Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga accessibility
The packed accessibility menu opens up many optional ways of playing, meanwhile the accessibility by design features work well in this humor-filled imagining of the Star Wars movies. The game falls short in some areas such as not allowing mouse control for menus and a complicated upgrades screen, but really the game feels a joy to play.
Score7.5 out of 10
- Camera can snap toward waypoints
- Subtitle designed nicely with sizes available
- Aim Assists help for combat sequences
- Ability to skip QTEs and button taps
- Hints always available from menu
- Remapping available for keyboard and controller
- In-game menu feels stylized and compact making it complicated
- Keyboard forced for menu navigation
- No screen reader support
- Flying levels aren't enjoyable to control
It’s not often I delve into a Lego game, but considering I have a soft spot for Star Wars I thought I’d jump into this with my Force at the ready. What awaited me in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was a comically-enjoyable take on the Star Wars films, and what was more is that there were many accessibility features and designs present throughout. The question was, how well are these implemented?
When first booted, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga presents an option to choose between accessing the accessibility menu or heading straight to the main menu. This is a nice little choice for players that may want to skip the menu for the time being. Those who do want to jump into the menu will find the full suite of options available, not a condensed list.
You can read our Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga accessibility menu deep dive here to get a more in-depth understanding of what’s available. There are options such as subtitle settings, toggle and holds, camera options, aim assist, and more. Additionally, there’s an official page on Warner Bros. Games that details the accessibility features specifically.
Keyboard and Mouse Nuisances
My first struggle comes through navigating menus. When using a keyboard and mouse, the keyboard is the only way to navigate them, and it feels incredibly limiting because I’m locked to set inputs. For example, I can’t press E to confirm a choice because E is to go back and Spacebar is to confirm. While the dream would be to have remapping for menu control, I’d have also liked to see various inputs for one action such as E, Spacebar, and Enter all being used to confirm.
Additionally, in-game menus such as navigating the upgrades and such are all tied to keyboard control. The galaxy map screen also uses the WASD keys to move a slow-dragging cursor around to select a destination. While fine in itself, having mouse control to move across all of these menus would have been beneficial for other players.
As it stands, I find the controller configuration to be a lot friendlier in the navigation of these menus. Of course, it does feel odd to push the mouse control away entirely when it’s being used in play, however keyboard and mouse feel more fluid in gameplay.
Controls and Combat
Regardless of whether playing with a controller or keyboard and mouse, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels nice to control. General wandering around feels fairly straight to the point without much in the ways of obstacles that require lots of climbing, jumping, and the like. Those who explore outside of the general story path will find things to collect that may require some additional jumping and adventurous exploration.
Combat is fairly simple as well but does offer more engaged actions. For example, I can simply take down a wave of enemies by mashing the Q key, but if I want to link more combos, E and Spacebar offer alternative combos to perform. There are also quick-time events that occur, these can range from button mashing to holds, but thanks to the accessibility settings allowing to skip or auto-complete these moments feel more enjoyable.
For battles, these often range from melee and ranged attacks depending on what character you’re choosing to control, and can be switched between at any time. These battle sequences are somewhat frequent, but usually, they are spaced out nicely allowing me to focus my attention on that group before being introduced to the next group.
There are also boss fights that take a bit longer and require dodging attacks that are clearly shown. You’ll see designs such as a circle where an incoming attack will take place. You’ll also see thick lines to show where the next special attack will happen, allowing you to get away from it.
Another nice design choice is how easy it is to navigate to the main objective waypoints in the menus. I know I just complained about the menus earlier, but this is super useful to know. When following the story and with the main story as my main objective, I was able to open the galaxy map to find the target destination already chosen for me, allowing me to simply activate and travel.
The same was for areas such as using a taxi to travel from one area to another, the target destination would always be highlighted first, even if there were various other areas to visit. This made traveling a lot smoother and reduced the number of interactions needed.
Directionality and Waypoints
One of the things I like about Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga accessibility by design is how fluid wandering from checkpoint to checkpoint feels. There’s the feature I mentioned above in which the next location is automatically chosen, but then there’s more going on with in-game waypoints. There’s one main waypoint which is always in view and shown around the edges of the screen for a stronger sense of direction.
Then, there are supplementary breadcrumb waypoints that appear and are more reactive. These show a second waypoint that directs me to a closer marker. Once I get close to that, it travels, leaving a trail before landing at the next marker.
With this amount of guidance available, I rarely feel lost and have the additional freedom to explore where I see fit, complete side missions, and collect bits and bobs. Something else about directionality is that I can push in the right stick, or press R and my camera view snaps to face the way my character is facing. However, enabling Navigation Assist means pressing R snaps the camera to the next waypoint breadcrumb which is very useful.
I mentioned enemies arriving in waves earlier, but when it comes to understanding where they are, this is also handled fairly well. There are no arrows to direct your attention to incoming damage, but usually, enemies are in your direct path anyway. Those moments in which enemies aren’t in view will be visible on the nicely designed minimap as red dots. Additional visual aids can be through bullet tracers or looking in the direction that your allies are attacking.
For Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga accessibility, flying is one of the game’s weak points. Controls feel rough, even on low sensitivity, and trying to keep my focus on the enemy ship or target during combat feels exhausting with lots of spinning and rotating.
I couldn’t get used to the mouse to steer and using the keyboard for just driving. I wanted to go for using WASD for control, and I wasn’t particularly fond of the quick events for rolling out of the way of incoming projectiles.
There are some areas that also feel pointless where you’re spawned into a ship in space, being tasked to look at a landing point on a planet or ship for a few seconds before being allowed to confirm. It serves as nothing more than a link between levels, but one that doesn’t really seem worth my time for a few extra steps.
Okay, that heading didn’t make any sense, but let’s jump into the subtitles. Subtitles are present for all dialogue, including the NPCs in the world. There’s not much in terms of customizing the presentation outside of the text sizes, but that’s not all that bad considering they’ve been designed fairly nicely.
The text size options for most subtitles at their largest are nice and large, subtitles come with a speaker label that’s colored differently from the dialogue subtitles, and there’s a dark blue background behind the text. The background box isn’t a solid box, but instead, it’s faded around the edges. From what I’ve experienced, the text doesn’t go outside the boundaries allowing it to still be legible against brighter scenes.
There is also a different type of subtitle presentation available when speaking to NPCs. The background box here is brighter but the text still stands out fairly well. Words of interest are highlighted in orange to make them clear.
An area these subtitles fail entirely is when a speaker is talking and I open the menus. The subtitles just vanish until I close them meaning I’ve missed the dialogue. Otherwise, I found these to be legible and enjoyable to read.
Menu Mess, Objectives, and Collectibles
The menus are perhaps the most complicated part of the game for me, as already mentioned earlier, the keyboard navigation feels awful while the controller feels much friendlier. However, the other issue is just how they’re laid out. They have a visual style in which it appears as if the studio tried to make them simple and compact, but the cost is that half of it feels fiddly to navigate and even understand — particularly the upgrades section that consists of many categorized circles.
What is nice to see is the main objectives having clear marks over relevant things. For example, those following the story can expect to see orange marks over the location to travel to next on the galaxy map screen. Objectives can also be rummaged through with the main objective and side objectives being clearly displayed.
It can become a bit of a kerfuffle in-game when trying to figure out what objective marker to follow. I was trying to find the main mission listed on the left during a certain mission, but I was only getting breadcrumb trails to the side objective I was tracking and I was also getting on-screen markers for nearby side missions.
Besides that, the game feels fairly easy to manage. There’s no inventory to worry about and I can choose to collect Lego bits around the map or leave them and continue following the storyline.
and the story is so condensed and quick that it feels paced well for enjoyment.
Progression and Assists
I will say, some levels do require completing certain challenges before progression can continue, such as me trying 3 times to complete the pod-racing mission. Progression does mean that later episodes aren’t unlocked until the current story is completed. Really though, the story is condensed and nicely paced. Gameplay segments can be brief if you’re just focused on following the story objectives, while longer sessions depended on how long I spent elsewhere.
What’s more, there are no difficulty options available, instead, it appears as if the game uses an adaptive difficulty that determines how well you’re playing. The reality is that I never feel overwhelmed for melee and ranged combat, but I do dislike the missions in which you fly ships due to the fiddly controls.
There’s some help given through features such as aim assist options for slowing the reticle and having health recovery. I noticed very subtle auto-driving taking place as well, particularly during the mentioned pod-racing level where it would help you steer, but only so gently that it was almost missable. QTEs are also entirely skippable, but some events, such as R2-D2’s hacking wheel still require manual operation.
Blind Play Lacking
Given the complicated way the menus are laid out, and given how packed the upgrades screen is, I can only imagine it would be complicated to navigate with a screen reader. In saying that, there’s no built-in support, and while audio design seems to be high quality in-game, I don’t see it being much help for navigational awareness.
The navigation assist feature is a great way to help players with following the breadcrumb waypoints, but an additional navigational ping could have also been useful for enhanced awareness.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga does a lot for accessibility, from nicely designed subtitles, assist features, and nice design for waypoints. The camera reset feature is nice, hints being always available from the menu is very useful, and combat being broken into sections as well as the story being so heavily condensed can make for gentle playthroughs.
Pain points come from menu navigation through the keyboard and really trying to figure out what upgrades to choose. There’s clearly been a focus on ensuring the game is fun and available to play for different players, and the implementations of these features across the board help to make this collection of games more accessible and enjoyable.
A review copy of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was provided by the developer / publisher.