E3 2019 Preview – Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Warner Bros didn’t tell me anything about my appointment with them before arriving at E3 besides the fact it was about “an unannounced TT game”. That could only mean one thing: a Lego game. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Lego games, and the last few turned out to be really freaking good, but everyone knows they haven’t changed that much over the past decade and a half. Well, color me surprised, because when I finally got to see Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, I was completely blown away by how amazing it looks.
Initially showcased at Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is not a compilation of all previous Lego Star Wars games crammed into one file, like the recently released Lego Marvel Collection. This is much more than that. This is a revamp of the traditional Lego game formula and basically what all future Lego games will look and play like.
The Skywalker Saga will feature the debut of TT Games’ brand new Lego game engine and that was clearly noticeable in the short but sweet hands-off demo present at their booth. The graphics have been improved, with more colors, better lighting effects, and a lot of particles onscreen. You could notice sand stains on every building and Lego block in Tatooine. The camera has been completely revamped, as it now features a third-person over-the-shoulder style instead of fixed camera angles.
There is a brand new combat system, thanks to these camera upgrades. You now have an aiming reticile at all times and will deal different amounts of damage depending on where you shoot your enemy. A headshot is a guaranteed kill, while shooting your foe in the leg will make him/her/it limp or jump around holding the damaged foot just like in an old Tom & Jerry cartoon. The lightsaber combat has been upgraded as well, now featuring different combos you can pull off, instead of the usual two or three stock animations from before. The Force controls act less of a “press B to do something” feature and more like the Force controls from The Force Unleashed. You can freely pick up and control any Lego object, using them as a projectile, a key, a platform, and so on.
The biggest change however, is in the overall level design. They turned the entire Star Wars cinematic universe into one huge open world for you to explore. That’s right: even though you have over 45 traditional levels representing your typical run-of-the-mill Lego game experience, the developers have decided to include dozens upon dozens of planets into the game, and they’re fully explorable when outside a story mission. You can approach them from space, not unlike No Man’s Sky, fly around them, and decide where you want to land. The demo showcased this feature with Tatooine, with the player being able to land near Mos Eisley, Mos Espa (complete with a podracing track), Anchorhead, Jabba’s Palace, the Dune Sea, and so on.
While we were in space, we’ve suddenly had a random fight against a massive Star Destroyer. That’s when the game instantly became Lego Rogue Squadron, with very similar controls and a similar method of destroying those big baddies. I can only imagine what else we’ll be able to randomly fight while in space, and the thought of being able to do so with Rogue Squadron-ish controls is just too good to be true.
I expected Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga to be a good Lego Star Wars game, but I wasn’t expecting it to become one of the best games from E3 2019, and possibly the best Star Wars game ever made! We’ve never had a fully-fledged open world Star Wars game before, and this is shaping up to fill this sinful void. I commend TT Games for what they’re doing with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This game has serious 10 out 10 and Game of the Year material. I need to know its release date as soon as possible!