LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

The Star Wars game we've all been waiting for.

by Diego Perez
LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga

While there have been LEGO video games for as long as most people can remember, the release of the first LEGO Star Wars in 2005 marked the debut of what most would consider to be the modern LEGO formula. Despite a lukewarm critical reception, the game’s quirky sense of humor and charming visual presentation made it an instant classic among a generation of kids who spent their time wading through a sea of licensed garbage. LEGO Star Wars holds a special place in many people’s hearts, and while TT Games’ follow-up licensed titles based on Harry Potter, Marvel, and Indiana Jones (to name a few) are definitely good as well, it’s LEGO Star Wars that’s the special one.

That’s an important thing to note, because this is a very important game for a lot of people, myself included. This is the return of a childhood staple, one that promises to not just rekindle the magic of those PS2 memories, but also to go above and beyond to offer the definitive open-world Star Wars experience. It’s not just being marketed as a return to form; it’s being touted as an expansive galaxy with sprawling locales to explore.

Everyone loved LEGO Star Wars, and after a basically endless slew of LEGO games released over the past decade and a half that just seem to blend together into a sea of boring bricks, it’s time to remind everyone why LEGO Star Wars is the one that people still hold so dear to their hearts. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug though, and plenty of people are going to be jumping into The Skywalker Saga without any fond memories attached to the series.

That fact raises the central question of this review: does LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga have anything to offer outside of its license and a heavy dose of nostalgia?

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If you want the short answer, then yes. The Skywalker Saga is an incredibly engaging trip through three trilogies that still has plenty to offer for those who don’t care for Star Wars. Combat has been entirely revamped with a combo system, the open-world areas are addicting to explore, the humor lands, there’s a compelling progression system this time around, and the collectathon nature of rounding up Kyber Bricks and characters alike makes it easy to sink hours upon hours into the game.

This is a huge step up from anything that TT Games has released in the past decade, and that’s even taking into account the significant strides that the studio has made with recent releases like LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 and LEGO DC Supervillains. If you want the long answer, well, here’s the rest of the review.

In the months following the initial reveal of The Skywalker Saga, the game’s release date kept shifting further and further back before being hit with an indefinite delay early last year. Delays aren’t anything out of the ordinary for most games, but plenty of people couldn’t shake the question: Why does a LEGO game need to be delayed? They churn these things out like clockwork. What could they possibly need all that time for?

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After playing through The Skywalker Saga, it’s clear why things took so long. This is easily the most ambitious LEGO game to date. Missions are incredibly varied. Boss fights are a blast. The open-world areas are massive and filled with countless collectibles. There are things to discover in space. There are side missions on every planet. There’s just so much going on.

This is such an improvement over the previous LEGO games that it doesn’t even feel right to call it a LEGO game. This is a fantastic open-world Star Wars game that just happens to be made out of LEGO bricks.

While you’d think that missions would end up feeling samey since they need to stretch nine films into five levels each, each level feels unique largely thanks to the variety of objectives and optional things to find along the way. Disabling the alarm system on a First Order ship at the beginning of Episode VII and finding a hidden cache of weapons to aid Poe and Finn on their escape, blowing up waves of battle droids on Naboo in a tower defense-esque section near the end of Episode I, and of course, there’s a pod racing level. The pacing is really well done.

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Of course, the highlights are the big moments from the movies. The Darth Maul fight in Episode I is wonderful, for example. It has multiple phases and chase scenes, complete with waves of battle droids in between. You’re not just wailing on the boss with a lightsaber. You may find yourself having to manually lift crates with the Force to create a safe passage across an electrified walkway or solve a battery puzzle to disable shields so you can progress down a hallway. The game never hangs on one mechanic for too long, so things are always exciting.

The game’s real strength, though, is in the open-world exploration. Collectibles called Kyber Bricks are scattered all across the galaxy. They usually require you to solve a simple puzzle to access them, but some just require some clever exploration or a side quest completion. These bricks are everywhere, and they’re just easy enough to get where you’ll easily find yourself distracted between main levels. You can use these to purchase upgrades too, so they’re absolutely worth collecting.

The Skywalker Saga actually has much more in common with Mario and other 3D platformers than you’d think. The game is at its best when it sets you loose on a planet and doesn’t hold your hand, letting you search for as many collectibles as you can find. Character swapping is easier than ever too, done via a menu that you can bring up at any time without loading, so you’re never inconvenienced when trying to collect a Kyber Brick or do a side quest.

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When you take into account that you can fly up to space at any time and just go planet hopping at your leisure, there are a ton of places to explore. It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of a full galaxy with multiple locales per planet, and the game actually delivers on that promise. Everything feels dynamic, the planets really feel alive. There are random encounters in space as well, so you may find yourself in a dogfight with TIE Fighter pilots on your way to Tatooine.

The side content is also equally as good. Sure, there are a few generic collectathons like most games have, but the quirky LEGO humor carries those lesser missions. Some side quests have more content than you’d think as well. An optional mission involving a taxi thief on Coruscant leads to an entire boss fight, for example. There really is an insane amount of content, and it’s all really fun to do.

Things have been dramatically improved in the gameplay department as well. Melee combat has been significantly overhauled. There’s now a combo system and each character has three different melee attacks including an aerial juggle. Lightsaber users can throw their weapon or use the Force to freely toss objects around. There’s a counter button. There’s a dodge mechanic. Things are finally deeper than just mashing the Square button.

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For ranged characters, the game becomes a surprisingly competent third-person shooter. After disabling the default lock-on setting, you can freely aim and line up shots from afar. There’s a cover system too, although it doesn’t serve much purpose since the game is pretty easy and those stormtroopers really can’t seem to hit their shots.

And of course, every defeated enemy breaks into a bunch of plastic pieces with an oh-so-satisfying clack. It’s just so much fun to smash things, too. Breaking and building are inherently satisfying, that’s why LEGOs are so popular after all. When you add in blasters and lightsabers though, not to mention the waves of studs that spill out of every object and enemy like pinatas, every scene feels like a messy 7 year old’s bedroom in the best way.

It’s really surprising just how solid The Skywalker Saga feels even without any help from its license. This is a fantastic game aside from the Star Wars and LEGO stuff. If you’re a fan of the franchise, that’s just the cherry on top. Everyone’s always wanted a Star Wars game like this. It’s a freely explorable galaxy that lets you run wild as your favorite characters and also relive your favorite moments from the movies. It’s a true celebration of Star Wars. A love letter to end all love letters. TT Games clearly adores the source material, and there’s so much love poured into every crack and crevice that it’s palpable.

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Don’t let the LEGO license fool you. This is the Star Wars game we’ve been waiting for. TT Games has built something truly special, brick by brick. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga isn’t just the best LEGO game out there. It’s also one of the best Star Wars games of all time.

This game was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the game's publisher,public relations company, developer or other for the express purpose of a review.

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  • Score: 4.5 / 5
  • Available On: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch
  • Published By: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Developed By: Traveller's Tales
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • US Release Date: April 5, 2022
  • Reviewed On: PS5
  • Quote: "Don't let the LEGO license fool you. This is the Star Wars game we've all been waiting for."
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