We are starting to question if the Force is really with Traveller’s Tales as they develop the ambitious game LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The Lego game was revealed in 2019, but then quickly disappeared into the galaxy. One would think that Traveller’s Tales has mastered the Lego formula by now, but The Skywalker Saga has proven otherwise. Numerous delays pushed the game all the way back to 2022. To the untrained eye, Lego games are simple to make – low-quality graphics, repeated character actions, and a pre-written story – that doesn’t sound too difficult!
In reality, Lego games have constantly upgraded their formula by adding huge open worlds, voice acting, standalone stories, and impressive graphics. The Skywalker Saga looks like another major jump for the Lego franchise, especially since it’s being built from the ground up and offering player freedom as no other Lego game has up to this point. Suffice it to say, even though Traveller’s Tales have taken their time, The Skywalker Saga is shaping up to be the best Lego game to date. For those who might have lost hope, here are five reasons to build that excitement back up:
1. New Combat Systems
In the past, Lego games have been a little stale when it comes to combat. In the Star Wars games, for instance, the lightsaber combat was executed by simply tapping the attack button repeatedly, causing the enemy minifigs to break in half with little gravitas. There was no skill, no pizazz. Similarly, blaster-based characters suffered from the same simplified design. Characters like Han Solo would shoot at enemies with little to no aiming function. For the next Star Wars entry though, the combat is transcending from the former simple Lego mechanics to something more akin to the realistic portrayals of our favorite characters (say, the stylish combat form Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order).
Of all the new systems introduced, the following two look to make the biggest impact on the central conceit of Lego gameplay: the camera and cover mechanics. In the trailers, we’ve seen the classic lightsaber battles such as Obi-Wan vs. Anakin in all of their minifig glory. The camera, instead of being top-down, is positioned behind the playable character’s back, creating a more cinematic feel. The combat itself looks to function on well-timed blocks and parries. Secondly, the gunplay is taking a page right out of action-adventure games like Uncharted. Characters take cover behind objects and aim their blasters with an over-the-shoulder view. Traveller’s Tales is, clearly, focusing on well-designed gameplay instead of relying only on nostalgic Lego charm.
2. Record-Breaking Numbers
The Skywalker Saga is shaping up to be the biggest Lego game ever made, spanning across all nine mainline Star Wars films. A Lego game has never been as ambitious as this, usually only focusing on one to three movies at best. That’s not all, though; this entry brings the biggest playable roster to date, coming in at a shocking 300 playable characters. There is nothing more rewarding in these titles than acquiring that excessive amount of studs to purchase along-awaited characters. To add even more excitement, the latest Lego games, like LEGO DC Super-Villians do an excellent job of differentiating each character from one another.
The same can probably be said for this newest entry…hopefully. There’s nothing worse than finally unlocking Martian Manhunter and realizing that the only thing he can do is shoot lasers out of his eyes – a disgrace for such a powerful character. That rant aside, we hope that The Skywalker Saga introduces an organizational system for all of these characters. It’s easy for that array of circles with character heads stationed inside to blur together like one of those Facebook ‘spot the difference’ challenges.
3. It’s Funny
The Lego games have always resorted to an innocent, slightly parody-laced style of humor that borders on the line of ‘cheesy’. Somehow, though, its corny nature gives the Lego games so much charm. If the trailers we’ve seen so far prove to be accurate, then The Skywalker Saga looks to be Lego humor at its best. One of the funniest scenes of the latest trailer was simple but effective. Luke asks Ben Kenobi about his father, and Ben exudes an overexaggerated grunt of nervous energy. Another scene shows Rey learning about the Force, reaching out in an attempt to feel the cosmic energy. Chewie pops his head in front of her and she feels his fur instead, mistaking it for the all-powerful magic inside all of us. Now that’s good stuff!
Much like several franchises these days, the Lego games have transitioned to an open-world format. The Skywalker Saga will feature the biggest open world yet, where players are free to explore across 28 different locations. Those locations, which are the evolutions of the hub system, look to be massive. We’ve seen a character riding a tauntaun across the vast snow lands of Hoth, and Mace Windu running across the streets of Coruscant. We got a glimpse of the galaxy map, and it looks similar to something out of Mass Effect or The Outer Worlds.
There were over 24 planets sprawling across this map, with each one surely offering a huge map of their own. Freedom goes beyond exploration though; it also represents the player’s ability to play through the game any way they see fit. Players can be crazy and play a story mission of The Last Jedi then jump back to The Phantom Menace. Whatever floats your boat!
5. A Thing of Dreams
These games would make the perfect adaptations if it weren’t for the Lego packaging. Consider the open world, original story, and vast character selection of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. That’s the closest we’ll get to our dream Marvel game. On the Star Wars front, we’ve gotten some excellent games, ranging from Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
Those games and others, due to either technical limitations or restricted scope, fail to deliver an expansive Star Wars experience where players can explore every planet in every era. The Skywalker Saga looks to do just that… just with a Lego coating. With the sheer scope of this upcoming release, it’s difficult to see why there isn’t more of an uproar of excitement. It’s the Star Wars game we always wanted!
Until then stay tuned to Gaming Instincts via Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for more gaming news!