TT Games have finally returned with their most ambitious game to date. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga….The Finger Guns Review;
Well well, it’s been a while hasn’t it TT Games? Reviewing a game that, for the longest time, I believed would never see the light of day is here. An ambitious retelling of all nine Star Wars saga films, TT Games took a fair break to get this one absolutely nailed-on, far more expansive in scope than anything we’ve ever seen from them before.
The result? A brilliantly realised, gorgeously recreated, hilarious, often fiddly, perhaps a little too overstuffed tread through some of cinemas greatest moments (and The Rise of Skywalker) in the iconic TT Games LEGO aesthetic that we’ve missed far too much.
You’ve got to hand it to TT Games. The Skywalker Saga is quite the beast to take on, and with nine films to recreate, the majority of which haven’t been hugely chopped up to showcase their greatest hits. Every major story beat from each film is present and correct, along with iconic lines from every era (‘they fly now?! They fly now..’). What you can’t fault the game on is its scale, and TT Games – who it could be argued, have been playing it fairly safe for years – delivered something we’ve never really seen from them before.
Off the bat, the first thing you they’re showing off before anything else is their brand new fully explorable worlds. Every planet and moon has been lovingly, gorgeously recreated in three full dimensions (!), taking away LEGO games’ more traditional viewpoint and instead hanging behind the shoulder of your main character. It brings to life the LEGO Star Wars universe more gloriously than ever before, offering plenty of land to cover and explore and of course, if you’re a LEGO game fanatic, a whole lot of collectibles to find in your infinite playthroughs.
Certain locations shine more than others. Tatooine is generally just sand, which is coarse and gets everywhere. The frankly incredible recreations of the Death Star, Starkiller Base, Ach-To, Exogol and Kef Bir are beautiful and enormous fun to explore, particularly Ach-To, which has been brought to life with villagers, local townsmen and no longer is just Luke Skywalker moping and drowning himself in blue milk. TT have given plenty of life to these fairly bland and bleak areas, you could argue that in the hands of any other developer they probably wouldn’t have bothered. TT Games are all about the detail and the little moments, and the games they create are all the better for them.
That’s the wonder of course of being able to explore these locations, something we’re not able to do in any other medium. One imagines TT have added their own canon to what these places actually look like away from what we see in the films, bringing them to life in fairly remarkable ways. Otoh Gunga from Episode 1 – the underwater city explored by Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Jar Jar Binks – who, frankly, we spend far too much time with in this game – to confront Boss Nass is sensational, and personally my favourite place to run around in. Mainly because I would very much like to be Obi-Wan Kenobi so any excuse.
As mentioned above each film is fairly represented, but depending on your knowledge of how LEGO games work, you’ll be able to get through each one in around about an hour if you’re doing a straight story run. For the purposes of review, I’ve played through each levels story and again as an exploration. Naturally, there’s an absolute ton to uncover and plenty you can’t do during the story mode purely because you don’t have the necessary characters just yet. Having beaten damn near every LEGO game since LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, I felt confident to tear through them and be able to give a good account of how they play.
Nine – and a bit, I got demonstrably confused in one section during The Last Jedi which halted my progress somewhat – hours later and I’m free to explore whatever planet I want to return to and you could argue that this is when the game truly opens up. When The Skywalker Saga truly becomes a ‘LEGO’ game. The Free Play mode – where there’s no story path and you’re free to explore any area with any characters you have unlocked in order to find secrets, characters, ships and more – is the standout here, like it with every other LEGO title. When you’re free to explore every single nook and cranny of the Star Wars universe looking for bricks, studs and secrets.
There are no gold bricks this time around, instead blue bricks are your path to 10 billion studs, and they’re tied to character collection, level challenges, completion and can also be discovered via puzzles dotted around and helping out the locals on certain planets. I finished the story quests with two million studs, so yeah, I’ve still got a long way to go,, thankfully I collected a fair number of blue bricks during my playthrough, but hey, LEGO games are all about infinite replayability so I’m in no rush. Do or do not, and the like.
Away from the moment to moment gameplay the UI has had quite the makeover from what you’d expect from older LEGO games. It’s here I found myself a little frustrated, as the sheer amount of content TT Games have stuffed into The Skywalker Saga becomes apparent the more you’re trying to look for a single character or ship. Each character type has been divided into Hero, Jedi, Dark Side, Astromech Droid, Protocol Droid etc, and it’s hardly fair to criticise a video game for having ‘too much’ in it, but the sheer amount of what’s on offer does become slightly overwhelming at first, and there’s not really any decent onboarding that makes it easy to understand when you begin, you just have to figure it as you go. Thankfully there are some brilliant help guides you can access anytime and a hugely entertaining ‘help droid’ in every location, who seems terribly annoyed he has yet more help to share with you so do him a favour and hear him out if you’re stuck.
Having the characters broken down like this is handy when you need a certain one for a particular task. Thankfully they’re colour co-ordinated so depending on what you need to get done you’ll have at least one character that can take on the task if you’re jumping into Free Play for the first time only after you’ve beaten all nine films. It’s here you can make up your own little team of characters that each have a particular set of skills (yes, this joke is in the game made by Qui-Gon). Using the d-pad you can quickly choose your characters for whatever task needs doing, and is as seamless as you would expect.
And you can upgrade every character class with their own set of upgrades, requiring Kyber Bricks and studs to do so. Each class has four additional upgrades that can be unlocked which is rather nice, allowing for your style of play to be tailored if you’re more of a Dark Sider or a Droid friendly Free Play player.
There’s also core upgrades which are fairly standard; additional health bars, stronger attacks, increase the speed of movement in Free Play areas or build assembly. Again, it’s very dependent on your style of play what you’d wish to upgrade. Seeing as there’s no real ‘death’ in The Skywalker Saga (as with previous LEGO games, if you die you just re-appear a second later with a few studs missing), I never felt the need to upgrade my health bar, though it was nice to have a little bit of extra speed when tearing it around looking for things.
Oh, and make sure you unlock ‘Counter Cash’ quickly, which will throw you studs for successful Combat Counters. Very handy if you want to get your stud numbers up quickly and haven’t yet found any Datacards (of which you need to purchase stud multipliers along with other fun extras).
Elsewhere, near everything else is a joy. If you’ve ever taken any kind of wonder from the Star Wars universe, TT Games have delivered here in spades. The traditional LEGO game humour is front and centre (and sometimes hidden in the background, which when spotted, made me laugh out loud several times). The anger of Kylo Ren is hilariously parodied (‘you must be on the Dark Side, you’re all angsty, like me!) and the must maligned Force Awakens moment where Leia hugs Rey instead of Chewbacca after Han dies is here, much to Chewie’s dismay. Fair to say I laughed a whole lot, just like I was hoping I would when I booted this up for the first time.
Technically The Skywalker Saga is solid running on PS5, at least. The game moves at a brisk and lovely 60 fps but drops to 30 for the cutscenes, which is weirdly noticeable. I noticed a couple of frame drops throughout my playthrough but nothing game breaking. Loading times were fantastic and the audio, as you can imagine, is terrific and well mixed. The stand-in voiceover artists do a great job, particular Rey who sounds so much Daisy Ridley I wondered if they snuck her in to actually get some lines down. The dialogue continues TT Games’ run of fun quotes that I’ll be giggling at for weeks (‘we’re fighting on the Death Star! Our grandparents would be *so* proud’. ‘Can you stop nerding out and get back to fighting, please?’).
There’s a particular moment during The Rise of Skywalker that’s a little odd and I’m not just talking about the story or the character choices. There’s a sequence where Rey takes a Skimmer to the rubble of the Death Star across water and well, we know water has never been hugely important to LEGO games but we were in control of the Skimmer with no HUD, no water effects and basically silence. Within seconds it was over so it seemed a little pointless and would have probably been better served as an ending to the previous cutscene. It’s a little thing, but it really stood out.
It’s not without its flaws, of course. Fans may scoff at the sheer velocity the game tears through each of the films. Given the demographic of these games it’s not unkind to say they’re still blisteringly simple to power through and you may be surprised at how quickly you finish all nine movies first time out, but it’s hardly a complaint when there’s an entire collectathon to end all collectathons waiting for you on the other side. To explore every planet for every brick, stud and character is going to take a fair chunk off your life, so be prepared and strap in. I can’t wait to spend the next few weeks (months?) getting the Platinum for this beast. I’m in no rush.
Welcome back TT Games. This is the way.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an absolute celebration of a galaxy far, far away. TT Games have been at this one for a long, long time and now we absolutely know why. They’ve made perhaps the most complete, expansive and nerf-herdin’ entertaining Star Wars game there’s ever been. Didn’t think they could pull this off? I find your lack of faith disturbing.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is out tomorrow on PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: WB Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
If you enjoyed this article or any more of our content, please consider our Patreon.