LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was something that piqued my interest early on once I first saw trailers for it, especially as I had played previous games in the series and had enjoyed them. I’m hardly a gigantic Star Wars fan or anything like that, but I’ve seen all nine of the mainline movies in the series, as well as spin-off flicks Rogue One and Solo, and I generally enjoy them (aside from Episode II, but really, who actually likes Episode II? It’s the movie equivalent of root canal surgery without anaesthesia on a bumpy train whilst sitting on a bed of nettles bare buttocked). As a result, I know enough about the films in the series that I will enjoy a game based around them without getting precious if things are tinkered with a bit in the telling of the stories. In a nutshell, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was probably made with me in mind.
I should stress that as of this writing, I haven’t completed LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga yet as I’m only about to hit the final third of Episode V with VI, VII, VIII and IX still to go. However, I bought the game over the Easter weekend and have been playing it pretty regularly as of the writing of this feature (tail end of April), so that shows that there’s plenty of game to get your teeth stuck into. It’s not like I’ve been desperately trying to unlock or find everything either, and I’ve still yet to play any of the levels through for a second time, so it’ll be quite a while until I get to the end of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and I thus feel like I’ve received suitable ping for my pennies as consequence.
It helps that I’ve been actively enjoying the experience as well. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has not been a slog by any means, and it would be possible for me to rush through it more if I wanted to, but I’ve been perfectly content just to take my time and enjoy the experience at my own pace, which the game cheerfully has been allowing me to do. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has very much been one of those games that I can chuck on for a couple of hours here or there in order to decompress after a long day doing other things, with the gameplay being challenging at points but never overly so. I don’t ever really feel like LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has taxed me too much, but I never get bored either, which is a difficult balance to achieve but also kind of essential when you’re presenting this sort of video game experience.
I decided to purchase LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga for my Nintendo Switch as opposed to my PS4 because I’m always looking for excuses to justify my Switch’s existence, and it’s always handy to have the option of portability, even though I must confess that I’ve played LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga almost exclusively in docked mode outside of a brief period where my controller wasn’t working, and I played it in handheld mode instead because I was having fun and wanted to play more of the game that particular evening. I didn’t notice any depreciable difference in quality between either setups, but then again, it’s not like a LEGO game is going to be overly taxing on a system.
You could almost argue that the Switch is the ideal platform upon which to play LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga because it’s not a game that’s going to live or die on its graphical fidelity like other games might, and you have the bonus of being able to take the game on the go with you, if you so choose. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve really used the Switch as a classic console, in that I’ve been playing it on the telly more than I have as a handheld, with the last game I really did that with being Super Mario Odyssey. I’m not sure if that’s more a case of me feeling nostalgic for how I played the previous games in the series on my PS2 and wanted a similar experience or just the fact that the game feels more “natural” from a control perspective when played with a Pro Controller, but whatever the reason is, I’ve mostly played this one sat in my armchair with the Switch docked, so read into that how you will.
It’d be remiss of me not to mention the bugs that have cropped up with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I only really encountered one bug, but it was very annoying and caused me to have to give up playing one evening. Before a cutscene would play, the screen would go black, leaving me with the audio but nothing else, and then once the cutscene ended, I would be able to hear the level music but not be able to do anything else. I tried restarting both the game and the console, but I wasn’t able to fix the problem and went to bed thinking that I’d have to wait for a patch before I could go on. Thankfully, when I tried the game again the next day, it just worked, and I haven’t run into the issue again yet, but I know others have had some genuinely game breaking bugs that haven’t gone away depending on what platform you are playing on, so do be wary if you’re considering picking the game up and do some reading before deciding on what version to get if you do have the choice of multiple platforms.
Overall, I’ve had a fun time with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The cutscenes are entertaining with good voice acting, the open-world-styled setup they’ve gone for works well, and there’s plenty of places I’ve yet to explore that I can come back to once I’ve finished the story, and the gameplay itself is fun and also more varied and refined than it has been in previous games in the series. If you’re not a Star Wars fan, you’ll probably still be able to have fun with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, especially if you enjoy games that allow you to explore and collect things. The combat is fun, the vehicle sections are well-executed and the game in general is just a fun use of your time. You’ll likely have a fun gaming experience and maybe even the odd chuckle as a result, just be wary of any game breaking bugs and do your due diligence before buying.
The Urban Dictionary defines “The Fitzgerald Scale” as “A scale used to measure the awkwardness of a situation. The Fitzgerald Scale is divided into ten subunits, called ‘Geralds’. Each Gerald is in turn divided into ten Subgeralds, which gives 100 possible levels of awkwardness. One Gerald is a commonly awkward level, where a ten Gerald situation would be a scarring event.”
Man, the atmosphere of that party was off the Fitzgerald Scale when we decided to leave