Released: 5th April 2022 (First Contact Day - A Star TREK holiday!
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S,X.
Developers: Traveller’s Tales
If you were to take a quick peek into my room, one of the biggest impressions you’d come away with is ‘well, this guy is very single’ and also ‘this one likes Lego’. Yes, I am an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego). I’d say it's a secret shame, but I feel no shame over it. I get a Lego Advent Calendar each year on the holidays and I have various Legos strewn all over (see pictorial evidence). My recent trip to Texas necessitated a Covid 19 test and the test centre was next to a Lego Store. Of course, I went in for a good look. And left slightly poorer with some new sets (one I am in the process of making and I have my heart set on buying a 75192 Ultimate Collector’s Series Millennium Falcon) so buying this game was a virtual fait acompli.
Then they announced a pre-order bonus of a Blue Milk Luke Skywalker mini-fig included. I don’t actually think it is possible to buy these anymore. Judging by the quality on display in the mini-fig, this is a damn shame. Hopefully, these will be available on the annual Lego Star Wars May 4th event.
You’ll also note that your faithful scribe here has written a lot about the other big sci fi franchise starting with ‘Star’. Those articles I think are incredibly decent so why not click some of these links and indulge (after this one of course).
There have been other Lego Star Wars video games, one covering the prequel trilogy and one (quite optimistically) called ‘The Complete Saga’ which covered The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi, one dedicated to The Force Awakens as Disney’s only contribution to the Lego Star Wars video game cannon. Then there was a Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars video game shortly before Disney got their Mousey paws on Lucasfilm.
Now we have Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. It combines all the films (except the spin-offs of the animated Ewok films, the animated Droids film, Rogue One and Solo - although the last two are present via DLC characters. Regrettable that I wanted to play through the oft-overlooked Rogue One, but the game has 45 missions already. I don’t think we are exactly missing out on the base content).
The controls, while largely unchanged from the previous instalments are extremely well thought out. In a case of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’, anyone with even a passing familiarity with the last 4 Lego Star Wars games, the Lego Super Heroes Series or Lego Indiana Jones ones will be at home here.
Specialities of characters are not exactly plentiful but always welcome. The character selection (especially once you get all the Downloadable Content and unlock all the hidden characters) is so vast that like me, there is a good chance that you will need to take a mini break while examining each one. If this were a physical Lego set, I’d grade it as an A+++ for character inclusion alone. That is before continuity breaking happens in free play such as using Senator Leia to save Princess Leia from the Death Star.
Graphically it is not a huge upgrade from the last Lego Star Wars game. Fully animated, sometimes slapstick funny and always smooth as silk retelling of the 1977 - 2019 main saga. Personally, I find how very digestible it presents the nine main series films is a huge bonus in a game this dense in content. Each film has 5 levels and while each can last just about the time it takes the kettle to boil twice, if you are at all like me, you’ll spend so much time breaking scenery to get the studs inside them (I have a few million studs - who wants to touch me?) that the levels will each easily eclipse this running time multiple times over.
The gameplay is the same ‘it doesn’t need changing really’ present in many Lego games, so that does weaken the argument of why you’d need to buy this, but it is genuinely so straightforward and doesn’t change too much from the time when you are playing as a young Obi-Wan escaping being gassed by the Trade Federation to the point where you are decades later Rey declaring she is a part of the Skywalker family.
That is to no means say there are no challenges. There are, oh sweet Lord there are. Swapping between characters in a party to use specialities, a staple of previous games, is present and correct. This adds so much replayability, especially for free play mode where your expected playtime is as long as you make it with a near-limitless choice of characters and their parings, drop in and drop out controls and a vast array of detailed levels.
Overall, I do recommend this game and highly so. You’ll see from the photos I am something of a regular with Lego video games based on film and comic licenced content. Precious little gameplay evolution is on show here, however, I will say it was never in need of changing. In the words of fellow sibling less person Sir Roger Moore in his 2009 autobiography ‘My Word Is My Bond’ ‘I am an only child, my parents got it right on the first try’.
Seriously, while I would have enjoyed some evolution in the right direction, in this case, it is fine to keep it the same as it presents no serious negatives and not only flows with the game itself but should appeal to the extremely wide demographic that this game is aiming for. And deserves.
The fact it has so many levels but also manages to present them to bring us a very digestible version of Star Wars is something to be commended. The voice acting can run the gamut between ‘a decent impression’ to ‘just stop’ but it is never game-breaking terrible. Also, while I do have objections to the character, I am very happy to just let them be. I am sure that the fact the game gives you the ability to hack Jar Jar Binks into small Lego pieces will appeal to some. Although I loved the fact that while Star Wars still belonged to George Lucas, Lucas took all the negative reception to Jar Jar aboard and basically trolled the audience for years after with him (fun fact: ‘Attack of the Clones’ original name was ‘Star Wars Episode II: Jar Jar’s Big Adventure’).
Also, playing it makes me so ready for the inevitable next Lego Indiana Jones Adventures game. Disney and Lego, you have another player - in - waiting.
Just a note to end on, there is content from The Mandalorian seasons one and two. Just characters but I hope you agree: this game gives us just droves of content.
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