LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The Force Is Strong With This One (It Wasn't Always The Case)
In 2005, Traveller's Tales would make history by pushing the limits and expectations of what a licensed game could be. LEGO Star Wars was more than just a Star Wars tie-in and LEGO titles have been developed for over a decade. What made LEGO Star Wars an instant hit was Traveller's Tales attention to detail. Many Easter Eggs and jokes that both die-hard and casual Star Wars fans will understand gave this game soul. The easy-to-play gameplay and its faithfulness to its LEGO aesthetic also made it a blast with a younger audience. It was 2005's surprise hit and one that would start an entire franchise leading up to The Skywalker Saga.
After 17 years of developing LEGO-themed games, Traveller's Tales had a challenge in developing LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. It would be their largest game developed, with many hiccups along the way. Crunch times, a new engine, and many dissatisfied employees complicated The Skywalker Saga's progress. Many would end up leaving while some would voice their stories about the work ethics at the time. Despite this, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was able to reach its release window and the hard work of those involved in the project certainly paid off.
LEGO Star Wars Is Reimagined, Again
In many ways, The Skywalker Saga is both a new game and a "remake" at the same time. The original LEGO Star Wars let players revisit the Prequel Trilogy as it was relevant for the time. The following year saw LEGO Star Wars 2, which featured the Original Trilogy, combining both games in LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
The next LEGO Star Wars game that "fits" in The Skywalker Saga would be based on The Force Awakens in 2016. With the inclusion of The Last Jedi and Rise of The Skywalker released after, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga not only included the two movies but everything else. The inclusion of all nine movies in one package is an incredible feat, effectively making this title a remake of the first two LEGO Star Wars games by extension.
LEGO May Cry (That would be a cool idea actually)
The LEGO Star Wars combat that has been a staple since the beginning received a major overhaul, focusing on combos this time around. There are countless videos showing creative talent pushing the game's mechanics to their limits. I began The Skywalker Saga the only way a Star Wars fan knew how. At the very beginning. Episode 4.
The opening scene with Princess Leia fighting through the Imperial army was made more intense with the new combat mechanics, effectively turning Leia into Trish from Devil May Cry. There are launchers, air combos, "re-stands," "OTGs," and many other fighting game terminologies that translate well. The clip below by video editor SunhilLegend is more than enough of an example to show what The Skywalker Saga is capable of.
Each "Level" Is An Open World Experience
Certain levels, like the Imperial invasion, are marginally straightforward in finding a way to get from Point A to Point B. The following two levels, Tatooine and Mos Eisley aren't as simple. As these two locations are planets, there are hidden secrets to find in out-of-the-way locations. One such secret requires the player to solve a puzzle by turning switches in order within the time period. There are various NPCs that will hint at a secret nearby, urging the player to investigate. Solving the secret will reward players with in-game currency as well as upgrade bricks.
These blue upgrade bricks are necessary to earn skills to make players' experiences better overall. They are also fun to accomplish, requiring the player to use their skills in unique ways. Destroying the environment has always been a key feature in LEGO Star Wars, revealing hidden items to "build," which leads to the solutions to these secrets. Others will require the player to move objects in a certain way to obtain bricks from "out of reach" areas. It's not necessarily an "open-world" in the traditional sense, but there are enough of these side quests to add more playtime.
The Skywalker Saga Is Business As Usual For Traveller's Tales
Traveller's Tales' end product makes it so it's difficult to go back to the older LEGO Star Wars titles outside of historical purposes. Back then, the first two games were game-changers. Even outside of the Star Wars brand, TT never relented from branching into other successful licenses. The staff always had a knack for taking a license's source material and making it accessible for everyone. This is made apparent with the game's default settings. Accessibility options including health auto-recovery are turned on by default. There are other options that are included to allow players of all kinds to enjoy.
Being that the last LEGO Star Wars games I played were the original two, I was surprised to hear actual voice acting in The Skywalker Saga. This was a thing in the previous LEGO game as well, which shows how far the LEGO series had come. In the past, the games required comedic timing and context for most of their references to hit their target. The inclusion of voice acting makes this easier.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the definitive LEGO Star Wars experience with hours of content and hundreds of characters to unlock. There are even cheat codes given by the devs themselves to unlock exclusive skins for players who participate in surveys. Editor's note here, but, I'd personally write in the surveys a request to not force a capable team under crunch and weird work conditions. The TT staff pulled a miracle here, but it's something that should never happen to begin with.