LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga at E3 2019
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a whole new LEGO Star Wars game.
When you first heard about LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, you may have thought that in addition to gameplay based on the final three films in the Skywalker saga that the game was tossing in all of the old Star Wars games as a bit of a bonus. However, that’s not at all the case as was shown during the game’s E3 demo. The game content based on the first six films is new, and even some of the gameplay aspects of LEGO games have been given an overhaul.
When you start the game you will see nine animated LEGO dioramas arranged in a ring, one for each film. The developers want to give gamers the freedom to play whatever they want, when they want, so you’re free to jump into any of the nine films from there by selecting its diorama. For the demo, we were taken into Return of the Jedi.
Return of the Jedi has appeared in a couple of LEGO Star Wars games before, but from the start you could tell that you were seeing it in a new way for a LEGO Star Wars game. You navigate between planets by selecting one from a galaxy map and then engaging the hyperdrive. One you come out of hyperspace you’ll need to navigate your ship into orbit. In the demo, the Millennium Falcon first had to navigate through an asteroid field and then just as it was about to reach Tatooine, a Super Star Destroyer dropped out of hyperspace. This was not a triggered event, but an example of the game’s random encounter system. You’ll never know what you’ll see in space when playing LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Another interesting thing about the Star Destroyer encounter was that it showed the level of LEGO detail that is going into the game. Every ship and vehicle in the game, including the Super Star Destroyer, is so accurately built with LEGO in-game that you can build the models in real-life yourself. The Star Destroyer would be a massive undertaking, though, as it would require nearly 20 million bricks to complete! After a flyby of the impressive ship and a brief tussle with some TIE fighters, the Falcon entered orbit around Tatooine.
Once you reach orbit, you’ll have your choice of several locations at which to land. Available landing sites on Tatooine include Mos Eisley, Mos Espa, and Anchorhead. The demo driver took us down to Anchorhead, and once on the ground you could see that this was Tatooine as never seen before in a LEGO game. The terrain is highly detailed, almost photo-realistic, and you can see far into the distance – in fact, from one vantage point you could see Mos Eisley off in the distance. The level of detail extends to the little things as well – you could even see the dust sticking to the shoes of the characters as they walked across Tatooine’s desert surface. And the game’s new free camera will let you look at whatever you want. The game doesn’t immediately drop you into a story mission when you land, so you’re free to explore as much as you want. You can look for characters that have side missions for you to complete, or take a tour of the iconic locations in the area by taking the paths to places like Jabba’s Palace, Ben Kenobi’s home, or the Sarlacc pit. There are also plenty of side missions to discover – in this particular demo a droid asked for a little help, although no one could tell what he wanted until C-3PO was brought in to translate.
Another aspect of the game that’s been given an overhaul is the Force powers. You’re no longer constrained to using powers to move objects from one predefined spot to the next – the game give you full control to do what you want with your powers. You can even try Jedi mind tricks, as demonstrated in the demo when Luke Skywalker used his powers to make a bantha start dancing.
The fight has also been reworked, give you the ability to chain attacks and build combos. Younger gamers can still get by with button-mashing, but gamers with more experience will find that they have a lot more options when it comes to dispatching foes. Ranged weapons now take advantage of the free camera system, allowing you to take aim and take your shots from an over-the-shoulder view.
That pretty much covers what was revealed during the E3 demo. There’s certainly a lot more to the game that hasn’t been revealed yet, but the key takeaway from the demo was that this is not just another LEGO Star Wars game.
Transmitted: 11/30/2020 6:59:24 PM