It is difficult to find a brand as synonymous with the galaxy far, far away than LEGO Star Wars, spanning toys, video games, and animated specials.
In addition to a rumored wave of summer sets, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is perhaps one of the most anticipated upcoming releases for the franchise. Boasting over 300 unlockable characters, including 20 fan-favorites on the title screen alone, the latest brick-built videogame should prove to be the definitive LEGO Star Wars experience.
There are also plenty of iconic locations and planets to explore, all of which "full of quests, challenges, items, and characters." The game will be somewhat different to previous LEGO Star Wars games, being made in a new engine with new gameplay features.
While The Skywalker Saga is jam-packed with content, one of the lead developers has now spoken about some of the features that won't be in the game...
NO NEXT-GEN FEATURES AT LAUNCH
In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, lead hub designer Dawn McDiarmid at TT Games spoke about LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and some of the next-gen features that will not be available.
At launch, ray-tracing, DualSense support, and 3D audio will not be supported on the PlayStation 5. The console will be able to make use of its improved SSD for quicker load times, likely suggesting that the Xbox Series X/S will be able to do the same.
McDiarmid also discussed how delaying the game enabled the team to "refine the systems and features" in the game:
"The biggest thing we've gained from our extra development time is really a chance to polish and refine the systems and features that needed that extra little bit of love to make them as fun and challenging as we hoped they could be. Our amazing team has been pulling out all the stops for this one, even while the whole studio adjusted to working from home."
When asked about the process of choosing which moments to feature, McDiarmid said that the "important beats" of the story got priority:
"There is always of discussion around what moments to feature when it comes to breaking down well-known films such as Star Wars. There are a lot of big Star Wars fans at the studio and everyone has an opinion about and a favorite moment that simply must be included in the game, so the first thing we look at is the story. We break down the most important beats that the story cannot do without, such as important plot points and big, memorable moments.
It was important for the developers to capture the same experience as "watching [the films] for the first time:"
"Then we look at the unique gameplay opportunities these moments provide and then we go from there. Throughout the process elements can be cut, moved around, or changed in size but we try to make sure that when you play through one of the films you feel like you are part of the excitement and wonder you experience when watching them for the first time."
The trademark Lego humor that TT Games is known will also be making a return, according to McDiarmid:
"Also, I can't forget - what is a Lego game without our unique brand of humor? During this process we are always on the lookout for opportunities to make jokes and have fun with the franchise we love."
Disney was rumored to be developing more animated “films” within the Star Wars universe.
Matt Lanter confirmed that fans will get to see the animated version of Anakin Skywalker in a future project that he "can't talk about yet."
Darth Revan was rumored to return in a future Star Wars project on Disney+.
A TRUNCATED LEGO STAR WARS EXPERIENCE?
While it may be disappointing to some fans that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will not have all the bells and whistles of its next-gen game counterparts, the game should still provide a satisfying experience for players.
Lego videogames have always looked appealing in their art style, but have never been full-on technical showcases along the lines of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. McDiarmid did say that these next-gen features won't be available at launch, possibly indicating that these could be added in a patch or update later down the line.
With so many iconic moments, big and small, from the Star Wars galaxy, it is a difficult task to include absolutely everything that fans have in mind. Everyone has a favorite character or moment, from the Gonk droid, to Dexter Jettster's diner, to the criminals of Kanjiklub. It is reassuring, therefore, that the development team at TT Games is intending to make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga as faithful to the films as possible, with a little humor sprinkled in for good measure.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC in Spring 2021.