Microsoft revealed two LEGO announcements during their E3 2019 conference. One of those was the second expansion to Forza Horizon 4 – with a map built of LEGO along with cars built from LEGO. The second was the reveal of The Skywalker Saga.
It seems strange that a standard LEGO game would get its reveal at E3 with one of the big three. City Undercover was different, since that was an exclusive to the Wii U. That such has happened speaks to the scope and innovation that TT Games is putting into this one – even if we didn’t see any of that within the teaser trailer.
Plenty of people seemed to think that it would be nothing more than a remaster of The Complete Saga with redone story scenes and additional levels for the Sequel Trilogy. But then, if that was the case, why would it have been revealed at the Microsoft conference? Even after the journalists revealed what their brief look at the game had shown them, there were some who still thought there would be little effort going into it.
What was revealed through the journalists is that TT Games have stepped up to create the greatest LEGO game ever, with worlds that look and feel alive. Doing so would be a waste if you couldn’t look around at them, so a true free camera has been put within the game with a view that is pulled in closer to the character you control.
Combat has been given just as much an overhaul as the visuals, with true third-person style gunfights and melee combat that is more than just a button masher. With all enemies having health bars and variable damage, it should make the fights feel more involved than before.
All of this is kind of overshadowed by the expansion the hubs have seen. Travelling between planets is done by being within a spaceship and zooming around the galaxy, jumping between various sectors to get to where you need to be. Those planets have various parts to them, with different areas to explore. Naboo, for instance, would see the swamps as one section, with Theed as another.
We know there will be five levels per film, with those levels exploring areas The Complete Saga never touched, or in the case of the major battles (I would guess) reinventing how they are approached. With all of this ambition on display with the rest of the game, I feel confident in saying how these levels play out will also see a difference with them.
The puzzle aspect will still be there, but the levels themselves will be more open in approach. Sticking with The Phantom Menace, it has already been said the first proper level will be the underwater excursion that happens from Otah Gunga to Theed. Such a level can be filled with maze-like routes, where certain paths will progress the player with others being filled with traps or secrets.
One idea I’m also thinking of is that opening level of A New Hope. It would still take place on the Tantive IV, but this time we explore the ship as C-3PO and R2-D2 as the battle is going on around us. This would see the same sort of approach with multiple pathways, but since neither of the droids can attack, there’d be more creative ways to delay or destroy the enemy.
Now, the galaxy is set to have plenty to do within it, with bounty hunting, smuggling runs, and other such side quests, with the planets changing according to which film’s story you are currently playing. Such is set to give plenty of gags and humour, but there’s also Easter Eggs aplenty that can be dealt with, such as the cantina on Tatooine being a true recreation of the one seen in The Complete Saga.
There’s also scope for things based around the various TV series and other media to feature, despite them not seeing much in the way of focus. Mustafar, for example, could see a lot more than just the Separatist base of Revenge of the Sith featured, using Vader’s castle from Rogue One and the area it is based to give more places to explore within.
I also feel we might get a few extra planets to fill out the galactic map a bit more. Like with The Force Awakens, these wouldn’t be related to the films, but serve as additional locations to explore. As such, there would only be one area with each planet. Locations mentioned or that only feature in a minor capacity would make for great places to explore.
We could get a rendition of Dantooine, or see some more of Cato Neimoidia, for instance. Space stations like Polis Massa would also be of interest to include. Better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) yet, a rendition of Alderaan that allows us to freely explore an area of it.
The characters and their abilities I feel will stay much the same as before, with Force powers perhaps being the most changed of the lot to suit the new combat options available. And as with any LEGO game, there will be the usual and unusual characters to unlock. We already know one side mission involves a Gonk Droid, so perhaps we could unlock it once the mission is complete.
The same goes for other characters, and it could be that side missions are how we unlock characters from the other media sources. A side mission on Yavin IV could be to help Hera from Rebels, and thus we unlock her. There are plenty of characters we could get through this method, which brings me onto something else.
There is, of course, a limited amount of space to display characters, and with a franchise as large as Star Wars, there’s plenty of characters to display – especially if drawing from the vast array of media rather than just the films. Then there’s characters with different outfits, which usually take a space.
Several LEGO games have already tried to sort this by stacking those characters together, but usually they still share the same abilities as each other. For Star Wars, that’s different. Luke in A New Hope doesn’t use a lightsaber, after all, with certain times he still uses blasters in the other two of the trilogy. Instead of stacking then, a different sorting method should be used.
That being one seen within City Undercover. Grouping characters with the same or similar abilities together. All Jedi and Sith would be grouped in one section, with blaster wielders in another. There would be seven groups in total, with each player able to choose one character from each group that will always be selected when replaying levels in Free Play.
With all of the exploring to be doing and the reinvention of display, it is unfortunate that so far, we have only heard of it and not seen it for ourselves. When we do get to see the game in motion, however, I am sure everything we have heard about it will be clear to see. And I am also hoping that gameplay within levels will be shown off, and that they have seen just as much reinvention as the rest of the LEGO game formula.
I am – and have always been confident in saying – that this will be the best LEGO game to date, and one of the best Star Wars games to date. Until we get more information, I’ll be waiting to see that first gameplay and planning out my own idea of how the game will play out.