If you’ve been following me with my articles over the past year, you’ll know that I’ve been talking up LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. From E3 last year, from reading of impressions to the closed demo and everything that TT Games has been saying about it, I’ve felt that this could be the greatest of all LEGO games, and even become one of the best Star Wars games.
Now, at Gamescom, we have the one thing we’ve been waiting for. A true look at how the LEGO formula is about to be evolved. No raw gameplay footage, just the trailer, but that trailer gives snippets of various gameplay elements we can expect to see within the game. Space battles, open world exploration, in-level exploration, boss battles… There’s just one thing that strikes me about all this, though.
All the gameplay we see takes place from one perspective. That’s fine, since it’s meant to be showing the improved gameplay and camera elements, but at no point can we see a second character that the player might be able to take control of – even in the background. The only time a follower character can be seen is during the battle with Rey and Ren on the destroyed second Death Star, with BB-8 rolling toward the battle in the background.
I don’t believe co-op to be gone, since it already has been confirmed, but I think we might see a bit of a change to how it works. Previously, all games have had following characters at all times for instant co-op action should a second player want to join. The only game not to do so was City Undercover on the Wii U, until it got ported and a second player was able to join. The story wasn’t changed to make that change though, so while a second player can get in on the fun, there’s no reaching for excuses as to why a second character would be around, and that’s what I feel will happen here.
There will be times where two or more characters are together, and they will still follow when needed, but for general free-roaming or at times where only a single character is around, it will just be that one character. Should a second player want to join, a second character will then appear as they join, though that character should have some relevance to the action going on. After all, you wouldn’t want to fight be fighting Vader on Bespin to be joined by Maul, as awesome as that would be.
Away from the co-op, though, as there’s more to talk about. Podracing. We knew the camera would be brought in closer to characters, going for a more typical action-adventure style camera, but it does seem as though there’ll also be a first-person camera. Whether that’s just for podracers, vehicles in general, or everything remains to be seen, but it would be one more way of getting players closer to the action.
We see Naboo for less than a second as Anakin performs an idle action, but it is looking pretty. Anakin is then in action at the Geonosis arena using a Force Push to clear away a group of droids, and again it is a work of art. Whether this is within a level or free-roam isn’t clear, but I’d say the former is more likely, even if we can visit the arena during free-roam.
There are plenty of other locations we see, such as Mustafar, Kashyyyk, the Death Star, Dagobah, Kef Bir, Ahch-To… They all look great. There’s plenty of details to look for within these locations, but of all the locations we see, Coruscant is probably the one I’m most interested in seeing more of. It looks as though it’s going beyond my idea of being a mostly vehicle-based world to create a stunning rendition of the city-planet. Even if the surface area of it only reaches the total of City Undercover’s map, that’s still a lot to be exploring.
As for gameplay and the sort of things we can expect to be doing, there’s a few shots that show that sort of thing off. As well as the previously mentioned Anakin shots, there’s the battle between Obi-Wan and Maul on Naboo which shows off Maul blocking an attack of Obi-Wan’s. The combat has been said to be improved, and these small bits of gameplay show such.
A small bit of gunplay was shown off, with Luke on the Death Star facing off against two troopers. One has a sniper, and its aim is pointed at Luke. The camera is right up close behind the shoulder, which suggests some sort of focus sights, like what you’d find in third-person shooters. The same close-in camera can be seen with Leia firing upon Slave 1 on Bespin.
Such is an interesting scene, as it shows TT Games deviating from the story a bit to bring a boss of sorts to face. In The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett takes control of the carbonite-frozen Han, where he plans to deliver him to Jabba. As the ship takes off, Leia and Lando fire upon it. Here, though, we have Slave 1 firing upon the Millennium Falcon as presumably Leia and Lando (and Chewie) try to protect it by wearing the systems of Slave 1 down. Certainly makes for an interesting set piece, that I’m wanting to try out.
There’s a few bits of aerial combat shown, including a bit in space with the Falcon over Hoth, and while I can’t be fully certain, it does seem as though we have full control of the pitch, yaw, and roll, making for some excellent space combat sequences. There are times where such might be locked, though, such as with the Death Star trench run, but in those circumstances it is understandable that you’d want to funnel people through a certain set of actions.
Now, I’m not going to run through the entire trailer looking for secrets and details. I’m just happy to know that it looks like my excitement for the game and trust in TT has been warranted. There does seem to be a lot to explore with this one, with plenty of fun moments in store beyond what was shown in the trailer, and plenty more secrets to uncover.
Now, in June, I was supposed to be posting another article relating to this game. One that explored a section within two different films. June flew by with no news relating to The Skywalker Saga, but I forgot to post it. Then came Racing Month and by the end of it I’d completely forgot about the article. Until I came to write this one. So next month I’ll post it, even if it could be considered outdated thanks to this gameplay trailer.
The delay is unfortunate, but it does remove it from such a busy October and end of year period. Hopefully in the spring of next year, it will get the chance it deserves. Spring should be the final date, with a definitive one coming at the beginning of next year, and over the coming months we should hopefully see more about the game – including some raw gameplay footage near to the time of release.
The fact it’s also now coming to next gen consoles means it should get a performance boost where necessary, including reducing pop-in and loading times. I would hope, anyway. For now, though, we should be happy to know more, and look forward to that eventual release. I know I will be.
Images taken from: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - Gameplay Trailer