Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review: “Finally, THIS is the droid you’ve been looking for”
After 17 years of perfecting its formula, developer Traveller’s Tales has returned to the game that started it all and set out to remake LEGO Star Wars. But “redo” doesn’t do the ambition justice here. This is an all-new game, recreating not only the original film trilogy in LEGO form, but all nine films from the yellow text of A New Hope, including the “I am the senate” pose from the trilogy prequel to the final shot of The Rise of Skywalker (with a brilliantly cut sight gag). Everything is here. Not just the action sequences you know and love, but the towns, forests and swamps that surround them, all brought to life by LEGO and filled with Star Wars stories, puzzles and challenges. When a game goes all-in like this, Yoda was right. It is to do or not to do; there is no try. And Traveller’s Tales really, really did.
Quick Facts – LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Release date: April 5, 2022
Platform(s): PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Traveler’s Tales
Editor: Games Warner Bros.
The result is often stunning but varies widely in its feel and challenge. So let’s start with the movie recreations, because that’s what you’ll enjoy right off the bat, where you’ll start with 1977’s Episode IV: A New Hope. The movie scenes you play out are extremely authentic, fleshing out fleeting moments with likable gameplay sections as you copy famous moves from Luke, Obi-Wan and Rey (and the other 377 unlockable LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker characters Saga for this question). Even with that authenticity, it’s peppered with extremely silly humor that elicits frequent heartfelt laughs. Lando Calrissian’s “Helloooo” not addressing Princess Leia, here’s just *the chef’s kiss* brilliant.
The game recreates dogfights and gunfights with fluidity, precision, and detail as you shoot the Stormtroopers’ hats (rewarding headshots before ending them with a blast to the face, which feels a bit out of step considering the family nature of anything else), scattering LEGO bricks and studs with pristine physics, and marveling at ray-traced reflections that are the best I’ve seen on console. The game is super smooth the vast majority of the time, with only a few frame drop areas, although all of the cutscenes are oddly jerky on this PS5 version.
Every setting worth including has been recreated here in extremely playable ways, from Death Star trench racing to podracing and even navigating high waves to Death Star ruins. II. And once the classic trilogy is complete, you can play the prequels or the recent Skywalker trilogy and unlock them as you go. But that brings me to one of my few criticisms, and that is the complexity of what you actually need to do. The game is clearly designed to appeal to young gamers and older fans alike, but the vast majority of the gameplay is just a little too simple for me, a little adult. Press four directions on the d-pad to open this door, rotate two glasses to open this one. Break everything. While the end-game content (which I’ll get to shortly) requires a lot more thought for the most part, the movie levels themselves are pretty superficial.
That said, it’s remarkable that it’s simple to play and understand given the complexity of what’s actually being covered here. Orientation is perfectly implemented with glowing paths – gold for objective, blue for side mission – character switching is quick and easy, and even moving between worlds is simple thanks to the game giving you complete freedom, while automatically selecting the destination you actually need next with each new press of the confirmation button. It’s a masterclass in game design.
Admittedly, it takes some time to figure out how to buy new characters and their different costumes, figure out what you need to do to get the stud multipliers (which should be your number one priority rather than spending studs in the beginning), and indeed realizing it’s better to replay everything later when you’re better equipped, rather than struggling, smashing everything in an early level for half an hour just to get ‘True Jedi’ status for a Kyber Brick when you can do it in literally 5 seconds when you have all the multipliers active. Approach the first game as pure fun before the collecting work begins and you’ll have absolute fun playing through the films, thanks to the exorbitant production values and superb original scripts. They are brilliantly entertaining and worth the price of admission alone.
So what happens when they’re done? Well, playing each movie takes two to three hours, but the game then encourages you to replay levels in Free Play mode using other characters you’ve unlocked, with their different abilities. It also encourages you to explore the sprawling open areas, all with the goal of collecting minikits, blue Kyber blocks, characters, ships, and data cards. There are weeks of gameplay here if you want it 100%, and if you take your time it could last you all year. But whether you can bear the busy work will depend on your own disposition. After initially enjoying the added challenge of exploring on the main levels, I’ve found it to have gotten a little overwhelming over the past two days. For every well-designed puzzle or challenge for a player over 30 years of experience, there are five or six that were clearly designed to be completed by a child. With over 1,100 Kyber Bricks to find or earn, the odds of them all being captivating were always going to be slim, but collecting them all is unfortunately getting boring, and there are arguably better things you could do with your time. .
But if you don’t care about completion, everything here will be just plain bewildering, happily authentic, and literally seem like an entire galaxy of Star Wars entertainment. Each character and ship has an authentic backstory that you can read, and characters sometimes refer to each other when paired up in your party. Side missions take you to other planets on elaborate fetch quests that include X-Wing dogfights, treasure hunts, and ambushes, then return to pick up another prize of a Kyber Brick or a new one. ship.
Two droids are better than one
And there’s one more thing that will make this an almost essential purchase for parents: the split-screen two-player mode is just wonderful. Impressively appearing near solo visuals, you can either stay close and work as a team, or go off and do your own thing in any hub area. So one player can rearrange the layout of a confectioner’s shelves while another enters the bank vault through an open window or leads a father through the streets in a checkpoint race. Parents and children can enjoy all the play together, or bickering siblings can play separately, exploring central areas separately. Barring the occasional bug or crash (and I’ve encountered a few), it works like a charm and is a great reason to buy the game if you have someone else to play with. .
Creating LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was clearly a labor of love. You might grit your teeth that all that effort and authenticity went into a LEGO game and not some serious “game from the movie” offering, but the sheer ambition of the project and how that potential has been done so convincingly is a beautiful thing. It’s funny, playable, technically prodigious, massive and immensely authentic, it’s just a shame that it is sometimes so superficial and childish. But it’s important to remember that LEGO is a toy, and so is it. A beautiful, high quality that is wholesome and fun. And anyway, even adults will play with Star Wars toys. Just look at them.