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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review: Fulfill your destiny

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the definitive LEGO Star Wars experience.

3

The LEGO Star Wars series is arguably the most revered of the LEGO gaming franchise, and is a driving force behind how popular the brand has become. With the episodic Star Wars films now concluded, developer TT Games has returned to a galaxy far, far away with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which compiles all nine episodic Star Wars films into one massive package. It’s an impressive final product that celebrates both the cinematic and LEGO history of the Star Wars saga.

In a galaxy not-so far away…

With LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being the sixth entry in the LEGO Star Wars franchise, there’s a good deal of content that makes it feel like we’ve been here before. That said, the developers do an excellent job at consolidating the stories from the films into much more palatable experiences. Each of the nine films is essentially a chapter in the game, with players having access to the first film in each trilogy to start off.

Although it only takes a handful of hours to “complete” a film in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, the game still incorporates the greatest setpieces from each of the movies into those levels. The Death Star trench run in A New Hope and the Podracing sequence from The Phantom Menace are among the iconic Star Wars moments that feel just as thrilling in-game.

Though most of these stories have been featured in some capacity in previous LEGO Star Wars titles, both Episode 8: The Last Jedi and Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker make their LEGO debut in this game. Continuing the story of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, these chapters feel like a worthy sequel to 2016’s LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What’s instantly noticeable in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, is how deep of a reverence and care it has for the source material. The game cleverly recreates moments from the films in a way that captures the same sense of awe, while still adhering to the silliness of the LEGO universe. Star Wars fans that have rewatched the films countless times will find endless references and easter eggs to even the smallest moments.

Where this entry breaks away from past LEGO Star Wars titles is in how heavily it features voice acting. While most LEGO Star Wars titles used human voices sparingly, Skywalker Saga has fully voiced cutscenes and dialogues for just about every character. While I was initially concerned this would take away from the playful approach, it’s actually an excellent pair to the game’s enhanced visuals and animation.

Forces of light and dark

From a gameplay standpoint, combat in The Skywalker Saga asks you to do a lot of spamming and button-mashing, but TT Games does take effort to evolve the experience with new features like cover, which lets players stick to barriers Gears-of-War-style and fire at oncoming foes. It’s also impressive how in a game that lets you play as hundreds of characters, most of them feel unique from one another. Shooting enemies with Boba Fett’s blaster feels nothing like slicing through them with Yoda’s lightsaber, or sending them flying with Chewbacca’s Bowcaster. There’s also a dismemberment system in which pieces will fall off of enemies and they’ll lose parts of their armor as you attack them, which is a neat touch.

There are a plethora of puzzles sprinkled into every environment, some necessary to progress the main objective, while others will lead you to bonus rewards. I found the puzzles to be pretty familiar yet solid, as it's clear that the LEGO games aren’t going to reinvent the wheel anytime soon.

Similar to combat, each class of character brings something unique to the table in terms of puzzle-solving. There are terminals that can’t be unlocked without an Astromech Droid, crates that only a Jedi or Sith can open, and so on. While in Mos Espa, I met a Twi'lek that spoke a different language than my human characters. Returning with C-3PO, I was able to understand the language and receive a special quest. It’s this design style that encourages players to shake up their approach and revisit old areas.

Your first step into a larger world

In true LEGO fashion, the main missions and storyline is just a fraction of the full experience in The Skywalker Saga. In fact, you’ll probably miss out on the vast majority of content during your first play through of the story. Each level is riddled with collectibles and secrets. While I didn’t care to turn over every last stone, I liked how the game rewarded my curiosity with new side missions and rewards. Though I liked discovering new ships and adding characters to my roster, this is also where I ran into one of my key issues with the Skywalker Saga.

As an all-encompassing game that crams in content from nine films, Skywalker Saga can sometimes feel cluttered due to its excessive hidden items, bonus challenges, Minikits, and everything else that’s thrown in the mix. You’re constantly bombarded with notifications, new available objectives, and about a dozen things that you just missed in whatever level you recently completed. While the die-hard fans and completionists will likely find a lot of joy in this, it can be a bit overwhelming for players just looking for a fun romp through the Star Wars story.

Outside of the main story quests, players can hop into Free Play mode to explore the galaxy with zero restrictions. You can visit planets from any era with whatever characters you have available. It’s here that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga delivers as the ultimate LEGO Star Wars sandbox. Whether it's Rey dashing through the streets of Coruscant during the days of the Galactic Empire, or watching Mace Windu go head-to-head with Supreme Leader Snoke, it feels like the possibilities are endless in terms of what Star Wars fantasies you can bring to life on screen.

Free Play also lets you revisit completed story missions without the restraints of character locks. In addition to crossing over beloved characters from throughout the Star Wars canon, there are new events that can take place if you bring specific characters to levels in Free Play. It’s in the vast amount of explorable worlds and playable characters that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga delivers endless replayability.

All the pretty pieces

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is undoubtedly the best looking LEGO video game to date. Not that the series was ever known for its graphical fidelity, but this game is gorgeous, particularly on the Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles. It’s neat seeing lightsabers shine onto a character's face, as the light realistically bounces off of nearby objects.

There’s also fine detail in the characters and structures themselves. With everything being made of LEGOs, you can spot small imperfections in the models and connecting joints in the plastic. It allows the game to look authentic without coming off as overly polished.

Encompassing all of the nine episodic films, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga also serves as a greatest hits for all the tunes heard throughout the series. From the upbeat Cantina Band to epic songs like Duel of the Fates, The Imperial March, and March of the Resistance, having the instantly-recognizable work of John Williams feels like the connective tissue of the Skywalker Saga.

May the force be with us

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the definitive LEGO Star Wars experience. Although the game can feel a bit cluttered with its overload of collectibles and shiny things to look at, it’s an impressive collection of the full saga. With a staggering amount of characters to play as and worlds to explore, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga puts a beautiful bow on LEGO’s premier franchise.


This review is based on a digital Xbox Series X code provided by the publisher. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga launches on April 5, 2022 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Pros
  • Excellent compilation of the Skywalker Saga
  • New combat features
  • Cleverly weaves humor into narrative
  • Voice acting elevates the story
  • Stunning visuals
Cons
  • Excessive collectibles and challenges
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