Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – Game Review


Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

(Avalible for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox series X and S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC)
(PlayStation 5 version used for review)

My experience with Lego Star Was: The Skywalker Saga is that I have beaten all the levels with 775 out of 1166 Kyber Bricks and 270 characters out of 380 collected, I did my entire playthrough on the PlayStation 5 so all problems I had may not reflect the other consoles experience with the game.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the latest game Lego Star Wars series made by Traveller Tales, it is an action-adventure game that has the player journeying through all 9 Star Wars films and across every major planet in the films while scouring the environments for a vast amount of collectables that would make any collect-athon game from the 1990’s proud.

Pro:

Hub worlds.
The main feature that players will spend 90% of their time exploring is the sprawling hub world’s that are the basis for each of the respective films, and they are packed to the brim with content and collectibles.

My personal favourite being Coruscant as it is a sprawling environment that encompasses several smaller areas but it appears to have the most amount of NPCs walking around at any one time, so it helps the immersion as it feels more like a living breathing world as you walk through the hub surrounded by at least 50 NPCs that are walking around you.

You can easily spend several hours in each hub world just admiring the environments or taking on any of the several side quests to get rewarded with Kyber Bricks, Characters or vehicles. So they are definitely a big improvement of just having the single hub world in the old games that functioned more as a level select with just the option to enter any of the levels through it.

Graphics.
This is easily the best looking Lego game created with everything looking amazing, not just the character models that are accurate to the Lego figures but also the environments look great and feel like they are straight out of the films with Lego structures added to them all, as they went so far as to even include the “@Lego” trademark on the character models which I thought was a nice touch.

The textures all look flawless along with impressive reflections for areas with water such as many locals in the sequel trilogy, or reflections for metallic surfaces where you can even see the lightsabers being reflected.

Even the level select for each of the films looks great as they are Lego dioramas with amazing fluidity for the stop motion that is used for them. The best in my opinion is for Attack of the Clones with Obi-Wan facing off against Jango Fett and Boba Fett in Slave 1, as it depicts the battle very well on Kamino and implements the ocean water into the fight that looks really impressive in the NTT Engine that they used for the game.

Level of detail.
On top of the great graphical fidelity a great deal of care has also been given to the level of detail of the Lego models and all the models look either very similar or exactly the same as their real life Lego sets which is great to see and experience.

My favourite detailed models are in the space maps with the vehicles that are the big set pieces, where you can fly around an Imperial Star Destroyer or flying through the Death Star and doing the famous trench run during the level as all of these look great in game, as it all looks like they are fully made from Lego and are a joy to fly around and see all the intricate details on the models.

Voice cast.
While most of the film cast did not return they did bring in some great new voice actors and what really made it great for me is that for the prequel trilogy they brought back the cast of the great Clone Wars TV show voice cast and they all do a great job.

While the voice acting does reduce in quality for the sequel trilogy it is still good, overall it is still a great job by all those involved and the game has the option to turn off voice acting and bring back the “Mumble Mode” from the original games where you hear no dialogue and only muffled mumbles to simulate dialogue.

The best part of the voice cast is how there is now much more dialogue between characters when playing in free play mode, as whenever you spawn in a character they will have unique dialogue with certain other characters. One of the best is if you are playing as Palpatine from Revenge of the Sith having unique dialogue with both Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader playing off the meme of the telling the story of the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise.

Combat system.
The combat system in this game is fantastic as in previous games it was either lightsabers or blasters as the main form of combat, but they were very limited in the options to attack as blaster users could only shoot or have a basic attack but every character now has an expanded melee system.

The new combat system takes more inspiration from modern action games like Devil May Cry in which you can chain together attacks to form combos and include launcher moves where you can send your enemy into the air and keep the combo going, this allows players to experiment on creating their own favourite combo chains.

Boss battles.
The big improvement on this game compared to the original Lego Star Wars games are the boss battles.

As every episode has one big boss fight and they really amped up the spectacle of each of these that really builds upon what came before as now it’s less of a button mashing event and it now ties into the much improved combat system as bosses now have more moves than just basic lightsaber swings and features more puzzles.

One of my favourite expanded upon fights is against Count Dooku on Geonosis as now it’s a sprawling fight across his base and for the final phase it evokes the part of the film where the lights shut off so it’s just the glow of the lightsabers against the darkness of the surroundings and this game recreates it very well.

Collectibles.
This game has a vast array of collectibles for the player to collect across Kyber Brick, Data Cards, characters and vehicles.

There are 1,166 Kyber Bricks spread across the 45 levels and has the player exploring each hub world and completing side quests so players will spend most of their playthrough combing through every part of the levels which also helps to the replay ability as there almost always something new to discover across the vast landscapes.

Then for use in space players can collect a variety of vehicles that span all 3 main eras with over 110 vehicles in the game allowing players to use their favourite ship for their playthrough and each vehicle is accurate to the corresponding Lego kit that you can buy and build.

Then the collectible that has the biggest impact on gameplay is the unlockable characters as across the game you have the ability to unlock over 380 characters (More if you have buy the extra DLC), so almost every character you can think of that currently exists across the 3 films has a counterpart for the player to play as.

References.
Throughout the games there are references to other properties both in Star Wars and outside of it, I recommend players listen to the dialogue of most NPCs they find for all the great hidden references to other locations and even properties.

Films like Rogue One get a shot out with dialogue through Stormtroopers name dropping Scarif but also more fun properties are through the references to Robot Chicken and also strangely enough the parody film Space Balls with a reference by C-3PO dressing up as Dot Matrix (The C-3PO analogue) with a similar fake hair as her.

Even my personal favourite game of all time Xenoblade Chronicles even had a fun little reference with the Disco Director in The Rise of Skywalker episode says the line “Now THIS is a party! I’m really feeling it!” Which of course is a quote spoken by Shulk (The main protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles) in his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, that has taken on a life of its own as a meme online.

Local multiplayer.
The couch coop works great allowing a 2nd player to easily drop in and drop out to control a 2nd character at any time, the option is also there immediately when you start a new game so there is no delay needing to unlock the ability to have coop.

It’s also very stable and in my experience trying it I had very few issues with it or frame rate issues, the only problem was with how they implemented the split screen as instead of going horizontal or giving each player their own full screen on top of the other the only option is a vertical split screen which hampers the gameplay experience.

Frame rate.
On the PS5 I was able to choose between playing at 30fps or 60fps, I chose 60fps and the game did a great job of trying to stick at that frame rate with only the occasional dipping when there were too many particle effects on screen causing slowdown.

Con:

Glitches.
Unfortunately the biggest flaw in this release is that during my playthrough is just how riddled it was with glitches that greatly impacted my game.

I had frequent issues with characters getting stuck in place that could only be fixed by switching to another character and killing the stuck character to make them respawn un-trapped, that’s when I noticed that if I looked to the sky in every level from the start of the game to the end is that there was always a giant untextured Lucrehulk and it was even more prominent when I had to do smuggling missions because whenever I entered the zone the Lucrehulk would be taking up most of the zone and has no collision so both I and the swarm of enemies had to fly through it repeatedly in a dogfight.

Another frequent glitch was due to the skill upgrade that allows you to see uncollected Kyber Bricks on the overworld with a blue aura effect, so when I went to those locations it would just be an empty aura with no Kyber Brick as even the related NPC’s who give you the puzzle or side quest to do also wouldn’t load, this happened to me for example in the Jedi Temple during the prequels.

Or the most hilarious one for me was during the climatic fight in the Force Awakens when Rey and Finn fight Kylo Ren and during it when Rey first gets the Skywalker lightsaber after swapping back to Finn and then back to Rey, she somehow drops the lightsaber and refused to pick it back up and could only attack with her hands in combat until the next cutscene.

Softlock & Hardcrashes.
Across my playthrough of the who game I had 2 hard crashes and several softlocks with most of the softlocks I did suffer were across the prequel trilogy and original trilogy.

A prime example is how the cutscenes frequently broke for me with the cutscene on Kamino in Attack of the Clones where you meet Jango Fett in his quarters had the audio for the cutscene play and the subtitles work but the visuals don’t load, then after the cutscene is supposed to finish it just ended on a black screen and would not let me access the main menu to quit out so I had no option except to manually close the game by going to the PlayStation 5 home screen and close the game that way to reboot the game afterwards.

Scavenger characters.
Throughout the entire game there are Kyber Bricks and Data Cards locked behind special breakable doors and rocks that require the Scavenger class of characters to destroy them to gain access to the items inside but unfortunately they take way too long to access in a normal playthrough.

The player has to wait until either Endor in Return of the Jedi with Wicket or the start of The Force Awakens with you unlock Rey, which is bizarre as you can unlock Scavenger characters earlier like that with the Tusken Raider or Kuiil but can’t use their Scavenger Tools until getting Wicket or Rey.

So if you play from The Phantom Menace and want to progress through the film’s in timeline order then you are locked out of getting the tools for the Scavenger until at least 2/3 of the way through the entire game then.

A.I companions.
You are normally accompanied by at least 1 A.I partner during levels but sometimes you can have more A.I characters joining you like the older games.

Unfortunately they have pretty much no intelligence in their Artificial Intelligence as they will just stand around during fights and refuse to fight back against any enemy as I watched on multiple occasions the A.I letting themselves being killed

Less levels per film.
Across the 9 films there are 5 levels for each of them, this leads to 45 levels in total but the older games had 6 levels for each film.

So while there are more levels in total this means that there are less levels per episode leading to each film feeling more rushed and having to rely on cutscenes to bridge the gap and replace the missing levels.

This mostly seems to happen with big space battles being skipped and relegated to cutscenes only and don’t allow the player to take part in them for example The battle of Corusant in Revenge of the Sith or The battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Even a main aspect of the box art is skipped in game with the Battle of Geonosis that is prominently featured across half the cover is completely skipped and even the vehicles that are shown there are also not found in the final game (With the Spider Droids, Dwarf Spiders and AT-TE)

Smaller levels.
On top of having less levels than the previous games, the levels are also a lot more condensed as most levels now can be beaten a lot faster than older levels.

Whereas older levels were much longer with a series of linearly connected hallways and arenas that require a longer time to travel through, the new levels mostly feature in the new hub worlds or smaller levels.

This may also be due to the fact that these new levels have less mandatory puzzles to solve that impede players progress, so levels can be ran through a lot faster while ignoring most of the level.

This probably won’t be an issue for younger gamers who prefer quicker levels but I feel like the pace of the levels is just way too fast and not nearly as enjoyable as the older games.

Cutscenes 30fps.
While gameplay is normally smooth at 60fps on the PS5 there is a jarring transition whenever a cutscene plays as suddenly the frames per second drop to 30fps (Half of normal gameplay at 60fps).

This leads to the cutscenes feeling very disjointed and slow as they are not as fast or responsive as regular game play.

Skill trees feel mostly redundant.
There are 10 skills trees (1 Core that effects all characters and then 9 trees for each of the classes).

Apart from the Core tree which has some really important skills on them that I recommend picking up like the attract studs from a further away in a larger cone of effect, the rest feel pretty redundant for example slightly more health or a faster build speed.

Then the classes have even less useful skills to buy and doesn’t feel worth using the Kyber Bricks or studs on the unlocks and doesn’t really change how the characters control or expands their move pools.

No instancing.
A minor issue I had was that the game features no instancing for the different planets, so whenever you are in a hub world then characters from all 3 of the eras can be seen walking around which does hamper immersion.

The first time this happened in a major way was playing through Revenge of the Sith and after Order 66 if you return back to the Jedi Temple then it’s still populated by Jedi and in the council chambers it still has Yoda, Mace Windy and Ki-Adi Mundi are still sat there to give the player a puzzle. Even when going through the sequel trilogy you can still see Phase 1 Clone Troopers or see Rebel Troopers walking around.

Like I said that this isn’t a big issue but I would of liked to see every planet to have 3 instances to visit with one instance for every era of Star Wars to try and keep the continuity consistent.

No online multiplayer for consoles.
While there is local multiplayer that is good for playing with friends or family, the split screen that comes from this can mess up camera angles making it more difficult to navigate the game.

They decided to go for a vertical split screen approach instead of horizontal, so you lose a lot of widescreen around your character making it easy to get shot from offscreen.

Unfortunately this is the only form of multiplayer as there is no officially supported online option for consoles (There is Steam Play on PC but users are reporting it’s very laggy and frequently crashes), so it’s either couch co-op or nothing which is a shame.

The intro.
Whenever you skip the opening movie for the game to get to the title screen, it stops on a slow panning shot up to the characters with the voice actor for Rey saying “I need someone to show me my place in all this” and it happens every time and it would be so much better if it would actually skip to the main menu instead of wasting time every time you boot up the game.

The obvious workaround is that when you use the skip function then it should fully skip the opening and go to the main menu or at least change up the quotes so we hear from other characters, so it’s not the same drawn out quote every time.

This is a minor issue but really grates since it’s pretty unfeasible to beat the entire game in one sitting, so I heard the quote so often and it was a minor annoyance but one that could easily be remedied by the skip button actually working.

No custom characters.
This isn’t a mark against The Skywalker Saga as it is a feature that wasn’t included in so it’s unfair to criticize it, but in the original PS2 games was that players could create a custom character to play through the game as.

The player could customise their weapon, head, torso and legs with all different parts from the other characters so players could create a fully unique character to play as and I just wish this feature was carried over to this new game as that was a feature on a PS2 game over 15 years ago but wasn’t included now.

Conclusion:
A good game that does a decent job of condensing 9 films worth of content into a shorter family friendly game.

I will say though that I enjoyed the previous Lego Star Wars games on the PS2 more as those games had more feature, more levels and a much more stable performance.

But if you are a fan of the franchise and need a collect-athon platformer to spend a long time on then you will definitely have a good time with this game.

Score: 7.0

Reece Imiolek
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

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The Next Axia6th July 2022
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