What is that? A Lego parody adaptation of the nine Star Wars movies with PS2-era sensibilities.
Expect to pay $50/£40
Developer TT Games
Editor Warner Bros.
Reviewed on Core i5 12600K, RTX 3070, 32GB DDR5, Windows 11
Multiplayer? Local co-op, online via Steam Remote Play
Link Official site (opens in a new tab)
I knew I was going to have a great time with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga when I started the Prequel Trilogy part and saw Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan’s ship stop at a traffic gate floating in space. After a quick videoconference with the Trade Federation – who hastily tried to hide their evil plans, labeled “evil plans” – Qui Gon and Obi Wan walk through the door, accidentally knocking an unfortunate battle droid, sending him floating in space.
The Skywalker Saga pushes its charm, with virtually every cutscene featuring a visual gag or punchline at the expense of the film series. Kylo Ren pumps iron and flexes as Rey contacts him in this infamous scene from The Last Jedi. Ben Kenobi pops popcorn before watching Leia’s message in A New Hope. At the start of Revenge of the Sith, Lego Count Dooku makes cheeky plastic popular noise as Anakin chops off his head.
That saucy sense of humor reminds me of the classic Star Wars Spaceballs parody at best, and it really centers the experience. Lego Star Wars has been working its weird magic since 2005, and the show’s impassioned jokes have often been able to elevate what might otherwise be just a soulless merger of two brands. The Skywalker Saga looks to be the definitive entry, covering all the ground from previous games in the series, as well as The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker in Lego form for the first time. The result is a handbag of different styles in play, all given just enough depth to make them work, held together by this line of humor and charm.
The offer is huge, although it brings to mind recent reports of crisis, bullying and high staff turnover on the project at developer TT Games. The final product is full of joy, but the alleged human suffering behind it casts a cloud over the game’s release.
As in previous Lego games, every character, vehicle and interactive object in the game is built from Lego, with a commitment to the destructibility and creativity inherent in the medium. You often have to break down detritus and environmental objects to produce the raw materials for puzzle solutions, and some playable droids can split in half to squeeze through tight spaces. The currency of the game is, as always, “studs”, those tiny, one-peg pieces that always seem to end up in sofa cushions.
The real world terrain and most of the buildings have always been realistic rather than made from Lego in the series, and here in The Skywalker Saga the ridiculously detailed environments add another layer to the presentation. The Gungan Undersea City on Naboo or the Star Destroyer Graveyard on Jakku seem like maps from a lost Battlefront game. Instead, they’re inhabited by cute little Lego versions of iconic Star Wars characters. It has a similar effect to Mario exploring New Donk City in Nintendo’s Mario Odyssey, a wonderfully absurd combination of cartoon characters with an authentic world.
The charm of the setting also extends to the voice acting, a feature that didn’t convince me until I started The Skywalker Saga. Back in the hazy prehistoric mists of the mid-2000s, I played a Lego Star Wars full of charismatic mimes miming the events of the series, and change is a hard thing to deal with. Thankfully, The Skywalker Saga sells the dialogue with incredible acting talent.
Not only is there a stellar cast of veteran voice actors, including alumni reprising their roles from The Clone Wars and other spin-offs, but several actors from the movies are also returning. Brian Blessed as Boss Nass, Anthony Daniels as C3-PO, and even Billy Dee Williams as Lando are all a joy to hear.
yoda can cry
Mechanically, The Skywalker Saga is a jack-of-all-trades, blending multiple genres across its nine condensed film campaigns and a slew of side content. The Skywalker saga is more of a 3D brawler, with very easy encounters disguising a surprisingly deep melee combat system. With lightsabers or fists you can launch opponents into the air and combine them into oblivion, kick and counter like Dante from Devil May Cry. Most enemies fall a little too fast to pull off anything crazy, but The Skywalker Saga’s many boss fights provide more opportunities for flashy stunts.
Unfortunately, those same boss fights are a little stuffed for my liking. I don’t mind General Grievous’ multiple health bars so much as the fact that we have to take a break between each, with him fleeing in a cutscene followed by a mandatory battle droid cleanup and confusing light platforming. It really kills my Duel of the Fates buzz, and that’s a shame because otherwise those fights are where the combat really starts to come to life for me.
Jedi characters also have access to a Force throwing ability to pick up and throw objects and enemies, while non-Force-powered characters have rudimentary third-person shooting mechanics with their blasters. All of these options leave you with a weirdly deep toolbox for ease of challenges. The game offers a stress-free sandbox with room to experiment as you please, but I was ultimately not enamored with its combat, and The Skywalker Saga’s longer fights bored me a little.
Apart from the usual brawls, The Skywalker Saga also features extensive space and aerial combat. I find dogfighting to be a bit more engaging than ground fighting. The challenges are still fairly simple, but being able to fly and explore space made up for it. I especially like how The Skywalker Saga lets you move around planetary orbits between missions, shoot down meteors, and unearth side missions. As with planetary environments, TT Games swings for the fences with its hi-fi space backdrops: dogfights take place on phenomenal skyboxes of Star Wars’ colorful planetary systems.
The countless areas of the planet can be revisited at will after the completion of their story missions, and they contain various puzzles, side quests and mini-games, some of which can only be tackled after the game when the right character has been unlocked. You’re limited to canon cast during story missions, but free play lets you choose from dozens of unlockable major and minor Star Wars characters. This ties into a long-term key time sink – Kyber Bricks, the main collectible in this game. There are over 1,100 of them hidden throughout the game, and I only discovered one. little more than a tenth during my game. In a first series, they are also linked to a light progression system. You can invest them in upgrades for all playable characters or in small bonuses for individual archetypes such as Jedi, Hero or Bounty Hunter. Many of the more hidden Kyber Bricks reminded me of Mario Odyssey’s creative moon placement, and I could see sufficiently motivated players invest the time necessary to find them all.
Phone a friend
The Lego Star Wars series has been defined by its commitment to drop-in couch co-op, and The Skywalker Saga is no different in that regard. With a second input method and the press of a button, player two can take control of one of your secondary characters. It’s perfect for gaming on a laptop in a dorm room, or maybe if you’re one of those new millennium dad types with a media center PC, but it’s not a good choice for the desktop game, and The Skywalker Saga cries out for online co-op. TT Games has no online gaming system in place, but there is Steam Remote Play to fill the void. I had never used this feature before, but it didn’t take too much hassle to get a friend of mine across the country to control Han Solo on my Obi Wan in A New Hope, all without having a copy of the game to boot. Unfortunately, that proved a bit too much for one or both of our shaky internet connections, and the Comcast corporation proved to be the biggest adversary to fun in a galaxy far, far away. I lost my friend and had to invite him three times in one hour of gameplay. As things stand, you’ll need fairly reliable internet on one or both ends to enjoy co-op online in this game – and you’ll need to own the game on Steam rather than Epic.
The Skywalker saga isn’t a particularly demanding game, and I was able to maintain an almost locked 144fps at 1440p with an RTX 3070, but the graphics menu is relatively sparse. I didn’t have any significant graphical glitches or performance issues other than the game resetting its refresh rate to 60Hz every time I quit and came back – annoying, but not a dealbreaker. What it lacks in graphics options, it makes up for with an incredibly granular accessibility menu. I enjoyed the multiple sub sizes, different settings for health regeneration/static HP mics, and alternatively making QTEs easier or even removing them altogether.
The Skywalker Saga is an impressive package, successfully adapting some of the most iconic sci-fi films of all time with playful mockery and loving adherence to the source material. The only shame is that its sense of lively fun contrasts so much with the game’s development stories, mismanagement would have imposed undue stress and suffering on the people who made this whimsical journey possible. I can only hope that the developer’s next project is delivered under better circumstances.