LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

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Star Wars and LEGO games feel like they have been around forever right? The first Star Wars game was The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1982 for the Intellivision and Atari 2600. LEGO Fun to Build was officially the first LEGO game released way back in 1995 on the Sega Pico. It wasn’t until 2001 that LEGO started getting into the licensing game with LEGO Creator: Harry Potter released on PC. Then it all changed in the year 2005. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game was released on April 2nd of that year, followed by Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy a year later.

With that said, almost 17 years to the day of the first LEGO Star Wars game, we have the one that we have all been waiting for; LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – Consume You, It Will

Here we finally get to play through all the Star Wars movies in what you might call the definitive package, in their quirky, humorous LEGO form.

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DA DA DA DA DADA DA DADA

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is set to release on April 5th, 2022 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC. LEGO game veterans Travellers Tales have developed while Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is on publishing duties.

Although I would have been more than happy if the game was released on May 4th for obvious reasons, I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play it on PlayStation 5 to let you know that it is everything we wanted, and more!

As always, check out Thumb Culture on the socials at the bottom of this review, and if you enjoyed reading this, you can read my other reviews here.

Gameplay

Everyone has their favourite trilogy in the saga, and freedom of choice is apparent from the get-go. Where previous LEGO games had a definitive starting point, you have free reign over which trilogy you start first. I’d imagine most would want to start with Episode IV: A New Hope, which is fair. But, you may want to play chronologically starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The choice really is yours. This kind of freedom is prevalent throughout the entire game. Get ready and buckle up! Make sure it is loud for when that epic John Williams overture bellows out over the famous scrolling Star Wars intro.

Each episode is split up into five linear levels of which you can achieve True Jedi Status by destroying everything you see to get as many studs as possible. So across nine episodes that gives you a whopping 45 levels which will have you grinning from ear to ear. In these levels, you will find multiple paths to reach your objective maximising your collecting potential. Don’t forget to jump into the hot tub with the Stormtroopers for a laugh right before you murder them. Each of these levels are filled with collectables and challenges. If you missed something, don’t worry, you can always return later and you may be better equipped.

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Oh, I say. Room for one more?

But what about the hub world? Well, there isn’t one…there are loads! In between these story-related levels you have the opportunity to freely explore well-known planets such as Naboo, Tattooine, Hoth, Endor and so many more. As with all LEGO games, there is as much fun to be had exploring as there is playing the story. In between levels, it’s a good idea to search around and uncover secrets, collecting as many studs and Kyber Bricks as possible. There are over a thousand Kyber Bricks to collect, so completionists rejoice, it’s going to be a long adventure.

Speaking of Kyber Bricks, just grab them wherever you see them if you have the right character. These, along with your studs for currency will pay for upgrades. There are two types of grades you can do; character and class. The character upgrades are basic things like fast building, increased health bar, collectable detector, attract studs, and many more. These upgrades have a three-tier system and apply to all character classes.

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Jedi upgrade tree

There are ten classes in the game and all come with their own upgrades to their unique abilities. The classes are; Jedi, Hero, Scavenger, Scoundrel, Bounty Hunter, Villain, Dark Side, Astromech Droid, Protocol Droid, and Extras. The Extras class is basically where characters that don’t fall into the other classes belong. For example you may want to increase the power of your Jedi mind tricks with ‘Mind Master’, or make people flee in fear with the ‘Fear The Dark Side’ ability as a Dark Side character. There really is so much to play with in terms of upgrades.

New combat elements have been added to the game also. As you can see below, characters with blasters now have more control with over-the-shoulder aiming. Something I’m sure the Stormtroopers could do with! Characters with a saber or other melee attacks can now use three buttons to rack up an attack combo. When successfully executed this builds up your stud multiplier.

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Leia says peek-a-boo

Fancy taking a break from being on the ground? No problem, just open up your Galaxy Map and head on up into space. Here you can have random space battles to earn extra studs or destroy Kyber comets to bag yourself some extra bricks for those upgrades. Flying your starfighter is fun and very easy to control, but don’t expect the finesse of Star Wars: Squadrons.

Smashing things to bits is so much fun, and you’ll be needing as many studs as possible to spend in the extras tab in the menu. Buying those stud multipliers is a must, to increase the amount you can gain. And you are going to need a lot of studs if you want to activate ‘Galaxy Rave Mode’. Plus, it’s always fun to fight with baguettes instead of lightsabers right?

Keeping track of your starships and characters (of which there are 380 at launch) is easy in the menu. Missions, side missions, challenges, and trials are also trackable once you have discovered them. However, cough up a few thousand studs and you can get a hint as to where some of these extra missions are. If you have finished the story and there is still loads left to do, then post-game is where the real fun begins!

One thing that LEGO games have always done well, is making their games more fun with another player. Be it your friend, partner, or child, they can be a real bonding experience and I applaud them for that. With an emphasis on co-op teamwork instead of competition, it really can add to the overall experience.

Graphics & Audio

LEGO in all its forms is pretty basic. Even on the original PlayStation LEGO looked like Lego, but the level of detail that has gone into the models on the PlayStation 5 is very fine. They have been so meticulously created that you can even see the seams on the ‘plastic’ heads where they would have been assembled.  It’s this attention to detail that makes it the most graphically outstanding LEGO game to date. With it being the first native LEGO game to this generation, I was not disappointed. Even when pod racing, the game looks stunning and there is no slowdown in frame rate or screen tearing.

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Gotta go fast Anakin!

Reflections from your lightsaber onto metal materials can sometimes look a little distorted, but hey, this is space. We don’t know what kind of metal material is being used. It could be a material that is yet to be discovered by mankind, so it might be rough with less reflective properties. Who knows?

Environments are the best I have ever seen in a LEGO game and could rival many non-LEGO games. And I’m not just talking about cutscenes either. The seas look lush and I will never tire of watching R2-D2 or BB-8 create a wake in the sand which looks to have been created on a molecular level.

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BB-8 doing what he does best…nothing!

All the pew-pew and environmental sounds are so good, that they could have been literally lifted from the movies.

A lot of the original voice talent from the movies and TV shows are reprising their roles. The voice actors that are providing voices for other well-known characters do a close enough job to sound as similar to the original characters as possible.

And now the music, the cherry on the cake. The compositions of John Williams played by the London Symphony Orchestra never fail to make my hair stand on end. But, and this is a big but! That Cantina Band tune is totally stuck in my head now and I just can’t get it out. The music just makes it such an immersive experience. As a side note, the music is all fully licensed so if you are going to stream it, make sure you have the music turned off otherwise you could get into hot water.

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Fun fact – Playing Star Wars tunes on Spotify, you get this neat little lightsaber progress bar

Longevity

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the biggest and most ambitious licensed LEGO game to date. To finish all 9 episodes could take you 15-25 hours, depending on how much you stray from the story. Trust me, it is easily done. But LEGO games are known for the post-game content being just as much fun as playing through the story. With nearly 400 characters, loads of starships, Kyber Bricks, and mini-kits to collect, you will be playing long after. If you are a total completionist, then there are the level challenges, puzzles, and trials. All of which count towards your overall collectables, this game will probably see you good for another 25-35 hours. Throw in a few more hours just for standing around and gazing at the scenery.

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Careful now, you don’t want to be ‘mauled’ to death

Final Thoughts

So I have a confession to make. I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, though I do enjoy the movies and know them well enough. But I have played a few LEGO games in my life as well as quite a few Star Wars games. I can say with utter sincerity that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the BEST LEGO game I have ever played. The humour, the sheer amount of things to do, and its relevance to the source material are second to none. Hell, I would even go so far as to say it is in my top three Star Wars games. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the definitive LEGO and Star Wars experience.

So it comes as no surprise that I award LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga the Jedi-riffic Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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