More Star Wars? Really? We wouldn’t blame you in the slightest if your reaction to more Star Wars, whether it be of the film, TV series or video game variety, was somewhat apathetic at this stage given the sheer amount of it we’ve had thrown at us in recent years. Indeed, as we sat down to boot up this latest Lego Star Wars adventure, we couldn’t help but wonder if we were particularly up for diving into this universe from scratch all over again.
However, after just a handful of minutes — yes, minutes — with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, well… we were completely hooked in and ready to savour every moment of this epic space adventure once more. TT Games has served up a spectacular re-treading of the three trilogies here, combining fast and frantic campaign missions that bounce from set-piece to set-piece as they take in all the big moments from the movies, and a huge open world that’s absolutely stuffed to the gills with secrets, puzzles and exploration to dig into in your downtime. It’s a Star Wars fan’s fever dream and, for our Galactic Credits at least, the very best Lego game this developer has made to date. Yep, it’s that good.
Of course, the big question with regards to this Switch version in particular is does it run ok? Can Nintendo’s hybrid console handle all of this hot Jedi action without melting like so much Mustafarian lava in your hands? Well, we’re very pleased to say, it does a stand-up job. This is the best we’ve seen a Lego game perform on the Switch so far and, although there is the odd stumble here and there along the way — which we’ll get to talking about in due course — for 99% of our time with this one we were hugely impressed with how well it looked, played and handled.
If you’ve been following along with development of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, you’ll likely already know about all the biggest gameplay changes and improvements that have been made to what’s come before in Lego Star Wars games. Combat has been overhauled entirely here with a new combo system giving you much more to dig your teeth into with regards to melee action. Get up into a stormtrooper’s face and you’ll need to use light, heavy and jump attacks to pull off a variety of moves as spamming just one button will lead to your foe blocking everything that’s thrown their way. There are counter attacks added to the mix too, with a great big “X” appearing over enemy heads when you’ve got the opportunity to flip their incoming assault around to your advantage, resulting in close quarters combat that moves well away from the one-button drubbings of old towards something that feels much more satisfying to get stuck into. It’s not exactly Devil May Cry or God of War – this is a kid’s game first and foremost, after all – but it’s a big improvement.
Get a lightsaber in your hands and these improvements continue, with block automatically deflecting all incoming laser fire in a satisfyingly slick manner as you move forward and lay into opponents with combinations of flashy attacks. You can also fling your saber to cause ranged damage and even send it ricocheting around environments to have it cut down scenery for sneaky attacks. Combine all of this with some sweet force powers that let you fling objects and enemies around and mind tricks that allow you to confuse, scare and even take control of foes to have them do your bidding (we like to walk them off the nearest cliff) and Jedis feel pretty darn awesome to control here.
Gun-toting characters are catered to with an all-new over-the-shoulder camera angle taking effect when you decide to come over all pew-pew-pew, and the game even has a slick Gears of War-style cover system, snapping you into the nearest safe place and allowing you to pop in and out to get your shots off – heck, you can even barrel from cover to cover with a press of 'B' to close in on enemies whilst keeping your head down.
With this new cover system and over-the-shoulder camera view combined, the corridor blasting sequences here come to life like never before in a Lego Star Wars game and the intro moments of A New Hope, with Vader and his crew invading the Tantive IV, provide a bombastic opening that shows off all of these new gameplay mechanics in their very best light. This is Lego Star Wars like you've never experienced it before.
TT Games has also, as usual, made fantastic use of original movie sound samples as all of this blasting and whooshing of lightsabers is going down, with every weapon, door and enemy in the game sounding exactly as it should do, resulting in battles that you just can’t help but get swept up in. It’s an absolute nostalgia tsunami.
There's new depth provided in the many skill trees you'll dig into for each class of character too, giving you the chance to beef up your core skills — health, attack power, sprint speed and so on — as well as specialising a little in the direction of your choosing. You can pump points into your Jedi powers, for example, beefing up your force pull or having your mind tricks last that little bit longer, maybe make your scavenger's glider whoosh through the air a little faster or increase the blast radius of your bounty hunter's shock grenades. There are a total of nine classes to work with and you'll need to swap them out on-the-fly continuously during open world play and in main missions in order to solve all the puzzles and grab all the secrets and collectibles thrown your way.
Of all the changes that have been made for this latest Star Wars adventure, however, it’s likely the new open world aspect of proceedings in which prospective players are most interested, and in this regard they're in for quite the treat. It may not be a true “open world” that can be traversed from one side to the other without a loading screen – fair enough when your story spans an entire galaxy – but what you do get here is pretty much every major location from all three trilogies to tool around in at your leisure. From Tatooine, Hoth and the forests of Endor to Coruscant, Kamino, Naboo, Jakku and many more, you’re let loose to wander, taking in the sights, exploring and, of course, solving the endlessly clever puzzles that dot every inch of the landscape.
It's not just planet-side activities, either. Oh no, this time around you can hop into your favourite spaceship and take to the skies to engage in surprisingly fluid dogfights against enemy forces; barrel-rolling and flipping and launching proton torpedoes as you go. You can partake in wave-based smuggling runs that put your TIE-destroying skills to the test, tear meteors apart for prizes and roll up alongside friendly faces to take on a range of space-based side missions.
All told, the level of freedom afforded to players here really is quite breathtaking and in-between story missions, or in Galaxy Free Play mode, you can select any character/location combo from all the episodes you’ve unlocked (that’s over 300 characters and 24 locations in total) to get stuck in to collecting Kyber Bricks (the means by which you’ll unlock the game’s many class-based upgrades) alongside all of the minikits, ships, secrets, side missions, challenges and trials you can shake a filthy Sith at.
There’s a staggering amount of side activities to engage in, and the game keeps things kid-friendly and intuitive by providing hilariously mouthy planet-side guides who are ready and waiting with tips and instructions for every aspect of play, as well as a rumours system that lets you cash in some of the Lego studs you’ll hoover up in order to receive help as to where the next unlockable character, ship or side mission may be. You've got access to lots of pointers and markers and little coloured trails to guide you on your way should you need it as well, and all of this stuff can be switched off should you prefer a less busy HUD as you explore. There’s speeder bikes, Bantha and all-manner of methods of transport scattered around locations, too, so you can tear around environments at speed in search of goodies, or just take the lazy way out and jump in a space-cab to reach your next destination.
So, the open world stuff, then: it’s huge, it’s kid-friendly and it gives you an exhaustive amount of freedom to mix and match characters and locations as you please, easily shaping up to dozens of hours' worth of top-notch exploring, collecting and puzzle-solving to dig into, but it’d still be a shadow of the game we’ve ended up with if the story side of proceedings wasn't up to scratch. Luckily, what TT Games has provided in terms of its campaign missions here is a wonderfully fast, flashy and funny retelling of the franchise's major plot points; a punchy procession of the very best, most memorable sequences from all nine Star Wars movies.
You (and a buddy if you're indulging in drop-in co-op) will swoop into the trenches of the Death Star in an X-wing to deliver proton torpedo justice, take part in the Boonta Eve Classic, battle Darths Vader, Maul and Sideous, blast baddies above the Sarlacc Pit, destroy AT-AT walkers during the Battle of Hoth, escape Jakku in the Millennium Falcon, blaze through the forests of Endor on a speeder bike and so much more in your time with this one. All of this is, of course, delivered with that trademark Lego humour and there's plenty of sly nods and digs at some of the weaker aspects of the movies to enjoy, as well as lots of slapstick — and Stormtrooper hot tub parties — thrown in for good measure. The voice-acting is top-notch across the board and, if you're so inclined, you can switch things up to mumble mode for the quintessential Lego Star Wars experience. All bases are well and truly covered.
All in all, the high-octane tempo of the core campaign action here feels like a perfectly balanced accompaniment to the mostly chilled-out nature of your open world endeavours, and the zippy nature in which the game blasts through each episode (you can barrel through each movie in about two hours) helps to almost entirely neutralise any getting bogged down by boring filler. We say "almost entirely" because although TT Games has pulled some thrilling sequences out of the prequel messes, they've still had to beef them up with a few tedious gameplay elements — serving food in a restaurant, anyone? — in order to flesh them out. Prequel blips aside, though, this is super strong stuff for the vast majority of its running time, and in particular the original trilogy and the latest batch of movies are just non-stop high points, blasting you from set-piece to set-piece at breakneck speed as the quips, jokes and slapstick comedy moments roll in from every angle.
The campaign does an admirable job of mixing up its various gameplay mechanics, too, keeping things simple enough for younger players while still packing in plenty of vehicular action, boss fights, lightsaber duels, shootouts and puzzle elements to keep things cruising along at a nice pace. It doesn't all come off perfectly — a handful of the boss battles are a little clunky in how they segue from gameplay to cutscene and back as they progress, for example — but for the most part this is all the classic Star Wars action you could possibly have wanted for, served up in the slickest Lego package we've seen yet.
With regards to performance on Switch, as we mentioned at the top, we've been really impressed for the most part. In both docked and handheld modes this one looks the business and manages to hold a pretty smooth frame rate during frantic firefights, space battles and podraces alike. We did have a few sequences where things began to stutter, most notably during The Force Awakens' Rathtar shenanigans, and it can feel a tad sluggish in the open world here and there, but this is definitely the best-performing Star Wars game we've played on Nintendo's console thus far — quite the feat when you consider it's also the biggest and flashiest.
In terms of co-op mode, we played through the entirety of the prequel episodes with a pal in tow and although the resolution does take a noticeable — and entirely understandable — dip from time to time here, the frame rate held up surprisingly well with just the odd stutter now and again. Even big flashy battles against the likes of General Grievous performed decently in split-screen and blasting around in space together or zooming around in vehicles presented little to no issues for the vast majority of our playtime.
Yes, graphical quality has taken the expected hit when compared to other versions of the game. You'll notice the dynamic frame rate dips and things can get a little muddy in busy open spaces but, when all's said and done, we're still super impressed with the Switch version. There's still a ton of detail and fancy effects and lovingly-crafted spaces to explore here regardless of a few rough edges. The whole thing's an absolute dream to kick back with in handheld mode, too, so much so in fact that we're fully committed to returning to this one post-review in order to 100% the entire thing in portable mode. A sure sign of a great game.
Overall then, besides the odd lame prequel mission, and a few rough edges and frame rate bumps here and there, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an absolute triumph on Nintendo Switch. Adjust your expectations accordingly in terms of graphical downgrades and what you've got is one of the very best Lego games to date playing, looking and performing wonderfully in both docked and handheld modes. This game is an absolute treasure trove for fans of Lego and Star Wars alike and one of our absolute highlights of 2022 thus far, a year which started with some real bangers.
There's no such thing, it turns out, as too much Star Wars.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a fantastic experience on Switch, a great big celebration of everything Star Wars that's made the jump to Nintendo's console in surprisingly fine form. The upgrades to the series' core gameplay here — the combo-focused combat, flashy space battles, boss encounters, over-the-shoulder shooting action and cover system — all combine to make this the best Lego Star Wars has ever felt to play. Throw in a humongous open world setting that's bursting at the seams with secrets and collectibles and you've got an absolute smorgasbord of all things Star Wars to dig into. Turns out we were fools to think we could ever get tired of Jedis and lightsabers and the pew-pew-pew of flashy space guns.
I figured it would turn out well. Previews were glowing. This may be my second Lego game!
Was really hoping for this score. After all this waiting... We will have our revenge.
Coming off the Hogwarts collection recently, I’m so looking forward to this! I adore the humour in these games, I laugh regularly playing them XD so fun
Been looking forward to this for ages! I've only played the original LSW on GameCube, so I'm years overdue for another romp in the brick galaxy far, far away. 😍
The force is strong with this one.
“A few weak moments in the prequel trilogy”
What were you expecting lmfao it’s the prequels
Great to hear the Switch version performs well! I will add it to my wishlist for when I've made more inroads in my backlog.
I take it the co-op is consistently split screen rather than tethering people together?
YES!! I knew it! Just waiting patiently for the game to let me play it hehe.
@Enriesto I've been curious about those games, how are they? I'm a HP fan since the books, and I've been looking to try them out.
Great the game has scored well, so it should be entertaining. But personally I'm done with Lego games as they just seem to similar to me.
Got my preorder coming in tomorrow complete with the Han in carbonite steelbook case. Looking forward to it. And as much as I despised the actual films they were based on I’m even looking forward to playing the sequel stuff.
Super excited for this one! Not sure if I’ll get the Switch version, though.
@AJWolfTill Mostly split screen. But some parts are one screen where for example one person controls the ship and the other shoots.
My copy arrived a few hours ago, played an hour before heading to work. Really really good, haven't been this hyped for a Lego game in years!
Even in Lego form, the prequels can't be saved.
I'm excited for this though! I'm a bit worried it'll be a bit too different than what I'm used to with Lego games (there's a massive nostalgia in that old style for me) but I vastly enjoyed the last Lego Star Wars game (Force Awakens) so would be more than grand to give this a go as well.
“ Even in Lego form, the SEQUELS can't be saved.”
But the prequels had its bad moments as well…
Con: Includes the Disney Trilogy of films
"A few weak moments during the prequel trilogy"
Looks great though! Excellent review as well!
(Plus a fantastic strap line)
Best star wars and Lego game period am i right?
Despite all the flaws with the prequels I still enjoyed them more than the sequel trilogy. Especially Episode 3. But anyways gonna pick this up at some point still busy playing through Kirby and Triangle Strategy.
@JeanPaul I definitely recommend the Hogwarts collection, even more so if you’re a fan. It often goes on sale as well. Check it out!
Awesome! I wanted this game to be good.
Another one to fill an excellent year for the Switch. Omg, so many great games to play...
If prequel trilogy is a con, what about that terrible sequel trilogy?
Lego Star Wars and Wii Sports both returning this month...my childhood is coming back! lol
Anyone got the deluxe version in physical in the US? I don’t see it available anywhere for pre order, only the standard version.
I wanted to hold off for reviews, but looks like this one will be a solid day one game.
I'll wait for the inevitable massive price drop like every other Lego game.
@Funneefox Prequels are unironically better than the sequel trilogy
@Enriesto awesome, and exactly as you said, they are constantly on sale, I'll get them in the next sale, thanks!
the plural of Jedi is Jedi
@TheAmazingMisterFox It was available for preorder on Amazon some time back but I think it's pretty much sold out at this point
@PJOReilly So how it the blur in handheld please? I find it hard to enjoy blurry visuals.
Hopefully now everyone can make Capt Panaka the saga spanning hero of legend he deserved to be!
Captain Panaka was a playable character in the Episode I official game on PS1. Then ruthlessly discarded in Episode II.
so does this game require any download to play? and if so how much?
@BirdBoy16 No download required, the game is complete on cartridge. But there is an 1.0.1 update which is 192MB. I played through Episode 1 co-op without the update.
Impressive... Most impressive.
My fingers were crossed for a good review so this is great news! I really was worried the Switch version would be poorly optimized. Footage from the game and the dev talks looked really good to me, though, and I trust PJ O'Reilly's reviews implicitly, so if he's calling it the best Lego game ever and a nostalgia tsunami...!!
Well I'll just say I am really looking forward to picking up my preorder tomorrow.
May the Force be with us!
As I said on Purexbox, because of the inclusion of Disney's mockery of a Star Wars film this will be a hard pass from me.
@Yosti Good to know, thanks for the information!
Anyone know the file size?
just started playing it today on PS5 (I'm sure it's just as good on Switch). Totally agree with the 9 out of 10 as it's awesome. The only problem for me is Qui Gon Jinn sounds a bit like the late Sean Connery??? Which is not a bad thing though!! Excellent game and enjoy!!
This may end up being my first Lego game. Is it too kiddie, or can an adult enjoy it just the same?
"A few weak moments during the prequel trilogy" may be one of the shortest and most accurate reviews of the original 6 films
@BaronMunchausen I'm 52 years old and I say go for it and you will enjoy. But then I never really grew up
I'm a fan of the entire saga, so I'm definitely interested. I like the new perspective too.
Lock s-foils in attack position.
@Fizza 2 good points for the prequels: Darth Maul & Duel of the Fates
Wow this looks great, and the Switch version is actually awesome in both handheld and docked too. Looking forward to playing this at some point.
@durrdevil they are lol. Doesn’t make phantom menace a good movie tho
"this is a kid’s game first and foremost, after all"
Yeah, the most rabid Star Wars fans are the 12 yr olds and under. /sarcasm
Its fine to enjoy things aimed at a younger audience when you are an adult, if anything its easier to enjoy those things as an adult than a teenager.
These are the types of games I expect to run at 1080p 60fps. Everytime I mention that standard people are like god of war or halo or re village or whatever super detailed game doesn’t run at that on ps4. I don’t need a switch to run those sorts of games well. But I would like all my cartoon like games to run properly.
@Justifier The complaint in the review isn't so much the presence of the prequels, but that some of the prequel missions are boring. Whatever your opinion of the sequels are, they have a ton of set pieces that would translate well to a video game. Hell, Rise of Skywalker badically had a videogame plot.
@PokemonDMG Oh absolutely. Wouldn't take that away from them for the world.
Never enough Star Wars. Hopefully, after the succes of this one, they'll do a full Lego version of the Clone Wars series or Rebels.
Good news and thanks for the review. Expected this to be one of the best, if not the best, LEGO video game. I am looking forward to it
The only LEGO Star Wars I’ve played before was on the DS so the bar was very, very low.
For me, the only time I play lego games is in Co-op with kids.
But not sure this will play well in co-op at all, looking at the camera angles? Does it even have co-op?
Love the dog, by the way.
Glad to see this turned out well. I'll probably snag this when it inevitably goes on sale, as all Lego games do.
Not much of a Star Wars fan anymore, I still think the original series are the only good movies in the entire numbered franchise (I guess Episode 3 is okay). But at a sale price I'm still interested in checking this out.
@Funneefox Those are the best though!
Wow! Game looks and works good in handheld/undocked mode! Finally we got some good (and big?) multiplatform game with optimized handheld mode. That means, that the Switch Lite owners can enjoy playing this Lego Star Wars game. I'm happy.
I’m so psyched to play this now. I’m going to bypass graphical issues by way of PS4, but it’s great that portable is an option. It’s been a while since I’ve played a Lego game, and between this and Kirby, I’m going to get in some good couch co-op play with my brother.
The game looks awesome, and will be even better if you are a Star Wars fan.
I was on the fence with this, but in the end opted for the Series X version, but will pick up the Switch version when it drops in price, so I get the handheld too.
@brunojenso Minimal blur in handheld, it's surprisingly crisp looking for the vast majority of the time.
Do you have to have seen more than five Star Wars movies to enjoy it?
@Bizzyb Bummer, we’ll probably get the digital version then… or maybe the physical and then buy all the DLC
And all of the none original Movies will have some awesome locations to explore too, not sure why some are so hung up on their hate for certain movies.
@PJOReilly Thanks - really great to know
I can't wait for the Darth Jar Jar DLC.
Pro - the sequel trilogy is actually bearable.
Con - it’s still the sequel trilogy.
I haven't played a Lego game in over a decade. With how good this game has been reviewing, I might give it a go later when it's a bit cheaper.
May get it during a sale, I had not seen the last two movies yet so until I do I will probably wait a while longer for this.
Sold. Sounds great as per the review
i cant wait to play AAAAAAAHHH
@TimGibson This is a legitimate con for me. I wonder if it's possible to enjoy the first 6 chapters and ignore the later 3.
As long as we can skip Episode 8, i am sold 😉
I can’t decide on the Switch or Xbox version!
Can't wait for my pre order to come in. I've played many of the Lego games and star wars has always been my fav.
I will proudly say that the prequel movies got me into star wars in the first place, and has some of my favorite characters! And what got me into lego games!
There not perfect, but they sure wasn't the mess these latest films are.
@P-Man If your not planning to play with it everywhere, and just use dock mod, then might as well get the Xbox version.
"It's over, Anakin, I have the high ground!"
"There's always a bigger fish."
"I don't like sand."
"It's treason then."
"He's too dangerous to be left alive!"
"Hold on. This whole operation was your idea."
"I am the senate!"
It's all here! In its beautiful LEGO glory. It's enough to make a grown man cry.
This is great news, and I’m glad it was a PJ review. Time to trade in Arceus. Between this and Triangle Strategy I’m set for handheld games during baseball season (while PS5 goes to the back burner.)
Most important is the graphics haven't been compromised. I was fearing the worst after the Bloodstained and even Cyberpunk situations, where developers held on for new tech, updated the graphics, and that had negative affect on existing tech for which the games were originally announced.
My only other (general) grievance relates to the source material itself. The Rey trilogy was problematic, especially the contrived and ridiculous story angle to make her a Skywalker. No, a failed Palpatine clone is her father. A Skywalker she is not.
First LEGO game I've preordered since Undercover on Wii U
@Snatcher Glad I'm not alone in that regard. I am also a fan of the prequels for its space politics, impressive locations and dark nature in general. It also has the deepest amount of lore in all of the trilogies IMO. Really looking forward to seeing it in action in a modern LEGO game!
@Octane_st1m The space Politics is why I love it! Its just so great! And all of its spin off series proves it has more stuff to work with.
Why does everyone keep referring to prequels, sequels and trilogies? As far as I can tell, there were only two Star Wars films - Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back…
I hope they patch a bit the performance issues before I get it, because I´m definitely getting it! After 13 Sentinels, though...
Really excited, another awesome month!
@BaronMunchausen upto 14.2gb
Can we please talk about how effed up the launch to this was yesterday? Seriously Amazon was cancelling orders left and right because they DID NOT have ANY stock on the deluxe edition. I had mine pre-ordered mine 3 months before it was due out and I still had my order cancelled by the A**hats at Amazon. I called my friend who works at the very unsavory GameStop, their store received ONLY 6 of their pre-orders. People were calling and screaming at them looking for their copies. So many retailers just did not have any stock of the game at all. Of course all of the scalpers were right there to jack up the prices to ridiculous levels. What the hell happened with this launch? Mind you this is what the situation was like here in America, I have no clue about anywhere.
@EVIL-C The Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens for Wii U and 3DS were both incredible games for their systems. Give them a roll some time you won't disappointed.
@Bearzilla823 Thanks, I'd like to! I'm very surprised that I've routinely passed up Wii U copies for only $20 still to this day. 😅
I didn't notice any frame rate drops, but I did notice player 1 occasionally getting some controller delay when in co-op. I do prefer it in handheld though.
The force awakens and Revenge of the sith are both very good movies, and every movie offers some decent Star Wars entertainment imho.
@johnvboy I enjoyed Sith and Awakens was a promising start. It was clear after Last Jedi they had no grand plan, not even a few Post-Its outlining where the story was headed. Because Rise of Skywalker as a film was a series of fetch quests, it should work as a game
To be fair apart from The Last Jedi, i pretty much enjoyed most of the Movies at some level, and even Return Of The Jedi, gets a little bit bogged down at the end.
The Prequel movies all have very stilted dialogue... Yippee anyone, but as I said the Sith movie tied it all up nicely, and to be honest the Rise Of Skywalker, while not perfect still does quite a decent job of finishing the whole sage, well as good a job as was possible with the huge amount of content etc.
@johnvboy Yeah, Lucas is definitely a "write the plot and let someone else do the dialogue" guy. I've learned to appreciate the prequels and hope to feel the same with the Disney films in time. I don't see myself forgiving how the legacy characters were treated. Han walked into a lightsaber and Luke gave up on life. Just once I'd like to see a continuation where the legacy characters got to go off and have good lives. Have you checked out the new game? I'm having a blast with it
Yeah this doubly licensed game that barely requires any effort to complete is definitely better than the recent remaster of the greatest game of 1999.
A fair warning to everyone buying this game.
Bought it on sale and I gotta say, I expected better after reading this review. Performance is disappointing, especially in handheld, in terms of both visual fidelity and framerate. Overall blurry look, frequent pop-in during open-world sections and unstable fps. It's better in docked mode though.
Alright, it is really not as bad as I thought initially, indoor areas look quite good in both docked and handheld.
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