REVIEW – After repeated delays (no joke, first we heard something like summer 2020, then Spring 2021, then an unknown date, then a postponement to Spring 2022 as its release window… most likely due to the studio’s situation regarding crunch), it was a difficult birth. Still, the game, which mostly follows the formula, has been released and should be fun for franchise fans.
And I haven’t seen a single movie.
It’s no coincidence that the title of the game has the word saga in the title, as each of the trilogies is there, so even by default, it will take at least twenty hours to play through the whole pack, which is a hefty amount of time in itself, but individuals with a perfectionist mindset can multiply that by half, so it’s no joke to say that this isn’t an ‘afternoon’ game, or even a weekend one (Super Street: The Game from 2018 – the unclean hands of Team 6 Game Studios are showing…). All the major characters and locations are represented. The reasoning for it is simple: it’s TT Games, or as I prefer to call them, Traveller’s Tales, wanting to emphasise that the family certainly has a significant role to play. From Tatooine to Endor, everyone is here who matters.
So there are episodes with five stages each, and in some cases, perhaps distractingly obvious time-filler sections. Character classes are distinct, as they have unique abilities. Han Solo, for example, is a Scoundrel and can find his way out of environmental obstacles. An Ewok named Wicket can build tools for travelling, astromech droids (like R2D2) can open doors by hacking computers, and Bounty Hunters can get special prizes by destroying gold bricks. But combat is not left out either (Sith, Jedi can use the lightsabers, as expected), but it can be boring if you’re not paying attention, and there seems to be a bit of a focus on the Force wielders because the others tend to become repetitive. There are boss fights, but the similarity can be strikingly suspect; even though they mix and match, it will come up over time. Of course, the puzzles and building aren’t left out in keeping with LEGO games either. But the developers have paid attention to the locations. None of them seemed to have been purposefully neglected; if a site is essential from the movies, it’s been adequately depicted here. And it’s worth looking around, too, because there are information breadcrumbs, characters, gossip (how to unlock an object/character?) and Kyber Bricks: these bricks can improve core or class-specific skills.
So there’s a lot of collecting going on, and the basic pickups (called studs) are scattered everywhere. You can get multipliers from them, not cheaply, but getting characters takes patience, completing side quests, and luck to have a gossip related to the character because it’s good to have that too (and it applies to ships too). Or you can go for some serious studspending. Here’s where 100% completion requires serious dedication (and at least it makes sense here – in SSTG, you maxed out ONE car halfway through the game because you can’t switch to another, you end up with an extra line of text at 100%, thanks, really worth it…). I should point out that it’s not mandatory to get everything and everyone. The game won’t make you do it; it allows you to do it, so there’s no grind to keep the story going in earnest (and I know I’m writing completely irrelevant examples in brackets, but so was the PS1 Mario Party clone Crash Bash with its f… cheating AI).
If you don’t focus on the story, feel free to travel anywhere so that if you missed something, you could make up for it. There will be plenty of locations and collectables, but I will mention that there will be closed routes in Free Play if a particular character class type is missing, and maybe here, the game could be a bit clearer about when not to attempt specific routes. However, it is somewhat offset by the audio, as there is no shortage of jokes this time either. All ages are covered; being a family game, scenes familiar to everyone (including me) have been covered in a unique style. The original voices are often heard, and musically everything is in place.
All of this may be made worse by the fact that the camera position can be terrible here and there (during close combat, it’s simply scandalous, and I’ll say it’s the reason why the game failed to get an eight out of ten…), you may run into bugs (I’ve seen a character or two disappear in a few instances… interesting) if you’re unlucky, and it’s not out of the question that the lack of online multiplayer on several platforms is noteworthy. (I don’t have Croesus.) Co-op is there, but split-screen takes some getting used to…
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga gets a seven out of ten because it’s a good game, but it has flaws despite the delays. But content-wise, I’d call it pretty solid stuff, and anyone who might be a Star Wars fan should consider the seven out of ten an eight because I think Traveller’s Tales has taken care of everything quite nicely. It looks nice and tries to stay authentic. And that’s reason enough to give it a try, as that combined with mostly fair gameplay is usually a good recipe…
+ Substantively robust
+ It feels authentic enough
+ Audiovisually, it’s spot on
– Camera is scandalous in a few places
– I think the gameplay gets stale at times
– Can be buggy; split-screen multiplayer takes some getting used to
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller’s Tales, TT Games
Genre: LEGO action-adventure
Release date: April 5, 2022