Initially I imagined LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga – PlayStation 4 Standard Edition
was a compilation of sorts, featuring updated versions of previous LEGO Star Wars games while filling in the gaps of unrepresented films with new content. This simply is not the case. All nine main Star Wars movies are equally represented with brand new levels and objectives along with the freedom to play in the order you choose. As the E3 demo showed, a cool rotating episode select menu allows anyone to play whichever episode they want from the start. If I don’t want to play Attack of the Clones, great. The option is mine!
Those familiar with the LEGO Star Wars games will feel at home as the quirky dialogue and the adorable character models are all back, but this time with extra polish. It was noted several times over the course of the demo that the current engine was built from the group up, and it certainly shows. The desert planet of Tatooine and its rocky environment looked realistic with its detailed textures, working well against the sharp contrast of the plain and shiny LEGO objects. Extra details like sand lining the edges of character’s feet along with the solid fur of the Bantha mammals are great to see.
Worlds are no longer linear and take an open-world approach. After checking out Luke’s moisture farm, which was ripe with cool references, a vehicle was used to zip around the canyon, which admittedly lagged when running into LEGO objects. At the end was the Great Pit of Carkoon which, of course, was completely constructed in LEGO too. Along the way were enemies to take on and characters to interact with, one of which was a Gonk Droid offering an escort mission across the desert. Switching to C-3PO as the playable character, among other favorites like Chewbacca and Boba Fett, will translate the droid’s otherwise repetitive language.
I also briefly got a glimpse of a space sequence where it was possible to fly the Millennium Falcon to the planet of your choice, another cool way things stay open-ended.
The actual playing of The Skywalker Saga has also seen a distinct upgrade. Enemies now come with health bars so one hit kills are no longer the default. In fact, there’s a new combo system that gives variety to your fights and a way to attack with lighter and stronger attacks. The Force is more intuitive than ever, allowing you to pick up multiple LEGO objects at once, flinging them in whatever direction you like. I see a lot of puzzle potential utilizing the new Force mechanics.
And for those who love their collectibles, a Kyber Brick was collected after using the Force to score on a makeshift goal, sending a quick notification stating it was the first of 500 bricks collected.
After the demo concluded, I briefly spoke with Arthur Parsons, head designer at TT Games, on the inclusion of the yet to be released Episode 9. When asked if special access or any plot details were provided to help create this special part of the game, Parsons reassured me that TT Games has a very close relationship with Lucasfilm and that their goal is to stay as authentic as possible to the original source material. The Skywalker Saga is set to release in 2020, well after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens later in December of this year.
Before my demo, I only had a single Star Wars game on my radar. After the demo, I can’t decide if I’m more excited for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or The Skywalker Saga. It might not seem this way based on the premise alone and the fact that we’ve already had five previous LEGO Star Wars games, but TT Games is certainly proving it’s not releasing just another entry in the series. There’s a lot to love about Star Wars, and The Skywalker Saga is clearly tapping into it.
Michael Koczwara is a freelance writer who is ready to help the gonk droid. Follow him on Twitter and YouTube.