It’s been a long time since a Lego game came out. This one is (yet another) Star Wars themed one, which re-treads a lot of ground from previous Lego Star Wars games due to the fact they’re based on the same films. They are, however, all new levels, and the most recent two films have never been developed into a Lego game either, so that’s OK. It’s also a “new engine”, “rewritten from the ground up” or something, so you can say goodbye to all the bugs that recurred in every old Lego game!
Except of course, they still exist. Aside from the random crashes and frozen loading screens (yes, loading screens on a PS5), many of the popular past bugs return here. There’s the “you need to speak to someone but they won’t let you” bug! The “go here to collect an item but it’s not there when you get there, just a marker and an empty space” bug! The “collect ten things only you do but one of them doesn’t register so you can’t get them all” bug! Those, and ALL NEW bugs! Like the “when player two presses a certain button, player one brings up the change character option” bug! And the “if one player starts a side mission while the other player is doing certain things, that second player can’t use any of the buttons on the controller any more” bug!
Even after a number of patches, these bugs remain. In fact, I’m sure the game crashes more frequently now than it did the day before launch when we started playing it.
Thankfully, it’s worth the hassle. Because it’s amazing.
It’s funny, it’s huge, it’s got all your favourite characters from Star Wars like Helmet Man and Red Face Hornhead and Baby Shrek and Blue Lady. It has puzzles and shooting galleries and space battles and lasers. It has snow and sand and water planets. It has Blade Runnery worlds and creatures to ride. It has all the Star Wars stories about the good guy going bad and the bad guy going good and the good guy hiding away and the other bad guy turning good just in time to save the galaxy.
You’d be right in thinking I care not for Star Wars as a theme. Which doesn’t matter when it’s enjoyable to just smash everything and laugh at the funnies.
The only real difference to the older games is that the camera angle is now an over-the-shoulder one, more like modern third-person action games. What you actually do is mostly unchanged – collect things, smash things, operate things, get All the Bricks (which are now blue and see-through instead of gold, and there are almost 1200 of them instead of a few hundred) – and I actually didn’t realise we’d been playing from a different angle until we were a few hours in.
I say we because like most other Lego games, I can’t play them on my own. My daughter, who literally knows nothing about Star Wars that didn’t come from a game, insisted she played too so it has been a co-op affair for the entire time. It certainly helps when getting things done more quickly, but one side effect of a split screen combined with the new camera does mean that some events – like those where you have to fly through spheres – are almost impossible as you can’t see them due to the limited viewport.
The actual story, all nine films combined, is actually pretty short (for a Lego title). Each one only has a couple of levels with some short filler sections between, and we’d completed that in about 8 hours. However, the traditional brick mop-up is immense. Hundreds of events, tasks and missions. Wookies and Porgs and Gonks to find all over the galaxy. Fetch quests, capital ship battles, and asteroids to destroy. Finding every hidden character. It may have been only 8 hours to reach the credits, but we’ve spent over 50 hours on it in total so far and are only 36% complete!
So, it has faults, like all Lego games, but is excellent, like all Lego games.