LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Header

Just like the inevitable 1×2 plate in your brand new LEGO set, the video games of the LEGO franchise are an unmissable part of the gaming landscape. Since the original LEGO Star Wars, Traveller’s Tales has spent years making incremental changes by way of pirates, superheroes, and dinosaurs. Coming full circle, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has been championed as a complete refresh for the blocky builders. That’s not really the case, but this is still the most ambitious, the most extensive, and ultimately, the most impressive LEGO game ever made.

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game released in 2005, and it set in place the fundamentals for all the Lego games that followed. Co-operative play, welcoming puzzling, multiple characters, and humorous takes on classic movie scenes made them a family favourite, and none of those things have been lost in The Skywalker Saga. Despite the visual changes this is an instantly recognisable entry in the Lego franchise, and that’s further emphasised by the sense of narrative familiarity you’re going to feel at various points.

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Barring The Last Jedi and Rise of the Skywalker, Traveller’s Tales has been here before, with seven of the Star Wars films having already been given the Lego treatment. Everything in The Skywalker Saga has been built from scratch, but when you’re dropped back into a corridor with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi it’s going to tickle those memory strands like it’s 2005 all over again.

LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Review Phantom Menace

The difference here is that Traveller’s Tales has finally learnt the importance of pacing. Where previous games have laboured the point, forcing you to smash every brick like a Miley Cyrus chart-topper, the franchise compilation nips along at lightspeed, pulling you through each film quicker than their actual run time. That is, if you let them. If you fancy a leisurely Bacta Tank bathe rather than a Kessel Run you can meander off into the expansive open world levels that are interspersed with the more linear ones, breaking bricks, collecting studs, solving puzzles and making connections with the locals. Unlocking every secret and smashing every stud gives you a perfect reason to return, and there’s more to do here than ever before.

It’s aided by a serious visual upgrade. The viewpoint has shifted to an over-the-shoulder view that gives the action a bit more oomph when you’re smacking the heck out of stormtroopers, and it’s a key improvement for the game’s renewed outlook. The Lego itself looks more like living plastic than ever before, with the build up of rubs, marks, and sand adding to the impression that this is a real world. Or at least a tangible, well-imagined one. For all of those who’ve ever played with Lego figures in a sandbox, this is the closest thing to that without annoying your parents.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Combat

It’s a shame then that Traveller’s Tales don’t seem to be able to turn in a functionally perfect game. Despite this being a new custom engine, it still feels like there’s some creaky code underneath the shiny new paintwork. Even on PS5 the Skywalker Saga exhibits spots of screen tearing and judder, the same problems that have hung around the series since the very beginning. While I appreciate that they’ve come full circle, they should have left these parts out of the loop.

You can at least laugh it off thanks to the Skywalker Saga’s trademark TT humour. This is one of those rare things; a genuinely funny game that will spark laughter in the young and the feeling-less young-by-the-day crowd, and if you’re a fan of the Star Wars films you’ll yelp in delight at regular intervals. Of course, it’s incredibly silly – Luke milking the creatures with dairy machines at the start of The Last Jedi and then being served his milk by a Porg barman is only one of the ridiculous moments that springs to mind – but that works completely in its favour. It manages to mix serious action and emotion with slapstick and stormtrooper gags; I love it.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Han Solo

The voices in charge of the one-liners are provided by a mix of original cast members such as Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, alongside animated Star Wars alumni like Sam Witwer and Tom Kane. It can be occasionally distracting when they don’t quite sound like you’re expecting, and I found myself deliberately listening out for the inconsistencies. Mind you, Helen Sadler’s take on Rey is so good I genuinely couldn’t tell the difference, and no matter who’s delivering the iconic lines, it’s all done with passion and clear affection for the subject matter.

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Summary
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the most ambitious Lego game yet, and despite the occasional technical mishap it delivers a daring and often delightful romp through the most iconic film franchise of all time.
Good
  • Nine films to play through
  • Beautiful visuals
  • Huge amount to unlock
Bad
  • Screen tearing and pop-in
  • Sometimes a whistle-stop tour through each narrative
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve been playing this with my son. Doesn’t feel like a huge departure from other Lego games really. We’re enjoying it, but it’s nothing new.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely still very familiar. Very well done, but familiar!

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