This Is So Wizard, Ani
HIGH A charming, jam-packed game that retells the Star Wars saga.
LOW No online co-op.
WTF Quick Skywalker Saga ranking: V, VIII, IV, VII, VI, I, III,II, IX
I completely fell off Star Wars in 2019 after watching The Rise of Skywalker, though I haven’t been in love with Star Wars in years. What used to be a series that inspired me and was the center of my pop culture consumption began to suffer from bizarre decisions and a feeling of insularity.
In spite of this, I eagerly awaited Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga if for no reason other than the Lego games are consistently enjoyable action-platformers. They’re nothing too special, but I’ve always loved them — but in a weird way, I think the Skywalker Saga has shaken up the formulas of both properties.
A third-person action-adventure, The Skywalker Saga takes players through Lego-themed versions of the nine main Star Wars films. Each film is broken up into various levels, with a few open-ended hub areas full of sidequests to complete.
The Legofied versions of these worlds are gorgeous, sporting some impressive attention to detail. Seeing a Star Destroyer made of plastic bricks flying across the screen in the opening of A New Hope was a treat, as was a later mission where Luke Skywalker was tasked with destroying the Death Star. I loved seeing the lego branding and certain textures that made them look like bricks that had worn down from play. These images on my screen looked like the actual toys — kind of how Hot Wheels Unleashed managed to recreate the experience of playing with its toys in real life.
The gameplay is just as refined as the visuals.
Instead of the simplistic combat featured in other Lego titles, there’s a new combo system that encourages players to try different attacks. Every character has a set of melee and ranged options that can be combined with certain conditions, like jumping or running. Playing as a Jedi now feels a lot closer to a traditional hack-and-slash game as they can chain attacks together, block incoming strikes and even throw their lightsabers. Gun-toting characters control like they do in standard third-person shooters with the camera going into an over-the-shoulder view when aiming a blaster. They can also get behind cover during firefights.
I love how much more fluid and engaging the combat felt, and the combo system added a lot of flair and even more rewards as attaining a higher combo nets players studs (currency) they can use to buy characters they unlock, new ships, and even upgrades that are used in tandem with a new collectible called Kyber Bricks, used to upgrade certain stats that can either be applied to every character (like faster running, more health, faster building during gameplay) or to specific classes of character like Jedi, Scoundrels, Bounty Hunters, etc.
Levels are linear for the most part, with a few different types that make up the bulk of each ‘film’. There are standard segments where players need to reach the end of a level while fighting enemies, solving simple puzzles and collecting a few things — one such structure is used to showcase the opening of The Phantom Menace when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are sent to negotiate with the Trade Federation.
There are also vehicle bits, like in The Force Awakens when Finn and Rey escape Jakku on the Millenium Falcon. These play out like dogfights where players have to shoot enemies, take out weak spots on bigger ships, and avoid getting blown up. While we’ve seen a lot of great Star Wars-themed flight games, the way this one controls might make it my personal favorite due to the speed and the way combat, as well as its overall smoothness.
Boss battles make up huge chunks of the story modes thanks to the Star Wars films boasting an impressive rogues’ gallery across the galaxy. Taking on Darth Vader as Luke in Empire Strikes Back is great, as it feels like a real one-on-one duel. The camera gets up-close during clashes, and short quick-time events pop up. Other fights include taking on Boba Fett in Cloud City, Darth Maul on Naboo, and the climactic lightsaber duel on Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith.
Outside of all that, there are free-roaming hubs full of sidequests where players can switch between the 300+ different characters on offer. This crew runs the gamut from mainstays like Han Solo, to lesser-known creatures like the Jizz Music-playing (yes that’s what it’s called) blue elephant Max Rebo. These characters can either be unlocked by playing the main story modes, buying them with in-game currency, or by using cheats the developer has put out on social media.
As much as I loved the gameplay and the campaigns, I do wish there was an online co-op component. I know couch co-op is integral to the Lego experience, but in an era where it’s hard to get a group together for several reasons, it would have been nice to have the option to hit friends up online.
Regardless of that omission, I enjoyed so much about the experience, including both its humor and its reverence for the Star Wars franchise. References to things like the blue milk from A New Hope and Last Jedi, Palpatine constantly switching between his evil and normal persona, and so many other gags made it really special. It’s not just a great Lego game, it’s arguably the best Star Wars game and it made me remember why I loved this series in the first place and I’m getting back into the franchise — movies, TV, books and more — again.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a joyous blast from the past that not only offers a healthy serving of plastic-coated nostalgia, but also provides a light-hearted, refined, and content-packed adventure. I had a great time revisiting this galaxy far, far, far away, and I know many fans — like me! — will too.
Disclosures: This game is published Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games. It is available on PS4/5 PC, XBO/X/S and Switch. This copy was obtained via publisher for review and was reviewed on XBS. Approximately 25 hours were spent in single-player and was completed. No time was spent in the co-op modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E10 for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief. The official site description states: This is an action-adventure game in which players control Lego versions of Star Wars characters. Players traverse legendary locations, solve puzzles, and battle enemy forces (e.g., battle droids, stormtroopers) in melee-style combat. Players use punches, blasters, lightsabers, and staff attacks to defeat enemies that break apart into Lego pieces. Battles are frenetic, accompanied by laser-fire effects, explosions, and cries of pain. The game also includes protracted one-on-one boss battles with Star Wars villains. In one sequence, a pile of Lego studs resembling feces can be seen next to a janitor.
Colorblind Modes: Colorblind modes are not present in the options menu.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers: I spent most of my time playing the game on mute and found no issues. Everything has some visual cue, though subtitles can be resized. In my view, this game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: Yes, the controls are remappable and there is a control diagram. The Y-axis can also be changed.