E3 2019 Quick-Look: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

After five previous entries in the LEGO Star Wars video game series over the past fourteen years, one might wonder why a new entry is needed or what the developers hope to accomplish. Well, after a live demo, we are certainly excited about what’s to come.

The demo began by showing the world selection screen – and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will not disappoint those looking for a comprehensive view of the Star Wars universe. As soon as the game loads, we can see from the selection screen that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga includes all nine “Star Wars” movies in the Skywalker saga – including “The Rise of Skywalker” which will hit theaters on December 20, 2019. The nine worlds corresponding to the nine movies are all freely available from the start of the game – to be played in any order. You can choose to play them in chronological order and start with The Phantom Menace, or play them in the order of their theatrical release and begin with A New Hope, or pick and choose, weaving back and forth in any order you wish.

The demo showed off the desert world of Tatooine, complete with Bantha riding, the moisture farm, the Sarlacc pit, and Jabba the Hutt’s Sail Barge. Everything looks and feels familiar (in a good way) to those familiar with the universe, but within that familiarity is change.

Immediately noticeable is an obvious change in the graphics quality. The LEGO games are always awash in bright colors and clean lines, but this time around everything just seemed to pop that much more. The environments looked amazing and alive – albeit in a LEGO way. The world just seems to invite exploration and discovery.

The openness of the world selection is mirrored in the newfound openness of the gameplay. Quest markers are liberally sprinkled around, offering a wide variety of side tasks to undertake in any order – in addition to the main storyline quests. While open world games are quickly becoming the norm, the playfulness of the LEGO worlds is a natural fit with such a style.

Also new this time around is a revamped battle system with added complexity when compared to prior entries in the series. This time around, enemies have HP bars hovering over their heads and attacks will show floating damage numbers. Also revamped is The Force ability, which will be both more flexible and more intuitive, allowing for the player to pick up and manipulate multiple items at once.

Overall, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga looks like it will be exactly what fans of the series want – something that keeps the attitude of the prior games while also adding more depth into the Star Wars universe by improving on the graphics and gameplay of previous games. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is scheduled for release in 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.