LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 30.04.2022

Review for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga  on Xbox Series X/S

Traveller's Tales (Tt) and LEGO return to the movie franchise that spun their games into massive popularity. LEGO Star Wars is back! With the release of Skywalker saga the series has made the leap to more platforms including Nintendo Switch alongside the new gen consoles. First appearing in 2005, LEGO Star Wars was an instant hit, this was followed up with LEGO Star Wars 2: the Original Saga, then The Clone Wars and finally The Force Awakens in 2016. Since then, there has been a lull in Star Wars related LEGO projects, though plenty of other games have been released. However now the LEGO Star Wars franchise is completed with this new entry.

As a series, LEGO Star Wars has told the stories of Episodes 1-7 and now in 2022, several years since the last game Skywalker Saga, all 9 episodes are present! Tt has gone and done a ground up rebuild of all previously covered 7 episodes and then adapted the two most recent movies as well. As per previous games in the series the story is truncated with the most important scenes and dialogue on display only. For Star Wars this means some movies are extremely short experiences. Luckily the series' signature humour is out in full force and, unlike expectations, even for an older audience it's fantastically funny. An example scene from the Phantom Menace is in the Gungan "secret place" where Queen Amidala reveals herself. In the movie it's her and one handmade, here in LEGO it's taken to the logical extreme with many people and creatures coming into frame claiming, "I am Amidala". It's genuinely hysterical.

The story seems to be voiced by a number of impressionists and original movie dialogue. Some of it is unfortunately terrible, some characters fall very flat, but the original dialogue is masterfully cleaned up and inserted naturally into cutscenes and gameplay. The music and the way it's spread around the different worlds is excellent, it constantly drives the story and action forward while also providing slower, melancholier atmospheres where needed. Sound effects are super authentic with lightsabers in particular sounding swooshy and vibrant. A fun little extra is mumble mode that restores the old "blah, blah, blah" style voices of older LEGO games.

Screenshot for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga  on Xbox Series X/S

Gameplay has been massively overhauled when compared with older LEGO titles. Some of the old staple features like custom characters appear to be missing but in their place is a much more varied set of character classes, skills and scenarios. Naturally the older games had a bit of this, but the new game expands this further. For example, blaster characters can grapple, and rebel characters can unlock rebel doors while Jedi can use the force and double jump. It all boils down to a fun system that incentivises playing as all the characters in the party when playing the story. Exploration is hugely enhanced in this game with a free camera, non-linear or semi-open areas and planets to explore at the player's leisure. The planets are connected by explorable space segments giving a huge amount of player agency.

Combat has seen a total overhaul as well with some really cool action game inclusions. Using blasters is now done using a slick over-the-shoulder aiming camera, allowing for full duck and cover gameplay, it's thrilling at times! Lightsabers and close combat now have combos, dodging and a combo multiplier. It's insanely challenging to build up the multipliers and very satisfying to net a huge profit from a battle. Boss fights are also much more of a feature now, with not just cool and funny intros but they also have whole cinematic clashes with quick time events. It's something ultimately small but infinitely important in giving the big name clashes the weight and focus they deserve. These fights are usually phased with either light puzzles or waves of normal enemies in between offering up some variety while also posing a challenge to be surmounted.

Screenshot for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga  on Xbox Series X/S

This is still just scratching the surface as the game also has a full gamut of collectables to unlock via exploration and challenges. There are hundreds of these, some series' staples like mini-kits but also blue bricks. Blue bricks are a currency in the game used to upgrade abilities. That's right, Skywalker Saga is a pseudo-RPG with light levelling mechanics. These skills are applied to both individual classes, for example heroes and villains, but there is also a "general" area which upgrades base stats. These base stat upgrades are incredibly helpful in terms of quick power-ups, so it's recommended to buy them first. To be brutally honest there is an unreasonable amount of activities and options in the game that really make this the best gameplay experience of all of the LEGO games.

Naturally the game can be played in two player co-op. Finally, the vomit inducing dynamic split screen of the middle LEGO games is gone in favour of a more traditional vertical screen split. This helps players keep their bearings and aids the use of the new controls systems which wouldn't work otherwise. Sometimes during local play, the game splits players into two groups, one player per couple of characters, and each player must solve puzzles to help the other team progress. It's a great team working mechanic even if it's sometimes less fun to be the teamed-up droid than the Jedi. It's a great way to experience the game and highly recommended to play this way if possible.

Screenshot for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga  on Xbox Series X/S

Visually the aesthetic is sublime. This is by far the most polished and interesting LEGO game. Character animations are full of expressive stretching and morphing while faces have lots of detail and emotion, making each character far more unique than their original LEGO incarnations. The bricks are extremely well modelled and there are lovely touches like cloaks being actual LEGO cloaks with the folded connectors and tiny circular hole at the back where the cloak doesn't overlap. The high resolution and new lighting mixed with higher detail lends this a very next gen feel. Its sublime, movie accurate scenes are sharp and recognisable while locations are expanded and offer players some amazing locales. The only visual downside is Quality mode, which feels like it has framerate dips on occasion, reducing the responsiveness of the gameplay.

Of course, there are some slight bad points too, after all no game is perfect! When booting on Xbox, occasionally the game would boot to a black screen or get stuck during the initial load. It was infrequent but annoying. Secondly there are quite a few glitches that can almost soft lock the game, luckily Tt have added many things that can mitigate these issues. The truncated movie stories can be a little disappointing or hard to follow due to missing detail. However, Tt have picked decently well which scenes to adapt. Some compare unfavourably with the original games' levels.

Screenshot for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga  on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

A fantastic and bombastic return to the galaxy far, far away, LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga is a massively exciting game. It's by far one of the best LEGO games ever, returning the series to the heights of the early 2000's but propelling the series' technology and gameplay variety through the roof. Players will find a lot to love, whether a Star Wars fan or not, especially when enjoying the game with a partner or friend. This game is a must-buy title on any platform it supports and a killer app on Series X. True next gen fun, highly recommended!

Developer

Traveller's Tales

Publisher

Disney

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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