LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - Before You Buy
Hey, we're back with another episode of Before You Buy the Show where we give you some straight-up gameplay and our first impressions of the latest games released. As usual, it's me, Jake, and I've been playing Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. It's been a long time since we've had one of these games, and they're really special and significant.
If you're a bit older, you might think it's just another licensed product game, but since, like the PS2 GameCube days, the Lego Star Wars games were like a powerhouse, for younger fans it's like a whole cultural avenue of gaming that is very often ignored or at least underrated. Lego Star Wars games are more legit than people realize.
It's like article game comfort food, and so with this new one they essentially crammed all of the mainline Star Wars movies into one game, from the prequels to the originals, to the new sequels, which not all of them got their own standalone games. It's got all the ups and downs of Star Wars as well as tons of vehicles and fully explorable environments, like open environments this time around, planets, a galaxy map, and something insane like 400 playable characters.
It's really ambitious and honestly impressive what they've done here. You know, while it sometimes feels kind of padded and filled with unnecessary information and sometimes boring stuff in spots. I think overall it's players who want this type of thing will be happy to jump in, too. If you're going through it with a child or a friend or a loved one or whatever, it's good for a couple of laughs and some good Lego Star Wars good times.
And just so you know, we've been playing a review copy and this footage here has been captured on an Xbox series x. The way it works is that from the main menu you can access, basically, the starting film from each trilogy, and then by playing through you subsequently unlock the next one. Like, finishing a new hope unlocks an empire strikes back, that kind of thing.
These are the new Lego Star Wars campaigns. They're not just like dumping the old ones in here. Each movie is represented by its own unique adventure, and each one can last you a few hours depending on how you play now. The Lego Star Wars core gameplay remains the same but updated. You hunt for hidden collectibles.
You punch stuff to make it explode into Lego pieces. You build stuff, you fight enemies, and you do platforming. That stuff is the same, but the twists are pretty noteworthy. Shooting combat is now like an over-the-shoulder style and feels more like a traditional third-person shooter. The aiming is pretty decent, and certain characters can do cool trick shots.
Feedback feels pretty decent, and stormtroopers, like hilariously, will stumble around when you shoot them, and it's actually pretty satisfying to pop their helmets off. Shootouts from cover are usually kind of messy though, because the actual cover system itself is rough and a lot of enemies just run at you, but it works sometimes.
That might sound like I'm nitpicking. I don't know, I'm just doing my job if you're playing with your eight-year-old kid. That kid is not going to care about a rough around-the-edge cover system. Still, for stuff like that, it's worth pointing out that droids are still mostly in charge of opening doors and unlocking things, but like man, the melee especially.
For example, characters with lightsabers have been updated quite a bit. You can now do combos and it really changes things up. You can hit the dudes. You can pop them up into the air. You can ground slam. There's way more room to make combat a little more engaging. Some enemies can block, so you'll need to combo them.
Some enemies will even hit you with a big attack that you can actually counter. It's all super basic, like really base level stuff because people of different age groups have to be able to grasp it, but it's a nice step up and really makes a difference during boss battles and especially the one-on-one lightsaber fights.
It's a good, satisfying improvement, and it's pretty fun now. The only thing that bothered me about combat is that your ai-controlled companions are absolutely mindless, like way more than they should be and way more than they have in the past, to the point where most of the time they just stand there barely helping out in combat.
It almost feels like a glitch or a bug. They'll occasionally fire off a shot, but they mostly just stand around in the middle of the action, and it was really distracting. It's definitely much stronger as a cooperative experience, which as far as I know, is only good old-fashioned couch co-op drop in dropout split screen old school style.
The other big addition is the larger environment. More exploration and a bunch of side quests now. It's pretty overwhelmingly big, so right from the start, like right outside Luke Skywalker's childhood home, there's a sprawling area with things to find and people to talk to and side quests to complete that usually net you mini kits and stuff like that.
Then, pretty much every time you progress, you can find yourself in a new explorable area. I'm talking about all of Cloud City, most of Eisley Spaceport, Naboo, Jakku, and Nema Outpost, all filled with things like ridable creatures, vehicles, and NPCS. It's a lot. They give you a lot of them. Like, remember the three-second scene in the movie where Qui-gon and Jar Binks are in the woods?
That whole wooded area is like a big open playable explorable area. It's wild, it's a lot, and all of it is somewhat skippable. If you want to just play through the main quest, it just means you have to usually run a long distance to the next thing, and the same goes for space regions. Before flying down to a planet for a main quest, you can freely fly around a section of space and usually find a few battles to jump into to kill time, or a floating droid that'll give you a little side quest.
There is a staggering amount of stuff to do just for me personally. Though it got a little repetitive, there were so many easter eggs and references, and the dialogue and side quests and good jokes, but on the gameplay side, after a while, it got stale, and when I got to my fourth open-ended area.
I was pretty much tapped out and just didn't want to see anymore because it felt a little repetitive. That being said, I still get a little bit of joy hopping on a speeder and cruising around just to check out the environment for a second. It's all just a massive collect-a-thon. Now, your mileage is going to vary.
It depends on your tastes. I got bored of this after a while, but I know a lot of people do not, and if you are a classic Lego game collector, brick hunter, or man, this game is designed for you and gives you a ton. Of course, a lot of this is grinding out collecting stuff for free play mode, where you can just use whatever ship you want that you unlocked and play as whatever character you want.