Warner Brothers and TT Games presented Culture of Gaming and other media outlets with an extended look at LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This game could best be described as a reimagining of the LEGO Star Wars Universe, with plenty of new features, levels, and gameplay shown off, in just a short thirty-minute demo.
So how does it look? Has it changed enough to warrant a pickup? Here are my thoughts, below.
Level Design and Choice
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga offers players levels and worlds based around the various released, and unreleased Star Wars films. Players get to choose which Episode to play from an animated select screen.
Upon choosing a level, a playable flight sequence involving the Millenium Falcon will occur, and while flying to the Episode’s world, players will maybe have to dodge objects, collect optional items, or even make it through a brief space combat sequence. These don’t really feel cumbersome or annoying, but more set the stage for the Episode’s world.
During the demo, we were shown Return of the Jedi, and got brought to the planet Tatooine, which many will recognize as the Skywalker’s homeworld. Players are given the option to choose which area of the planet to land on. For the sake of the demo, we were brought near Jabba the Hutt’s Palace. In the distance, we could see another landable location, Mos Eisley.
After disembarking our ship, players are greeted to a sort of open, hub world. There are several miscellaneous characters around, offering minor side quests for rewards, as well as the paths leading to the sequenced story missions. The rest of the demo only pertains to gameplay in this open hub world, no story missions were shown off.
As aforementioned, there are plenty of NPCs offering sidequests for various rewards at the hub worlds. The demo showed off a side quest involving escorting a junk droid across the hub world, needing to solve various issues along the way with your character’s abilities. And this is where the classic character swap system the LEGO games started to shine.
To complete the various puzzles or challenges, players will need to smartly switch between characters depending on the situation. For example, switching to a force user to manipulate objects. After the sidequest was completed, we encountered several roaming enemies, and this is where the overhauled combat system was shown off. The system is totally refreshing over the previous LEGO games, and it now plays more closely to a third person action RPG. Melee combat appeared to play fine, but the shooting combat is where I have a critique. The shooting comes off as very basic, and rather slow. Perhaps, it’s intentional, as too fast of a pace may alienate certain audiences attracted to the game, but compared to melee, ranged combat, on a surface level, looked unpolished by comparison.
Past the combat, vehicles, animals, etc can all be rode to get around. For example, riding a roaming Bantha to traverse the desert dunes easier. Speaking of travel, even if they didn’t land there, players can travel to various other points of interest in the hub world. For example, as aforementioned, Mos Eisley was visible in the distance, and players can take various vehicles there or walk, without having to go through another flight sequence.
Environments and Graphics.
Looks wise, the game is absolutely gorgeous. The LEGO models have been scanned in based on real-world creations. For example, the Star Destroyer encountered in the flight sequence to Tatooine was actually built in the real world out of LEGOs and the completed model scanned in for use in-game.
Further, regarding the LEGOs, TT made a very smart design choice, in that every interactable object or character in the world, are LEGO models. These contrast really well against the incredibly photo-realistic graphics comprising the rest of the environment. And don’t take the contrast as a bad thing, the LEGO models look incredibly good, and are also very detailed. I say contrasting, but not in a bad way. Somehow, what should be a clash, works really well. And as a result, it’s simple to understand as a player what objects in the environment can be changed, or damaged, etc.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a perfect evolution of the previous LEGO games, and is best viewed as not just another collection with Episode 9, but an almost reimagining of the LEGO Star Wars universe. The gameplay looks great, and along with the open world aspects, comes off as more of an action RPG. And graphically, the game looks rather unique.
For more E3 2019 Coverage, keep it here at Culture of Gaming where we’ll bring you more written as well as video content from the show floor.
Special thank you for Performance Lab for sponsoring our trip, as well as a thank you to TT Games for showing us LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
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