The long-anticipated LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is finally in its home stretch, after a long development cycle filled with delays. The TT Games-produced title has finally gone gold though, meaning it is ready to be shipped ahead of its April 5 release date. The Skywalker Saga has gone to great lengths to improve upon previous LEGO installments, with the stunning visuals being one of the many areas where the title has seen an overhaul.
Packing in a plethora of planets from the Star Wars universe and a vast array of levels spanning all nine mainline Star Wars films, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga seems to the ultimate celebration of its namesake. The upcoming game is missing one feature that some fans may find disappointing if they previously played LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
However, a new issue may have presented itself in one of the title's latest promos.
The LEGO Skywalker Saga's Cutscene Issue
TT Games released a brief promo for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga highlighting a cutscene featuring Mace Windu. Some fans were quick to notice that the video was rather choppy, seeming to skip frames at certain points particularly when Windu performs a backflip.
Rather than running at a stable framerate like the gameplay footage, certain frames linger on screen for more frames than they should. As Windu does the backflip, a moment where his cape is shown stays on screen for three frames rather than just one, while also slowly and unnaturally jittering with each frame.
This issue can also be seen in much of the cutscene footage in the recently released developer diary, particularly in the opening moments where Rey is seen doing a flip which has similar jittery frame rate issues. As the flip is performed, frames linger for too long or skip frames altogether similarly to the Mace Windu video.
The erratic framerate only seems to be affecting some of the pre-rendered cutscenes that have been shown off, with the gameplay always being presented as running smoothly.
Twitter user @thevoid2gaming expressed their worries for this affecting the final release, noting how it only affects cutscene footage:
"There has to be something up with the cutscenes of this game. Every time we see cutscene footage the frames are all over the place. Really hoping this doesn’t become a problem when the game launches."
Reddit user u/Wazflame pointed out how the cutscenes looked smooth all the way with the game's 2019 teaser, making it peculiar why the scenes are looking choppier now.
"I keep thinking back to the 'Coming 2020' trailer (lol I know) and how smooth that looked compared to the more recent trailers/footage."
Reddit user u/sector11374265 speculated that the marketing may have received footage from an older build of the game, explaining the footage's choppiness:
"I hope they just have a folder of footage that they sent to the marketing team a year ago that they can use, so it’s just from an earlier build before they worked out the kinks. most of the gameplay we’ve seen is much smoother which is promising, but I won’t deny this has been making me a bit nervous."
Trouble for LEGO Star Wars?
This jittery frame rate for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is quite concerning, especially considering that development is now considered complete and the game is off to ship copies. There are a few possible explanations for why the cutscenes' frame rates are varying so much.
The frame rate issue leads to an almost stop-motion-like aesthetic, which could arguably be intentional given that LEGO properties like The LEGO Movie and its sequel use a similar animation style. However, comparing the footage to previous titles released by TT Games and older footage that was presented for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, it's most likely that this was not a deliberate choice.
It is also possible that the social media platforms have compressed the video files. However, watching the developer diary shows that only the cutscene footage is choppy, with the rest of the footage running at a normal frame rate.
It ultimately remains to be seen whether this problem will plague the final release, as it is still possible that the game, and its cutscenes, will run much smoother when played on the correct hardware.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga launches on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.