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“Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” is filled with fun, but I’m too critical

After two years of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the newest Lego Star Wars game, "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga" is finally out.
After two years of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the newest Lego Star Wars game, "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga" is finally out.

More than two years after its announcement, “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” finally launched on April 5. 

I was super excited, as I grew up playing “Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga” with my dad. It looked like the developers were putting massive effort into this game, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

After its long delay, the game smashed records, selling over 3 million copies within its first two weeks. My physical edition, which I pre-ordered nearly a month before the release date, took a week to arrive with the high demand for copies. 

The game was worth the wait, though my expectations may have been too high.

“Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” allows players to relive the nine core “Star Wars” films. The game uses humor and integrates co-op elements to appeal to families. 

Players can choose to start with “The Phantom Menace,” “A New Hope” or “The Force Awakens.” As they complete episodes, players will unlock new ones. I chose to play through the original trilogy, as well as “The Phantom Menace.” 

People who spent their childhoods playing “Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga” may notice some huge differences with this game.

The game design has been revamped entirely. Rather than being a simple beat-’em-up with puzzles, “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” adds features such as melee combos and aimable force abilities and weapons.

Episodes now have five levels, rather than six. The levels are also short, averaging 10 to 20 minutes to complete. 

Hoping to keep players interested, the game lengthens some scenes from the movie to convert them to levels and shortens the rest for cutscenes. For example, while playing through “Return of the Jedi,” I wondered why I had to play two levels on Endor but had to just experience the second Death Star’s explosion through a cutscene.

Though the levels are short, the game does encourage replayability. Collectible minikits, which are hidden throughout the levels, make another appearance in this game, along with some new features. 

Players are now able to choose their own paths when completing sections. Each level has three challenges that push gamers to make creative choices during the missions.

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Although Lego games have always had vague groupings for characters, “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” establishes definite classes for characters. These classes have different abilities which can be upgraded using Kyber bricks collected through the open world and levels.

Unfortunately, navigating this class system was difficult. Sometimes, I would select a character, but the game simply wouldn’t respond to the command.

The game’s open world is its highlight, featuring 24 different planets players can travel to. Players can go to iconic settings within these locations while also having the opportunity to complete missions that will unlock studs or the aforementioned Kyber bricks. 

However, some of these planets feature small areas for players to explore. For instance, Endor prevents players from leaving the Ewok village, which was a shame since the planet looked so beautiful in the levels.

The open world doesn’t work well in co-op mode, which has always been a large part of Lego games. Players can’t travel to separate areas, restricting the fun of having an open world. 

Flying in space has been massively upgraded. The ships move much more smoothly, and are incorporated into the open world and levels. While in space, players can engage in space fights or travel to larger ships such as the Death Star and Imperial Star Destroyers. 

I had the most fun with the space aspect of Lego’s newest game. It reminded me of my favorite Star Wars game, the 2005 “Star Wars: Battlefront II.” Whenever I activated the game’s free play mode, I immediately traveled to the stars.

Although “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” is fun, it does have some drawbacks.

It could just be the Nintendo Switch’s lesser capabilities when compared to home consoles like the PS5, but I did run into some problems with the game’s technology. 

During some levels, the game glitched, making it nearly impossible to continue. The first time it happened, I had to quit the level and redo it, which was annoying. The second time it happened, I decided to be a bit more creative, and I spent a few minutes figuring out a way to move around the area.

In addition, the game had some slow load times, leaving me frequently staring at the loading screen. The developers attempted to make this less boring by adding models of the game’s ships with information about them, but they’re hardly entertaining. 

The game used these loading screens often, as in every time I tried to travel to a new area. I was expecting more seamless exploration, but in fairness, the game is rather large, so it makes sense to use these screens when moving to different locations.

“Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” has no difficulty setting. Adults may find that the levels and puzzles aren’t challenging enough and grow bored of the game. 

Visually, the game is filled with beautiful worlds. Ships and structures are designed from Lego bricks which adds to the aesthetic appeal of the games. 

Although I have my complaints, “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” is still the best-looking Lego game, the largest Lego game and the most-original Lego game in terms of design. I also just enjoyed getting to experience the thrill of the “Star Wars” films once again.

“Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” easily rivals Lego’s top games, despite its shortcomings in some areas. If these problems are fixed in a future update, “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” could secure the title of best Lego game.

Rating: 8/10

@lukejmacy

macylj@miamioh.edu

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