of putting out a fire that opens up an entirely different route. Essentially, there are some cool moments of player freedom that have been incorporated into the core level design, which is worthy of praise.

Indeed, for the most part, the quality of all nine video game adaptations is largely excellent and manages to re-capture the family-friendly magic of Disney’s uber-successful franchise. For instance, the level of authenticity on display here cannot be understated; not only does each episode open with the iconic crawl from the films, but each scene and story beat has been retooled with a painstaking amount of accuracy, albeit with that signature slapstick LEGO sense of humor.

Case in point: the overall voice-acting across the board is pretty top-notch. While the occasional line of dialog sounds a wee bit stilted compared to its on-screen counterpart, the overwhelming majority of voice-work is delivered convincingly.

LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker SagaImage Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Add to this the instantly recognizable score by John Williams, replete with booming brass and sweeping strings, as well as a myriad of smaller authentic-sounding details like the pew-pew of blaster audio, the thunderclap of interstellar explosions, the ignition of a lightsaber , and those familiar robotic bleeps and bloops from R2-D2 et al. and you’ve got all the necessary ingredients for a nostalgic trip down memory lane for not just your eyes alone – but for your ears, too.

Performance-wise, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga runs really well with very few noticeable dips from its targeted 60fps. It also looks fantastic, especially in enclosed areas, like the inner halls of the Death Star or the Casino of Canto Bight, where ray-traced reflections can really shine and make your jaw drop.

But let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the moment-to-moment gameplay next. In short, many of the series’ trademark systems have received a significant overhaul. The third-person shooting has been tightened up substantially and now boasts a cover system a la Gears of War.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s not an especially challenging shoot-’em-up experience (I mean, who goes to LEGO Star Wars to test their reflexes?), and it’s clearly not going to be replacing any of your tried -and-true shooters any time soon, but you may be surprised by how satisfying the core gunplay is.

Additionally, not only do the blasters feel great, but the dynamic reactions of your foes add a nice layer of realism, too. Land a headshot on a Stormtrooper and their helmet may come flying off (which you can then pick up and wear). Meanwhile, peppering an adversary’s boots with gunfire will see them hopping around like a Porg getting down on the dance floor. Fun times!

Elsewhere, gone are the days when spamming the punch button could carry you through the entirety of a LEGO game. Yes, enemies can now “learn” your attack patterns and will eventually block your melee attacks if you’re using the same button over and over again, resulting in a combat system where mixing up your combos is critical to your ongoing success.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Outside of combat, you’ll be tasked with numerous environmental puzzles that are pitched appropriately for a younger demographic. Some of these center around breaking objects apart, rebuilding them, and repurposing them into useful tools, while others are more straightforward Uncharted-esque fare that challenge you with climbing up to hard-to-reach areas.

In addition, a plethora of minigames like door-hacking, cinematic quick time events, and memory games punctuate your downtime between exploration, story and combat across all 45 story missions and 23 unlockable hub planets. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to the space-faring levels. Indeed, the battles on Hoth, Crait, and Yavin — to name but a few —, are some of the most fun flying levels I’ve experienced in the LEGO franchise in, like… ever.

With its intuitive controls and pick-up-and-play gameplay, dogfighting across the interstellar skies of the Star Wars franchise’s most iconic battles is an absolute joy. Oh, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for those kyber comets, which randomly float around space while you’re zipping around the heavens. Destroy one and you’ll net yourself five kyber bricks, which are unique collectibles that allow you to unlock new abilities for your characters in the game’s skill trees.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Unfortunately, the skill trees in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga are fairly unexciting, and don’t really add that much strategic depth to the experience. Credit where credit’s due, though: they’re still a nice addition, and add a little bit of extra replayability, but overall, most of them are hardly game-changers and feel more routine than revolutionary.

Still, when you think you’ve seen everything, it’s amazing how LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will flip the script and throw some new mechanic at you that you’ve never seen before. Even in its final hours, I was consistently surprised by how creative some of the set-pieces were.

Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that two player split-screen co-op is included in the package from the off. Personally, I didn’t get too much hands-on time playing co-op, but from my experience, it was really enjoyable bringing a friend along for the sci-fi ride.

Overall, while LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is more of an evolution of the franchise than a full on revolution, it’s still quite possibly the definitive Star Wars video game collection right now, not only from a content perspective, but from an authenticity and a fun factor perspective as well. Equally charming as it is nostalgic, it’s a wonderful experience, especially for those with a soft spot for that galaxy far, far away.

Twinfinite Editors Choice Award

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Critic Review

Reviewer: Dylan Chaundy | Award: Editor’s Choice | Copy provided by Publisher.

pros

  • Recreates the magic of the Star Wars franchise.
  • Dogfighting across the interstellar skies of Star Wars’ most iconic battles is an absolute joy.
  • Solid third person shooting.
  • Surprisingly charming.
  • All nine films included.

cons

  • Skill trees are unexciting.
  • May lack challenge for some players.

release date
April 4, 2022

developer
Traveler’s Tales

Publishers
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Consoles
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC, Switch

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