Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels like being transported into a living Lego set.
You can see every indent and divot on each brick, and minifigures show wear and tear from the deserts of Tatooine.
Easily the most ambitious Lego game ever made, The Skywalker Saga packs in some truly hilarious slapstick humor, as well as plenty of Star Wars nostalgia and Easter eggs. However, developer TT Games’ dynamic world buckles under an avalanche of too many collectibles and checklists.
A fresh perspective
The Skywalker Saga covers all nine of the mainline Star Wars movies, each with its own dedicated section. It’s not a compendium of previous Lego Star Wars games, but a complete reimagining built from the ground up, with a host of new features and ideas. Where past installments were top-down fixed camera experiences, Skywalker Saga changes things up to a third-person view, which helps make everything feel more immersive.
The new perspective really does help make Skywalker Saga feel more like a proper action game, and the team at TT Games has taken further steps in that direction to make combat a tad bit more complex. Characters now have light attack combos, and gun-wielding characters can fire in an over-the-shoulder view, take cover, and even build cover out of spare bricks. While this makes battles feel more exciting, the low difficulty level means you never really need to use the shooting elements. As such, it feels more like a tacked-on element rather than something essential to the experience.
The other major change is that Skywalker Saga now groups the various playable characters into ten different classes, all of which have different abilities needed to solve puzzles.These classes do help puzzles feel more distinct and varied, but can also lead to a lot of switching back and forth. Luckily, the actual act of switching characters only takes a few seconds.
The overall formula of Skywalker Saga makes itself clear early on; you travel to one massive hub area with a handful of main missions, then travel to the next major hub area. The main story missions are the absolute highlight of Skywalker Saga, where the imaginative creativity of the team behind the game truly shines brightest.
Like with past Lego Star Wars titles, these missions retell each film’s story with a slapstick comedy slant. The creativity of the humor is truly exceptional — like opening an escape pod only to find a trio of Stormtroopers in a hot tub that tell you the pod is “occupied.” Skywalker Saga also does an admirable job of calling back to recurring gags, with my personal favorite being a spoof on the body-double scene of Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace.
Main missions consistently mix up gameplay with unique elements, like a short tower-defense section in the Battle of Naboo, or high-speed starship fights. Lightsaber duels are a particular highlight — they feel far more intense and frenetic than ever before, requiring a bit more thought in both combat and puzzle-solving.
Too much of a good thing
While you can focus solely on the story missions, the bulk of gameplay in Skywalker Saga is crammed into the various hub areas. Each one is full of collectibles, secrets, NPCs, and missions. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks to check off.
The game’s main collectibles are blue Kyber Bricks, and every time you collect one you see it added to the total out of more than a thousand. Seeing that grim reminder over and over that I still had hundreds of bricks to collect really killed my enthusiasm.
Games like The Witcher 3 and Elden Ring feature distinctive side activities that are memorable in their own right, but Skywalker Saga feels like it goes all-in on the idea that more content is better for it’s own sake. There’s nothing wrong with collectibles and checklists, but I wish Skywalker Saga had focused on quality over quantity here.
Multiple reports from earlier this year have painted a picture of intense crunch at TT Games during Skywalker Saga’s development, and the design of the core gameplay loop makes those strenuous working conditions all too evident. I consistently found myself asking why there had to be so many things to see and do, especially when many feel underdeveloped.
Certain mechanics pop up once in a main mission, only to never be seen again. The various character class skills also mean you’ll need to swap characters frequently when trying to explore and solve puzzles. Skywalker Saga could have really benefited from reigning in the scope a bit, and not cramming so many areas, collectibles, and characters in. As the saying goes, more doesn’t always mean better, especially if all that leads to crunch.
Skywalker Saga succeeds most when it captures that Star Wars feeling, which it does often. Visually the game is an absolute delight, and of course, it’s filled with all the authentic Star Wars music and sound effects needed. There’s fantastic humor and gameplay design in the main missions, but at times it can struggle under the sheer weight of things to see and do.
Skywalker Saga is easily one of the best Lego games ever made, but I hope to see the franchise’s core gameplay loop evolve a little further in the future.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is out now for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Inverse reviewed the Xbox One version.
INVERSE VIDEO GAME REVIEW ETHOS: Every Inverse video game review answers two questions: Is this game worth your time? Are you getting what you pay for? We have no tolerance for endless fetch quests, clunky mechanics, or bugs that dilute the experience. We care deeply about a game’s design, world-building, character arcs, and storytelling come together. Inverse will never punch down, but we aren’t afraid to punch up. We love magic and science-fiction in equal measure, and as much as we love experiencing rich stories and worlds through games, we won’t ignore the real-world context in which those games are made.