The last LEGO Star Wars game to grace PlayStation was The Force Awakens, and that feels like a long time ago. Like most of its predecessors, and even later entries from TT Games, it's a very safe platformer that sticks to the established blueprint. As fun as they can be, the LEGO games have been making almost no forward momentum, relying on gameplay and established trappings that are rather dated. To some, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga might sound like yet another retread, but this is shaping up to be the biggest shake-up to the series in years.
After spending about an hour playing the long-awaited title (and a further hour watching a hands-off presentation), we've come to a couple of conclusions. One, this game is big. Two, the developer has finally brought the fundamental gameplay in line with modern expectations, and the result is a much more engaging experience.
The fixed cameras of yore have been replaced with an over-the-shoulder, third-person view, giving you full control on the right stick. Characters carrying blasters and projectile weapons can aim with L2 and fire with R2 — gone is the floating crosshair rooting your minifigure to the spot. Melee combat now involves a very simple combo system, with enemies blocking your attacks if you keep repeating the same pattern. The Skywalker Saga finally feels like a modern LEGO game.
While a lot of the mechanics have been rightly overhauled, the overall feel of the series remains. The health system has moved from hearts to proper HP bars, but combat remains very easy to pull off, and there's still no penalty for dying. You'll still be hot-swapping between a handful of characters to overcome puzzles, and the drop-in/out local co-op is present and correct. Beyond gameplay, the brilliantly humorous spin on the source material is as fun as ever, and seeing all your favourite characters and locations recreated in the colourful bricks remains a joy. If you're a fan of the LEGO titles, The Skywalker Saga has all the right hallmarks while sprucing up the basics.
We played the first few levels of Episode IV: A New Hope, assuming the role of Leia as she fights to get a crucial message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Of course, this is very familiar territory, but with the new gameplay tweaks, it all feels new again. Branching paths occasionally crop up in a stage, and many puzzles will have more than one solution, allowing some wiggle room in how you proceed. We came to a point where we could build one of two objects, each sending us down a different route to the next segment of the level. It's one more way the game feels like an evolution on what we know.
Replayability seems sky-high, too. Each stage has optional criteria to meet in addition to collecting as many studs as you can, and Kyber bricks are hidden everywhere, required to unlock more characters and vehicles. In between story missions, there are many locations that are fully explorable in Free Play, and these mini-sandboxes contain side quests, small puzzles, and collectibles to find. There just seems like an awful lot to see and do.
You'll be even more free to explore the galaxy at your leisure, too. During the hands-off presentation, we were shown how you can quickly travel between unlocked planets and locations via the map, giving you quick access to all your favourite places from across the nine movies. Even the space surrounding a given planet can be visited, letting you fly around, finding yet more collectibles and even picking up more optional tasks. The example given was a smuggler run, carrying cargo from one planet to another, fighting off enemy ships along the way.
There's so much more to talk about — the game's 300+ characters are divided into classes, and these classes can be upgraded with various buffs and additional skills. Using the Force is more involved, giving you full control of the objects you manipulate. Smart contextual quirks mean certain classes have extra utility; for example, you can freely wander around enemies if you're a droid, as they aren't viewed as a threat. To cap it off, it all looks fantastic — the plastic aesthetic is better than ever.
These games have tackled this series of movies several times already, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga really feels like a meaningful step forward without losing that loveable identity. We feel we barely scratched the surface with just 60 minutes of playtime, but if it can maintain a high level of quality across all nine episodes, this will be a real treat for the fans.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is due for release on both PlayStation 5 and PS4 on 5th April 2022. Are you looking forward to this colourful plastic adventure? Lightsabers at the ready in the comments section below.
Well after the ghostwire review will definitely be picking this up, unless it reviews badly.
Will be a nice change of pace after the likes of elden ring.
This looks way better than recent LEGO games. I approve of the gameplay changes.
Been looking forward to this for sooooooo long.
Definitely seems like it’ll be a good one. Haven’t really loved a Lego game since the first Marvel one but this looks great.
I most certainly am looking forward to this. I've always been a sucker for Star Wars games and this looks really good.
Looks fantastic! Always liked the Lego games since the original Lego Star Wars on PS2 to chill and play for easy going sessions.
My only question is, can the HUD be tweaked/minimised? There were a few moments in the video where the screen looks very busy.
Would like to be able to see the plastic figures and environments in all their glory with some of the HUD elements removed.
Definitely picking this up! Loved the lego star wars games and love the inclusion of some more modern game features. Just have to decide between the ps4 or switch version….
It was going to be this or ghostwire. Think given reviews etc I’ll pick this one up and wait for a deep sale on ghostwire at new year.
I seriously cannot wait. Like others here I think I'll be going for this day1 instead of Ghostwire (which I still want but will wait for a price drop!).
This game seems huge - even the other Lego games in this series had serious longevity and this is like 3 bundled together. Looks very pretty to boot yup. Can't wait.
Any ideas if this has online co-op? To me it's shocking how this is missing throughout Lego games. Would have given a perfect opportunity for any parent, who doesn't live with their child, to spend some online time together in something equally enjoyable for adults and children alike.
@buckp25 You can choose dialogue or 'mumble mode' which sounds more like the PS2/PSP/PS3 classics!
@Eldritch Online co-op wasn't mentioned during the preview, but I agree, I think they'd be missing a trick if it's not included.
@sanderson72 I like the sound of mumble mode, especially when not all of the recorded lines are the original actors.
@Quintumply Thanks. Time will tell, I guess.
There is something reassuringly familiar about Lego games.
There is a simple joy and humour to them that never fails to entertain me, and appeals very much to wife who I suspect will play this more than myself
I'd have been happy with a game of this scale even if it were simply re treading old ground, but its nice to hear they have introduced new options too.
WOW. I was hyped for yet another Lego Star Wars but now with this article I am super hyped...the new camera and aiming is a complete game changer it seems!
I am wondering if the levels are just remakes of levels from the old games or if they are 100% new...do you know the answer?
@AFCC There will be similarities given they're based on the same source material, but the couple of levels I played absolutely were new as far as I'm aware!
@Quintumply good to know! Thanks for the reply
I pre-ordered this a long time ago for PS4 when there was a pre-order discount on Amazon. Is there a free upgrade to the PS5 digital copy?
Well was going to order the deluxe edition but seems oos most places and seems the scalpers are at again with copy's going from £80 too £115!
The 'over the shoulder' approach actually reminds me of the first Lego Star Wars game, which I played a many years ago on the GameCube. I'm sure there where a few stages where the camera followed your character.
This will be my GOTY.
Pre-ordered the Special Edition! Can't wait!
@nessisonett Agreed about the original Lego Marvel game! Just felt so complete with Fantastic 4, Spiderman,X-men etc.,all popping up here & there!👍
Re-bought Harry Potter years ago on ps4 just so as I could restart my ps3 versions fresh.
Loved Jurassic Park too,but the mish mash of incomplete Lego games like The Hobbit, were a let down,(& why we never got a LOTR port I'll never understand!).
Hopefully runs okay as ps4 as it should run on new gen,not sure if this'll be a day 1 buy,but will be keeping an eye out for the reviews.
Shame about the workplace conditions under which this was produced. It seems like the first lego game I would actually play for longer than 30 minutes. If the reviews are strong I may get in on a sale just so the publisher doesn't break even on my purchase
@RevengeFan Please ignore my original reply, turns out they ARE offering free upgrades.
@KidBoruto Thanks for that! I couldn't find anything about the upgrade the last time I searched for it.
@RevengeFan You're welcome, glad to be helpful!
How much was that discount for the PS4 version btw?
@KidBoruto It was $49.94 when I pre-ordered it back in July 2020
@RevengeFan I do seem to remember that deal, but sadly at the time I either didn't have the money, or I wasn't planning on buying the game day one.
I normally wait for LEGO games to drop down to $20...however I can tell just how much heart and soul has been put into this.
Can't wait! Picking it up day 1, hopefully I'm done with Ghostwire and Kirby by then.
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