Review: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga delivers nostalgic gameplay and modern visuals

Buy now

At long last, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has been released. After spending years in development and following several delays over the years, the highly-anticipated title has arrived. But is all of the visual brick-built action worth the cash? We’re diving into what the most compressive and gorgeous-looking LEGO Star Wars game has to offer.

Hands-on with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

As the name the Skywalker Saga would indicate, the newest LEGO Star Wars game is something of a culmination of everything the franchise has delivered so far. You’re getting brick-built, virtual levels based around all nine of the core films, as well as some DLC from the Disney+ series for those who picked up the Deluxe addition.

While it’s available on nearly every platform, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC will deliver the best visuals. Gameplay, on the other hand, is pretty consistent across the different consoles. So if you’d rather sacrifice graphics for portability, there’s not much else lost by going with the Switch version.

If you’ve ever played a LEGO video game before, be it the original Star Wars title from back in 2005 or any number of the other additions since, the Skywalker Saga delivers a familiar gameplay experience. That isn’t to say there aren’t some updates to the signature style, but you should feel right at home with the world at large.

One of the most notable changes, visual overhauls aside, is just how much more alive the brick-built environments feel. Each level now handles more like an open world map than it ever has before and delivers so much to explore. And most importantly, to break apart. It feels like there is a little brick-built piece of landscaping, architecture, or greebling on every inch of the world to really bring the virtual LEGO experience to life. Not everything is assembled out of bricks, just like we’ve seen from previous games, but there is an even better balance this time around for the Skywalker Saga.

There are also some quality of life improvements. If you’re someone who can easily get sidetracked from progressing the main story, there’s also a new waypoint mechanic that shows where you’re supposed to be heading. The casual nature of the game pairs nicely with all of those exploration focuses, so having something that can nudge me back on track after spending 10 minutes wondering around the quite large maps is always a nice touch in my book.

Variety is another area that shines with the gameplay. Sure you’re still running around the Death Star, sands of Tatooine, the cloning facilities or Kamino, and other iconic locals across the galaxy. But you’ll be able to dive into more than just blasting and Lightsaber swinging. There’s everything from starship battles and icing through doors to building turrets to take down large groups of Stormtroopers, operating cranes, and using the Force to mind-control enemies – there is plenty to keep things fresh in the latest LEGO Star Wars installment.

Refreshed visuals steal the show

My favorite aspect of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has to be just how good everything looks. Seeing one of the most nostalgic parts of my childhood not only remastered but completely overhauled for modern-day graphics is nothing short of a dream come true. The level of polish that coats every surface of the game brings things to life in a way we haven’t seen from LEGO Star Wars so far.

I’m not talking about things looking accurate to the films by any means. But the way that everything in the world feels stylized to fit in with LEGO bricks is so satisfying. Everything from the lighting to the rendering of the actual characters and environments looks fantastic on next-generation systems. We’re talking pure LEGO eye candy in the way that TT Games was able to achieve the visuals this time while still delivering fluid gameplay.

Classic LEGO Charm

Last but certainly not least, I have to mention the humor and charm packed into this game. On top of just delivering on the uniqueness of a LEGO Star Wars game, there are so many little gags, jokes, and bits that make this refreshing to play. I am sure most of the gamers diving in will have seen the Star Wars films countless times and don’t necessarily need a reminder of what actually happens in the franchise. TT Games plays into this by not only adding in hilarious dialog or background jokes, but also changing up the story.

None of it is even all too childish, either. Sure, some of these changes to the story aren’t going to be appreciated by everyone. But I found myself cracking up so many times at little references to LEGO Star Wars jokes within the community, as well as things that the developers just came up with on their own. Some of my personal favorites have to be that the classic shirtless Stormtroopers from the original LEGO Star Wars game made a return in the first level in glorious HD this time. There are also little tweaks you can unlock that do things like turning all of the NPCs into the fan-favorite Gonk Droids.

9to5Toys’ Take: 

From the polished gameplay and gorgeous visuals to easter eggs, references, and everything in-between, The Skywalker Saga is clearly made by LEGO Star Wars fans for LEGO Star Wars fans. It’s as expansive as I honestly could have hoped for and manages to deliver all of the same excitement and wonder that the original did all those years ago.

Every aspect of the game is designed to be explored, and that blends so flawlessly with the replay value of unlocking new characters and modes. It’s rare to see this much charm packed into a title so comprehensive, but somehow the folks at TT Games were able to make it happen. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is easily going to be one of the best games of the year and is a shining example of how giving a title some extra time in the game development oven can lead to an almost perfect experience.

Buy LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga now

FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links

Subscribe to the 9to5Toys YouTube Channel for all of the latest videos, reviews, and more!

Load more...
Show More Comments