It’s been a while since we’ve had a full-on LEGO® title from TT Games. But the wait is over – LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is finally here. The game is a combination of the newly named TT Games Studios, complete LEGO-focused history. A history that began in 2005 with the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. A game that combined LEGO toys and the iconic Star Wars universe into something many expected not to work yet evidently did and spawned an incredible range of games. I’ve had the opportunity to play the game early so here are my first impressions of the game. (Apologies for the limited screenshots, Broadband issues have given me just under an hour to capture and transfer images)
The Skywalker Saga spans the entire 3 main film trilogies from the originals to the recent Disney era films. That’s 9 films and a heck of a lot of characters, with more to come through DLC packs. The essence of the game is to offer the most complete LEGO Star Wars adventure ever. I’d go as far as to say it’s the most complete Star Wars game ever. There have been plenty of non-LEGO Star Wars but none of which cover as much as this game does. At first, it’s extremely overwhelming, with so much to see and so many places to go, which is not a bad thing. Much has been made of being able to go anywhere, at any time and do stuff in any order you want. This isn’t exactly the case; you can begin any of the trilogies from the off, but the rest of the films in each of them are unlocked as you play so you can’t jump into Return of the Jedi, without first playing A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Despite that, it’s certainly one of the most open LEGO games. Hubs are basically areas of a planet and levels sort of spring up as you wander around. So the stories unfold through levels, hubs and cutscenes.
That classic LEGO humour can be found throughout the game, especially in the cutscenes but even as you potter through levels. Onboard Imperial ships, you’ll open doors to find showering Stormtroopers. As you search Cloud City, you discover Lando’s cape collection. One of the biggest laughs I had so far was as the Emperor boards the new Death Star, but I won’t spoil it here. Although this is the most complete Star Wars game, it does feel slightly rushed in places. Some iconic story beats you’ll be sitting there expecting to see are completely skipped. I guess the game covers a vast expanse of Star Wars content so every single moment of the films cannot be included as it would have never been released.
Shortcomings certainly don’t affect gameplay content. There is so much to do across all facets of the game. Levels have the familiar A to B formula and stud collecting mechanics but now there are challenges to complete, these aren’t obvious at first but can be easily tracked in the fairly in-depth menus. Outside of levels, you’ll have Kaber Bricks to track down and other collectables to discover. Characters you meet in the hub-like areas will offer up rumours to help you learn where to go searching for new things to do. Obviously, certain characters will only be able to tackle certain obstacles so many of these will need to be revisited as you unlock more stuff.
Another new aspect of gameplay takes place in the depths of space. You can jump into a ship and blast across the galaxy to reach your next objective. Along the way, you’ll be greeted by Imperial skirmishes, checkpoint races and collectable-filled comets. This really adds a new level of fun to games. Helping Rebel Alliance squadrons takedown Imperials is fun as it is just potter about the galaxy looking for things to discover but flying really comes into its own during levels. Taking control of vehicles breaks up the on-foot gameplay nicely.
As I mentioned right at the beginning, things can be a little overwhelming at times and this is especially the case within the menus. For seasoned gamers, they won’t be anything new, but they are for LEGO Games. Yet you’ll easily get use to them. Characters classes can be upgraded and some of the aspects previously achieved from Red Bricks are now tied to character upgrades such as Fast Build, Collectible Detention and attracting studs. Collecting characters and ships can be done through gameplay but also through challenges in the hub worlds. Everything feels familiar yet expanded upon. It’s a game that will keep you busy for more than a few hours. Offering a fresh take on the much-loved LEGO Games genre.
The integration of LEGO elements has been extremely well integrated. As you watch cutscenes you see the LEGO name printed on bricks and other elements. You can even see the textured surfaced of some elements. Characters and sets are show signs of wear and dirt. So as you play on Tatooine, characters are covered in sandy scuffs and on Endor the muddy forest affects the digital LEGO pieces. The huge capital ships are outstanding and must contain millions of digital LEGO bricks! Which means they could be built with physical bricks, if you happen to have enough.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is released tomorrow and is playable on PlayStation 4 and PS5 with a free upgrade available. On Xbox series console, including Smart Delivery upgrade, Nintendo Switch and PC. You can also get the digital version directly from your platform’s digital stores. A Season Pass is also available offering access to additional characters inspired by spin-off Disney+ and animated shows. I’ve been playing on PS5 and although it looks good and offers HDR I don’t think there will be much difference in performance on previous generation consoles. There doesn’t appear to be any console specific enchantments such as making use of the DualSense controller.
LEGO Games often offer more once the main playthrough is complete so I’ll share more thoughts once I’ve played through more of the game. I will say, if you enjoy LEGO games and/or Star Wars, this is the perfect game for both sets of fans. It certainly expands upon the classic formula but adds so much more to offer an almost completely fresh LEGO Games experience.
Thanks to Warner Bros. Games for supplying Bricksfanz with a free copy of the game to review. The thoughts expressed within this review of that of BricksFanz and not of Disney, Warner Media, TT Games, or the LEGO Group.