LEGO has a special way of parodying our favorite franchises in a way that no other medium can, like with The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie. This is accomplished once again in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which is a hilarious game that doesn't take itself too seriously. It alludes to popular jokes shared among fans and it leans into its toy nature, and it works... for the most part.
As a kid, I had played and replayed all of the LEGO Star Wars games that came out and so I was eager to check out this latest installment. I was a little worried that the gags wouldn't land as well with full voice acting, which the older LEGO Star Wars video games didn't have. But I'm happy to report that it only leads to a different but equally good kind of humor mixed in with old and new mechanics.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Bottom line: If you're a fan of the Star Wars series you will love the humorous twist LEGO puts on your favorite characters from another Galaxy far far away. All nine movies are in the game and you can play any trilogy in any order. Plus, the game offers plenty of replay value to keep you entertained for hours.
- Hilarious Star Wars retelling
- Large exploration areas
- Rewards you for smashing everything
- Hundreds of characters and ships to unlock
- Plenty of replay value
- Some glitching
- Tutorial inconsistency
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review code provided by WB Games. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga — What you will like
In LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, you experience all nine of the main Star Wars films. Anyone familiar with the older LEGO Star Wars games should note that this is not a remaster of those games, but rather a completely new take on them. This is also the first time that The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker have been made into LEGO video game adaptations.
|Title||LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga|
|Developer||TT Games, Traveller's Tales|
|Xbox Version||Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S|
|Game Size||38.182 GB|
|Play Time||13.5+ hours|
|Players||Multiplayer 1 - 2|
Players can start at the beginning of any of the three trilogies (the second and third installments of any trilogy must be unlocked by playing through the story before it), but I chose to play through all nine episodes in chronological order. Each episode is broken into chapters that usually simplifies the story down to just the bare bones needed to make sense. However, additional scenes are often thrown in to provide more gameplay or to poke fun at something in the series. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to run through each episode on average, and around 13 hours to beat the game, although you can go back and spend dozens of hours collecting everything you missed.
May the farce be with you
I can't tell you how many times LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga made me bust out loud laughing. Sometimes it was so bad that I had to pause the game and wait until I had regained my composure from the funniest moments. The prequel and original trilogies were especially willing to make fun of themselves. For instance, when Padme revealed that she was actually Queen Amidala in disguise, it turned into a Spartacus scene where every other character around her also claimed to be Queen Amidala including an old bearded man.
Another amusing moment is when I was riding the speeder bikes on Endor. Luke made a comment about how bad of an idea it was to have these vehicles in a place where there were so many trees and suggested that it would have been a better idea to use them on Tatooine. I won't ruin any more of the jokes, but they often played around with familiar memes and jabs fans make at the series.
It helps that many of the voice actors do a decent job mimicking the actors from the films with one notable exception. Qui-Gon Jinn's lines always sound like they're being said by a bad Sean Connery impersonator, but that in and of itself kind of makes his appearances more fun.
Characters, collectibles, gameplay, and replay value
The first time you play a chapter, you have to do it in Story Mode, which means you need the specific characters that belong in that story. However, once completed you unlock Free Play mode and can replay it using any unlocked characters. Seeing Kylo Ren run around with Chewbacca at the Mos Eisley Cantina was jarring and funny at the same time.
Characters, which all fall into one of the 10 character classes, are unlocked by completing specific challenges. For instance, I only unlocked Bobba Fett once I had played through The Empire Strikes Back sections. There are hundreds of characters and ships but you sometimes cannot unlock them all on your first playthrough, so you'll want to come back to a mission and try it again with different characters' skills.
I was surprised by how large and complex the exploration areas were. If it wasn't for the map and waypoints, I could easily have gotten lost. There are hidden blue Kyber Crystals and secrets everywhere in places like Coruscant, Hoth's Echo Base, or Starkiller Base that require specific character class skills to unlock. Once you have one of each class of characters, you can easily swap between usable characters for the area to solve puzzles. Within levels, players can seek out Minikits that are similarly locked behind puzzles or hiding for players to find. Finding all of these Minikits unlocks various ships for you to use.
This game not only indulges your desire to smash everything in sight but also rewards you for it by giving you studs that can be used to buy things (a feature also in the older LEGO video games). When on an active mission and not in the exploration areas, you always have the goal to collect enough LEGO studs to fill a large gauge. This gauge is split into three parts and earns you a Kyber Crystal for each filled section, but if you fill all of them, you unlock the rank of True Jedi. I honestly cannot tell you how many times I got distracted from completing the main mission because I wanted to build up that gauge.
Your collected studs and Kyber Crystals can be exchanged to level up your characters. There are basic level-ups that effect every character like increasing basic running speed or stud magnetism, but I can also spend these hard-earned items to increase the powers of the different classes. For instance, I upgraded the Astromech Socket Expert skill so droids like R2-D2 can bypass a specific puzzle with just the press of a button.
Whenever the story takes players into the sky or into space, you'll board an iconic Star Wars ship and get to participate in the battle. This also means that I was able to drive a podracer in Episode 1, even if the level itself wasn't an actual race. Ship controls handled well and I was happy to find that I could invert the Y axis.
Additionally, whenever you wrap up a chapter that takes place on a planet, you'll be brought into space to fly to another. While here, pressing the View Button brings up a map of the galaxy and allows you to warp to any planet you've unlocked so far. There are also a few missions to complete when hovering over a planet like defeating bounty hunters, unlocking new characters, or shooting out comets for Kyber Crystals, so you can spend extra time with your favorite ships if you'd like.
I played with my husband to get a better understanding of LEGO Star Wars' two-player co-op. The game implements a split-screen so two players can investigate anywhere they want without being beholden to each other. This allows them to solve puzzles on their own or unlock collectibles. There are also several puzzles that required us to work together, but some can be solved single-handedly. Additionally, both players can switch to any available characters at any time except for the one that the other player is occupying.
One thing that can be mildly frustrating is that if one player initiates a mission, the other will be pulled into it. So it's good to communicate with each other so you don't rip someone away from reaching a Kyber Crystal they've just climbed up a building to get. Overall, multiplayer worked very well and allowed us to unlock True Jedi faster than I could on my own.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a great game to share with people of all ages. While you do have a health bar, the gameplay is relatively simple and you'll spawn right back into place if an enemy destroys you. This is one of the best Xbox kids games since the gameplay is relatively chill and you can enjoy it with anyone of any skill level including young children.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga — What you won't like
I had a hard time getting through the latest trilogy with Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren since these movies have never sat well with me. In addition to not really caring for these stories, it felt like the LEGO humor wasn't able to land nearly as well as it had in the prequel and original trilogies. Fortunately, if you don't like one of the trilogies, you can easily skip it and still enjoy the others, although this will prevent you from unlocking certain characters and ships.
Another frustrating thing was that I experienced several glitches throughout the Skywalker Saga that required me to restart the game in order to keep playing. It's very likely that these complications and others will be written out in upcoming patches, but you should be aware of them. Among the most notable ones, mission markers and waypoints failed to show up while I was in the vast multilevel Gungan city from The Phantom Menace, which made it nearly impossible to find the specific doorway I needed to advance the story. Once I restarted the game, these markers showed up right away.
Additionally, I had to restart after meeting Jango Fett at the cloning facility on Tipoca. A cutscene was supposed to play, but all I got was the voice acting and subtitles on a black screen before the game crashed. There was also a time or two while playing in co-op where the game didn't go back to split-screen after a cutscene until player two pushed the LB button to switch characters.
My last complaint is that when I first started playing The Phantom Menace, I was hit with several tutorials that went through how to use the various menus and character skills. However, sometimes these tutorials would pop up chapters after I had already gotten the hang of using the controls. Not to mention, I was forced to sit through some of the same tutorials again when I beat Revenge of the Sith and started A New Hope. Fortunately, these tutorials didn't pop up again when I started the last trilogy.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga — Should you play it?
If you're a fan of Star Wars, you definitely should pick the Skywalker Saga up. The silly LEGO logic subverted my expectations and allowed me to view these classic stories in a whole new light while making me laugh every few minutes. This humor was especially well done in the original and prequel trilogies. However, the sequel trilogy felt more serious and the gags didn't land nearly as often.
Regardless. the number of collectibles including the large cast of characters and ships you can unlock give the game plenty of replay value. Plus, it can be a fun social experience if you run through it with a friend in two-player co-op. Overall, the game is laid back enough so people of any skill level can enjoy it.
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