Ever since Lego had licensed the rights to Star Wars, their very versions of the characters and vehicles-new and old-have taken on a life of their own to the delight of audiences everywhere, and nowhere was this more prevalent than in the video games. Now there have been many different titles over the years, (Prequel, Classic, Complete Saga, Clone Wars), but all those seem to have been stepping stones to what I think is the culmination of everything we Arcaders love about the Lego Star Wars games, and that is with The Skywalker Saga.
Perhaps the most ambitious title yet, and with quite the collaboration behind it (Disney, Lucasfilm, Lego Games, Traveler’s Tales and…Warner Bros?), This game takes everything about the prequel and classic trilogies, even the sequel trilogy-mixed them well, baked it at just the right temperature, and…presto! What has resulted from said development is something so much more than just a good game.
Now I myself have only played through “A New Hope” so there’s still a lot for me to do, but just on playing that entire section alone, all I can say is that this game truly was a labor of love. Yeah, it may sound cliché, but it’s true. From the start of the game you find yourself fully immersed in the Star Wars Galaxy once again, and just like in the previous games, you don’t care that it’s in Lego form, and this is where the developers truly shine in both game design and gameplay.
With the design itself, the attention to detail in each and every stage is so eye-catching that no matter what character you are playing at that moment, you just want to walk around and take it all in, to the point that you forget what your mission is but you’re okay with that. And I feel that was by design. Though I have played some of the older games-Republic Commando and Jedi Knight-I never found myself being taken in with the details to the extent as I am with this game.
Now for the actual gameplay itself-here’s where the heart of the game really is, because while you do have your usual jump/walk/climb, you also have specific styles unique to each character. For example, as Luke or Leia in New Hope you can shoot blasters, but you can also use punches and kicks without needing to be up close to your opponent, and interestingly enough there’s even a combo system to go with it as well as a counterattack ability. If you’re playing a character that can shoot you can also take cover behind certain barriers and be able to dodge as well as fire back at Stormtroopers if you find yourself in a firefight. In addition, you also lock on to your enemy and take them out that way. If you happen to be a Jedi-Ben Kenobi in this case-then you can use the Force and your lightsaber, but this time you can throw it, and when you use the Force to grab something you don’t just push it right then. This time around you can decide to carry and move it around, or you can crash it into something, or with enemies you can use Force suggestion to either influence those weak-minded fools to do something, or even have them go into a panic or even attack their own, which is pretty hilarious.
With vehicles-so far I’ve ridden Banthas and landspeeders, but the attack on the Death Star stage was something else because not only do you get to fly an X-Wing, but you also get a chance to fly one and not be limited to one speed. Now you can control how fast you go and even pull a few tricks here and there. Of course like Han Solo would say, “Don’t get cocky.” because in that stage you will be kept on your toes with TIE Fighters coming at you.
Obviously this is only Episode 4 and not the rest of the game, but I can honestly say that just on that alone this game gives so much more than the usual Lego fare. It is once again one of those rare masterpieces that doesn’t just live up to the hype, it exceeds it. And that is hard to get these days. The fact that there had been delays for quite a while only made the hype increase, and the game ended up better off for it allowed the developers to polish the game more, which made those delays blessings in disguise.
Plus the customization allows Arcaders to enjoy the game in many different ways, so if you don’t want to hear the full spoken dialogue, you can resort to mumbles like older Lego games had.
Speaking of, the voice cast for this game was more than impressive. While it wasn’t the same cast as the live-action, the actors chosen to play the parts more than delivered, which only adds to the experience.
Because it has the Lego aesthetic, it doesn’t have the combat system you would expect in titles like Battlefront II, but what Arcaders will find in this game more than makes up for it, because Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga still pulls you into the GFFA while still having that brand of Lego humor, and it balances both so flawlessly that you don’t find yourself ever getting bored, rather you just want to keep playing again and again, and with so many Easter eggs and challenges in the game, this game will keep you up for days if not weeks. And even after, you’re still going to want to play it again.
So if you haven’t already, buy a copy, and get ready to travel back to George Lucas’s Galaxy, and experience the saga in all it’s renewed awesomeness once more. Feel the Force, for it will be with you always!