LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review – All filler, in a good way

You’ll often hear people complain, or praise, the side quests and other non-mainline content in a game which overshadows the story.

It’s not often, however, that a game is mostly side quests with the campaign / story relegated to the sidelines, but that’s exactly what happened with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

But first let’s rewind, what is this game? As you may have guessed by the name this is the latest in the venerable and much beloved LEGO Star Wars franchise.

It seeks to tackle all nine movies which make up The Skywalker Saga. That’s Episode I all the way up to Episode IX – all three trilogies accounted for.

Along with this massive undertaking, as you can see in the trailers on this page, many familiar systems in the LEGO Star Wars formula have been improved with combat and the visuals likely the two most apparent just from seeing snippets of gameplay.

As a game intended for the younger crowd that gameplay is still rather simple. It’s a third person action adventure title where you can freely explore massive environments across the nine movies.

As we discussed in our preview this sheer sense of scale and the enormity of the digital world created here may be the best part of the whole experience. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga may be the most complete recreation of Star Wars full stop.

This vast world is packed to the rafters with puzzles, mini side missions, collectibles and more, and this is where the bulk of your time will be spent.

Despite there being nine movies to play through the main missions attached to these can be completed in a flash and we’d estimate they only need around 30 minutes a pop if you’re just trying to see the end screens.

Because of this the side content is king here, but that’s really not a bad thing. Everything you do and see is obviously crafted with passion and love, and you can’t play for more than five minutes without finding some new obscure reference to LEGO or Star Wars, a or deep cut you’d only expect to see in the depths of some forum.

While it is side missions and collectibles you will spend most of your time with, it’s all made so well that you don’t mind.

The trade off is the aforementioned shortness of the main story. Not only does this mean key moments in the movies are rushed through, but it becomes almost impossible to follow if you haven’t watched the films.

For kids who haven’t seen the movies, or have only seen them while doing something else, the stories of The Skywalker Saga can’t be followed. Because of this, this game isn’t the best introduction to Star Wars for the kids, even if they will enjoy mindlessly running around blowing stuff up and collecting shiny things.

The blowing stuff up part is good but forgettable here. The two main forms of combat you will play – on foot and space combat in ships – are both serviceable but nothing special.

It’s a bit strange that so much emphasis was placed on the fact that these systems have been improved when their sections can still be breezed through by mindlessly hitting the attack button.

Again this is a delicate balancing act of making a game that is fun to play for both adults and kids, but for anyone but the youngest children most of the non-puzzle stuff here is a button masher in the worst way.

This game feels less like a game and more like a theme park where you can explore and have fun at your leisure. The instances of combat are so easy it’s more like some theme park employees jumping out in costume and you pretending to fire a blaster by pointing at them and mouthing “pew pew”. Thankfully this is Disneyland level of theme park, so your time wondering around is enjoyable.

Lastly we have to mention the Nintendo Switch version of this game. We have been told by a representative that the Switch version, as well as the ports for the previous generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4, are meant to run at 30 FPS.

Our experience constantly saw the framerate drop well below this to unacceptable levels. On top of this the visual fidelity on Nintendo’s platform is so poor, blurry and pixelated that we can confidently say that anyone looking to buy the game should avoid doing so on Nintendo’s platform.

These technical issues didn’t destroy the fun we still had, but it desperately needs to be improved with patches and should not have been released like this.

Overall LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a fun time and one of those “once per year” games that can be picked up and slowly chipped away at in increments over a few months. If you are the type of person who rarely buys games for time or monetary reasons, this is a compelling title as one of your scattered buys.

This also makes it a great proposition for the kids who buy their own games through saved pocket money or can only look forward to one or two new ones on their birthday or in the holidays.


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