LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review
Much like the inevitable 1×2 board in your brand new LEGO set, video games from the LEGO franchise are an integral part of the gaming landscape. Since the original LEGO Star Wars, Traveller’s Tales has spent years bringing incremental changes through pirates, superheroes and dinosaurs. With full circle, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has been touted as a complete refresh for block builders. It’s not quite the case, but it’s still the most ambitious, comprehensive, and ultimately most impressive LEGO game ever made.
Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was released in 2005 and set the foundation for all Lego games that followed. Cooperative play, inviting puzzles, multiple characters, and humorous take on scenes from classic movies have made it a family favorite, and none of that has been lost in The Skywalker Saga. Despite the visual changes, this is an instantly recognizable entry in the Lego franchise, and that’s further heightened by the sense of narrative familiarity you’re going to feel at various points.
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With the exception of The Last Jedi and Rise of the Skywalker, Traveller’s Tales has already come here, with seven of the Star Wars films having already received the Lego treatment. Everything in The Skywalker Saga was built from the ground up, but when you’re sent back down a hallway with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’ll tickle those strands of memory like it’s 2005 all over again.
The difference here is that Traveller’s Tales has finally learned the importance of rhythm. Where previous games worked to the point, requiring you to smash every brick like a high-end Miley Cyrus, the franchise’s compilation moves at lightning speed, taking you through each movie faster than its actual length. . In other words, if you let them. If you fancy a leisurely swim in Bacta Reservoir rather than a Kessel run, you can wander through the expansive open-world levels that are interspersed with more linear levels, smash bricks, collect studs, solve puzzles and make connections with the locals. Unlocking every secret and breaking every stud gives you a perfect reason to come back, and there’s more to do here than ever before.
It’s aided by a serious visual upgrade. The viewpoint has been changed to an over-the-shoulder view that gives the action a little more punch when you’re hitting stormtroopers hard, and it’s a key improvement for the game’s renewed outlook. The Lego itself looks more like living plastic than ever, with the buildup of scuffs, marks and grit adding to the feeling that it’s the real world. Or at least a tangible, well-imagined one. For anyone who’s ever played with Lego minifigures in a sandbox, this is the closest thing to that without annoying your parents.
It’s a shame, then, that Traveller’s Tales doesn’t seem to be able to become a functionally perfect game. Although it’s a new custom engine, it still looks like there’s creaky code under the shiny new paint. Even on PS5, the Skywalker saga exhibits smudges of screen tearing and stuttering, the same issues that have lingered around the series since the very beginning. While I appreciate that they came full circle, they should have left those parts out of the loop.
You can at least laugh it off thanks to the TT humor of the Skywalker saga. It’s one of those rare things; a really fun game that will have young and old alike laughing all day long, and if you’re a fan of the Star Wars movies, you’ll be squealing with joy at regular intervals. Of course, that’s incredibly silly – Luke milking the creatures with milk machines at the start of The Last Jedi and then having his milk served by a Porg bartender is just one of the ridiculous moments that come to mind. – but it works completely in his favor. It manages to mix serious action and emotion with slapstick and stormtrooper gags; I love it.
The voices in charge of the stunt doubles are provided by a mix of original actors such as Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, alongside animated Star Wars alumni like Sam Witwer and Tom Kane. It can be distracting at times when they don’t look quite like you’d expect, and I found myself deliberately listening for inconsistencies. Mind you, Helen Sadler’s take on Rey is so good I really couldn’t tell the difference, and whoever delivers the iconic lines, it’s all done with passion and an obvious affection for the subject matter.
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