If you thought Lego games were overly simplistic, it may be time to take another look. At E3 2019, I saw Warner Bros. and TT Games' Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which fits all nine movies into one game for both PC and console. The engine is built from the ground up and, in this early look in a theater demo, where taking photo or video wasn't allowed, it looked like a lot of fun.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga comes out sometime in 2020 for PC, as well as the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The game’s menu has all nine games listed in a circle for your selection. You can play them in any order, so you’re not stuck starting with the prequel trilogy.
Our demo focused on a small portion of Return of the Jedi in a section on Tatooine. The Millennium Falcon is in space, and you can fly the ship yourself and freely explore space and fly to any planet. On the way to Tatooine, we had a random encounter with a Super Star Destroyer, which was made of 18 million Lego bricks in the UK as a model. (All of the vehicles were actually built from Legos, the studio said.) We saw some space combat with Tie Fighters before approaching the planet.
Tatooine has multiple landing points, including Mos Eisley, but we went to Anchorhead, the desert area with Ewoks.
The graphics were far beyond what I expect from a Lego game. The rocky crags were detailed and rich, and there was detail, like sand gathering on the Lego mini figures’ feet.
Our demo was single-player, but you can play in co-op. The demo switched between C-3PO, who falls apart (you can play as just his legs if the top falls off), Boba Fett and other characters.
“This a next-generation Lego game,” a developer said.
The camera is close to the character in the game, giving it a more cinematic look.
As Luke, they showed off the Force by being able to pick up and throw any piece of Lego. We saw him lift and throw rocks and bushes, which can be used for combat. He even managed to throw a rock into a net, causing Luke to celebrate (it’s a Lego game, after all. There’s bound to be some silliness).
Luke meets a robot named Gonko but can’t understand him, so the game switched characters to C-3PO, who can understand the robot. It requests help and asks the player to follow him.
The player follows Gonko past shops and is ambushed by Tusken Raiders. He whips out a lightsaber and uses a new combo system with light, mid, heavy and force attacks. It still looks simple enough for a kid to pick up and play but with the option for a more advanced player to put together some sick lightsaber stunts. Then, Luke jumps into a landspeeder and heads down a canyon. Jabba’s Palace is on the way, but that’s not the mission.
Then, the demo switched characters to Chewbacca. He attacks with a crossbow with over-the-shoulder shooting to take out Tusken Raiders. Headshots do more damage, or you can shoot a character in the legs to separate the bottom of the mini figure from its torso. Boba Fett also has this system with his blaster.
At this point, the game crashed. It is a very early demo, after all. It read “Xbox Dev Space,” suggesting this demo was on an Xbox.
The developers said this game would’ve taken players back to the Millenium Falcon and into hyperspace if it didn't crash. Instead, we saw clips of other parts of the game, including Hoth, the New Order base and a ton of fan-favorite characters and movie moments. At one point, C-3PO’s head is blown off.
The new engine is impressive, and I can see those who grew up with the existing Lego games going back for the more advanced features. And with all nine movies involved, it wouldn’t surprise me if some get more excited for this than the actual upcoming film.