By Jaya Bell
After a series of delays, the highly anticipated LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has been released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The game adapts all nine mainline Star Wars films with the iconic LEGO format fans have come to adore. However, things are not all the same compared to past LEGO games. The developers at Traveler’s Tales Games decided to change things up a bit. With this latest installment, the combat system has been revamped and there is now open-world exploration. If fans ever wanted to endlessly explore their favorite planets from the Star Wars galaxy, now’s their chance. There was a lot of hype going into the release of the game, not only with the new features, but the legacy LEGO Star Wars has to live up to. So, does the game manage to live up to the hype?
The open-world in this game is fantastic. It’s fun exploring some of the most iconic and beloved planets in the galaxy. There are collectables hidden throughout each planet that require players to solve puzzles. The puzzles themselves are quite fun and some of them provide a bit of a challenge. However, if players don’t want to collect every single collectable in the galaxy, then exploring the planets serves as a great alternative. Each one is filled with things to explore that should satisfy every Star Wars fan.
The new gameplay style is a step in the right direction. There is more of a focus on combat. Players can now pull off combos using various melee moves. Performing these moves are very satisfying as the moves the characters perform are cool. Each character has moves that are unique to their personality, which is fun to watch. Darth Vader’s attacks are far more aggressive and refined compared to Jar Jar’s clumsy attacks.
The game isn’t perfect however the pacing for most of the movies is horrendous, oftentimes moving too quickly. There are various iconic moments players could play in previous installments that are gone in this game. This wouldn’t be as big of a problem if the developers didn’t add in random levels in some areas of the game. They’ll add a mission where Han Solo realigns radio towers in The Empire Strikes Back, but they’ll cut out the attack run of the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi. Not only that, some parts of the films are cut out entirely. Sometimes it’s understandable, but other times it doesn’t make sense.
A lot of the levels are very short. It feels like players just start the level only just for it to end a few seconds later. Some of the levels have a decent length, but most of them otherwise feel rushed. The attack run on the first Death Star in A New Hope is an example of this. Players will start the level by taking out enemy ships, which doesn’t take too long. Once that’s finished, it’s time for Luke to make the shot to blow up the Death Star, then the level ends. There are other levels that are like that, where extra playtime would have benefitted it.
Despite some pacing issues, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a great evolution for LEGO games. The open-world is fun to explore with its many collectables and Easter eggs sprinkled throughout for players to find. The new combat system is “a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.” It adds an extra layer of personality that the LEGO games are known for. As a whole, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an 8 out of 10.