Though LEGO games have been around since the mid-90s, boasting over 80 video games based on the iconic toy construction bricks, it wasn’t until the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game back in 2005 that the LEGO franchise really seemed to take off. It was the beginning of a new era of LEGO games. This included many licensed films and franchises being adapted into action-adventure games for kids of all ages, and that does include kids at heart, to enjoy. However, despite so many of these licensed titles hitting the shelves since 2005, none have seemed to be able to quite capture the feeling many had playing LEGO Star Wars games. So, does LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga manage to give fans this same feeling?
A Faithful Retelling of The Skywalker Saga
The Skywalker Saga attempts to recreate the Star Wars story with the same kind of energy and humour that was present in the entries in the early 2000s. And for the most part, it did exactly that. Featuring the over-the-top slapstick comedy that the LEGO games have become well known for, there are so many moments that had me chuckling, or even laughing out loud. The Skywalker Saga manages to do this whilst remaining faithful to the original narrative. This should be no surprise really, as Traveller’s Tales have done this quite consistently in most if not all of their licensed games.
However, some of the jokes in The Skywalker Saga do feel quite forced, especially in some of the physical comedy. One of these moments in particular, which includes “everyone’s favourite gungan *ahem* Jar Jar Binks”, sees him get his tongue attached to a ship as it starts to take off. This scene just made me facepalm, as it was just such an unnecessary gag. Thankfully there are only a few of these jokes that will make you roll your eyes, so it really isn’t too much of an issue.
A Few Strange Decisions From The Developers
The other main problem I had with the presentation of the narrative was with the new ‘Mumble Mode’. When the feature was first announced for The Skywalker Saga, it seemed like this would give us that nostalgic feeling of the old LEGO Star Wars games. Unfortunately, it does anything but!
The old games relied on physical comedy to tell the story, which is really what made them so charming. Because of this, the animation of the cutscenes was based around physical expressions of the characters. However, The Skywalker Saga’s narrative is mainly told through the dialogue between characters. As a result, physical storytelling elements seemed to have been reduced. This isn’t an issue when there is dialogue, but if you turn on mumble mode, which removes the voice acting, the game doesn’t manage to portray the narrative quite as well as the older titles. This was quite a disappointment, as this feature seemed to have so much promise!
Some of the moments that the developers chose to omit from the game were a little strange. This made the pacing of the narrative a little odd at times. For example, in Episode I, after you first meet Anakin Skywalker, you’re immediately thrown into the podracing and then straight back to Naboo. This does leave out some big moments in the narrative which were vital to Episode I. Conversely to this, the game gets you to travel back to the underwater gungan city just to see that there are no gungans around. In the film, that was basically all shown with Jar Jar jumping out of the water and explaining that the gungans had left. This inconsistent pacing can be a little annoying at times, but it doesn’t really affect the overall experience.
The Skywalker Saga’s Gameplay Looks Fresh
The Skywalker Saga attempts to revamp the traditional Lego gameplay style with a few new features, which add some real depth to combat and exploration. Now, you can combo attacks as a Jedi, fire from behind cover as a stormtrooper, and can even take down your enemies with C-3PO. And you can finally force throw your lightsaber to defeat enemies from a distance. These are some really welcome additions as they add variation to each encounter and make the game really enjoyable. Also, it is quite hilarious to shoot off a stormtrooper’s helmet from behind cover, and then pick up the helmet and put it on your own head.
The force can now also be used a lot more freely. This allows you to pick up objects and manipulate them in many different ways. You can move and throw objects at enemies, stack them to reach higher areas or gain the *ahem* high ground *ahem* or just pull them in front of you to use as cover from enemy fire. The addition of these features are exactly what was needed to take the LEGO Star Wars series to the next level!
Also, each character type now has their own unique upgrades that can be purchased using kyber bricks. There is a large list of abilities that are available for players to experiment with. Some of these are more practical like bypassing hacking minigames for Astromech Droids, and some are just for a bit more fun, like the increased duration for Jedi mind tricks. It is also worth mentioning that there is such a large amount of characters available to use. You can even play as a Rancor!
The Exciting World of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The world design in The Skywalker Saga is fantastic. So much attention to detail was placed in recreating each environment to match the films as closely as possible. It is honestly so cool to walk around each of the different planets in the Star Wars series. All the different areas that you can explore and secrets you can find really add to the gameplay experience. It is really worthwhile exploring as much as you can in the various stages and seeing all that this world has on offer.
Playing through the narrative alone will significantly reduce your playtime. For example Episode I took me roughly 1.5-2 hours to complete, whereas doing all the side quests, and getting all the collectibles, and going back through the levels to get all the other achievements will well over double, or even triple that time, without getting tedious. There is just so much to see and do in this game. So it is absolutely worth searching every area to see what you can find.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is so much fun to play through. Though the Star Wars story is really well known by now, Traveller’s Tales manages to do a fresh take on the series which is both entertaining and hilarious. Also, the added benefit of being able to play the full game through with a second player, makes this even better, even if it is only local co-op at this time.
By Samuel Incze
The Skywalker Saga successfully manages to recreate the fun and humour of its 2005 counterpart. It gives us a new take on the Star Wars series, with many great moments filled with hilarious jokes and gags. The revamped combat feels fantastic, and really helps to keep things fresh and exciting. There are a few jokes that may make you roll your eyes, but despite this, it’s hard not to get hooked in The Skywalker Saga’s world for hours on end.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.