Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a 2022 Lego-themed action-adventure game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It is the sixth entry in TT Games' Lego Star Wars series of video games and the successor to 2016's Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The game adapts all nine entries in the Skywalker Saga series of films, with additional characters based on other Star Wars films and television series released as DLC.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga.jpg
Developer(s)Traveller's Tales
Publisher(s)Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Director(s)James McLoughlin
Producer(s)Dan Crossley
SeriesLego Star Wars
Platform(s)
Release5 April 2022
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was released on 5 April 2022 for Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It received generally favorable reviews from critics, with praise for its graphics, level design, and humor; mixed opinions were directed at its side content and combat, while its technical issues and lack of online co-op were criticized. The game sold more than 3.2 million copies within two weeks of its release.

Gameplay

Unlike most Lego video games in which players have to advance through the story in a linear order, players can choose to start the game from any of the three Skywalker Saga trilogies and complete them in any order they wish.[1] Each episode contains five main story missions, totaling 45 levels, as opposed to six levels in previous games. There are also short pre-levels between the five main levels that advance the story forward but do not feature collectibles like minikits or True Jedi. Combat has been revamped from previous titles, such as lightsaber wielders now using a variety of combos with light attacks, heavy attacks, and Force moves, and blaster characters having an over-the-shoulder camera. The game features 380 playable characters, not necessarily restricted to the nine Skywalker Saga films.[2]

Much like its predecessor, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the game's hub is not a single area, such as the Mos Eisley Cantina in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, but a wide range of fully explorable planets filled with many iconic Star Wars landmarks. Planets and moons featured in the game include Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Kamino, Geonosis, Kashyyyk, Utapau, Mustafar, Yavin 4, Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin, Endor, Jakku, Takodana, D'Qar, Starkiller Base, Ahch-To, Cantonica, Crait, Ajan Kloss, Pasaana, Kijimi, Kef Bir, and Exegol.[2] Many ships have freely explorable areas in the hub as well, such as Star Destroyers and the Death Star. Random encounters may occur in the game's hub world. For example, an Imperial Star Destroyer could suddenly jump out of hyperspace and send a fleet of TIE fighters after the player. Players can choose to engage in dogfights with them or continue onward to progress the story.[3]

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga does not feature a character customization tool unlike many previous Lego video games.[4] The game also includes Mumble Mode, an extra feature allowing players to switch between the game's original voice acting and having the characters mumble and grunt, akin to the style of older Lego video games.[5]

Development

Disney and Lucasfilm had not shared significant details of The Rise of Skywalker with the game team before the film's release. In the meantime, TT Games worked on other aspects of the game until Lucasfilm shared more details.[citation needed] The game is developed in Traveller's Tales' new engine, NTT (pronounced Entity).[6]

On 20 January 2022, a report published by Polygon detailed the amount of crunch that occurred since the game began development back in late 2017, including dozens inside the company being at odds with management, due to expressing frustration over tight development schedules, the company’s crunch culture, and outdated development tools. In addition, the use of NTT was extremely controversial within the company, as many employees had been pushing to instead use Unreal Engine. NTT turned out to be incredibly difficult to use, with some animations taking hours more to produce than they would on the old engine. As a result, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga would end up being the only game developed by Traveller's Tales to use NTT, with the company deciding to use Unreal Engine going forward for their future projects.[7]

Like Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga features original voice acting, with some actors reprising their roles from the films and TV series.[8][9][10] The game also marks Tom Kane's final acting credit, due to a forced retirement in the wake of his stroke in November 2020.[11]

Release

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was first teased to be in development by Lucasfilm sound editor Matthew Wood at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. An announcement trailer premiered at E3 2019 during Microsoft's press conference. A second trailer showing one scene from all nine movies was released on 20 December to coincide with the release of The Rise of Skywalker.[12]

On 7 May 2020, the release date was revealed as 20 October 2020 through a trailer posted on the official Star Wars YouTube channel.[13] On the same day, the original video was made private and a new video, in which the release date was cut out, was uploaded.[14] During 2020 Gamescom Opening Night Live, it was announced that the game would release in Q1/Q2 2021 with additional versions on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.[15] On 2 April 2021, it was announced that the game had been delayed, with no further release window specified.[16] On 25 August 2021, during Gamescom, a second gameplay trailer was released along with the announcement that the game will be released in early 2022.[17] On 20 January 2022, a gameplay trailer was released, officially revealing the release date as 5 April 2022.[18]

Before release, players were able to pre-order either the standard or deluxe edition of the game. The latter comes with all additional character packs, and a Luke Skywalker minifigure with "blue milk".[19]

In May 2022, a month after the game was released, a patch was pushed out to address major glitches and added the Venator, Invisible Hand, Home One and the Fulminatrix as new unlockable capital ships.[20]

Downloadable content

On 7 March 2022, seven DLC packs were announced, to be released in the weeks following the game's launch.[21]

Reception

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[22][23][24][25][26] It had the biggest launch of a Lego game on Steam.[47] The retail version of the game debuted at No. 1 on the UK software sales chart in its week of release. It had the biggest launch ever for a Lego game in the UK, breaking the record previously set by Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (2008).[48][49]

IGN gave the game an 8 out of 10, saying "LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga provides some rollicking reimaginings of Star Wars's most iconic moments and seats them inside a series of interplanetary playgrounds that are dense with discovery and entertaining diversions."[29] Destructoid gave the game a 7.5 out of 10 and wrote, "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga doesn't reinvent the wheel and the subject matter is limited because the narrative mostly adheres to the film trilogies [...] but it's a fun way to relive them as an adult and show them to kids at the same time."[27] Game Informer praised the game's story-focused levels, combat, and character unlocks, stating, "While nailing the little moments, the immense scale of the project appears to have been too wide for TT Games to harness, as some of the content is uncharacteristically dull or uneven [...] Despite being periodically uneventful, the Skywalker Saga is a thorough and fun examination of all three Star Wars movie trilogies."[28] Shacknews gave the title a 9 out of 10, praising its humor, combat features, voice acting, and visuals while taking minor issue with the excessive collectibles and challenges.[31] Nintendo Life also praised its campaign, pacing, side content, co-op, humor, and music while criticizing some performance issues.[30] Push Square similarly praised the game while lamenting occasional camera issues, performance dips, and the lack of online co-op.[32] Pure Xbox likewise critized the lack of online co-op, but did not notice any performance issues, and praised the graphics as well as its "endlessly enjoyable gameplay".[33] Kotaku called it "one of the best Star Wars games ever made", praising its graphics and humor.[50]

EGM criticized the game for not including a more streamlined gameplay loop and coherent map system, but concluded that "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga embraces a lot of what made earlier Lego games fun and a few that made them frustrating, while adding a new layer of polish and flair that's sure to please fans."[39] GameRevolution stated that the game "does more than enough right" but noted that its scope was "undermined by the lackluster implementation of certain ideas that are supposed to be its big selling points, such as its improved combat and new camera angle."[40] GameSpot lauded the combat mechanics, roster of character types, visuals, and humor, but criticized some "empty" campaign objectives, repetitive content in hub areas, and limited character upgrades.[37] GamesRadar+ commended the "gorgeous" visuals, multiplayer mode, and the amount of content on offer, but felt that the gameplay was too simplistic, concluding, "[The Skywalker Saga] is funny, playable, technically stupendous, massive and immensely authentic, it's just a shame it feels so shallow and childish at times."[36] PC Gamer criticized the combat and boss fights as feeling elongated, the lack of online co-op, and lamented the reported crunch during development, but ultimately stated, "The Skywalker Saga is an impressive package, successfully adapting some of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time with equal amounts playful mockery of and loving adherence to the source material."[35]

Sales

The game sold more than 3.2 million copies within two weeks of its release, surpassing global sales of all previous Lego console game launches.[51] The game sold more than 5 million copies four months after its initial release.[52]

References

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External links