I can still be excited for LEGO games as an adult, right?
If there’s one thing that most gamers can share in (at least, those around my age or younger), it’s that we’ve all played at least one LEGO game. Yes, LEGO, the toy manufacturers with a long history of videogame tie-ins. The earliest days of LEGO games saw some fondly remembered titles. Games such as LEGO Island and LEGO Racers were successful and are, generally, viewed quite favourably. However, it wasn’t until LEGO Star Wars that LEGO games truly took off.
Developed by Traveller’s Tales the first entry, simply titled LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, covered the prequel trilogy in a stylised, LEGO fashion and released in 2005 on sixth-generation consoles.
A year later, Traveller’s Tales released the next entry, The Original Trilogy, which covered films 4 through 6. Another year after that, they combined both these titles into one game: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This featured graphical upgrades and some extra content, and released on seventh-generation consoles.
These games saw a lot of success worldwide. The first sold over 3 million units by 2006, and by 2017 The Complete Saga was the best selling LEGO game of all time with over 15 million lifetime sales.
Needless to say, this saw Traveller’s Tales branch out into other licensed properties such as Batman, Indiana Jones, and Marvel.
But, with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga releasing today, now’s the perfect time to look back on the games that built the Traveller’s Tales LEGO series into what it is now.
LEGO Star Wars: arguably the best way to experience the prequels
The first thing to talk about is the tone, with its uniquely goofy depiction of the films. Cutscenes lack any kind of voice acting and instead have the minifigures mumbling with visual indicators of plot points. While Darth Vader pointing to a polaroid of him and a pregnant Padme isn’t quite as impactful as the iconic “I am your father” scene, it gets the point across.
These visual gags extend into the levels, too. Stormtroopers in speedos and clone disco parties are just a couple of the humorous secrets you can find within them.
This humour makes the games feel like abridged versions of the films which is the perfect tone for them. They take themselves about as seriously as a LEGO recreation of a sci-fi franchise should. That is, to say, in a way that would hold a child’s attention.
You’re never too old to play with LEGO
Yes, it should be noted that these games were made with kids in mind, so if you’re hoping for nail-biting tension and difficulty, you won’t really find it here (although, that podracing level was unreasonably hard).
The games are relatively simple platformers that see you solving puzzles, building structures, gathering collectables and dispatching enemies.
The stakes are low and the penalty for death is even lower, with no real game over to speak of. Instead, death just makes you lose “studs”, the game’s currency that you can find in abundance throughout the levels.
This could deter some who prefer a challenge in their games and, as one such person, I get that. However, LEGO Star Wars is less about fun and more about having a chilled-out, fun time, preferably with a friend.
LEGO is built for co-op
One of the true tragedies of our age is the fact that few LEGO games support online co-op. Even The Skywalker Saga is shaping up to eschew online multiplayer.
What makes this such a shame is the fact that these games are so much better when played with someone else. Whether you and your friend are actually cooperating or you’re fighting at the start of the level for no particular reason, co-op is such a goofy and fun experience in LEGO Star Wars that it’s a glaring issue that online play, which most people would use to play together, is almost entirely absent.
Fortunately, The Complete Saga is one of the few LEGO games to have online co-op, so I would highly recommend picking it up with a friend and embarking on a bricky romp.
If you’ve never played any of the LEGO Star Wars games before, I’d thoroughly recommend checking them out. Even on the cusp of The Skywalker Saga coming out, I believe there’s still value in the old classics that set the standard for the past two decades of LEGO games. The casual fun is accessible to all and has remained enjoyable since the first game released all the way back in 2005.
Are you playing The Skywalker Saga on launch? Or will you be revisiting this old classic instead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or, if you want more Star Wars content, check out our look at the Star Wars hotel! You can also hop on over to our Discord to chat with us about all things gaming and entertainment!