Our third editor’s choice leading up to GAAD and the Diamond Award is Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, chosen by Meridith.
Even though it is not necessarily in the genre of games I would normally be interested in, my Editor’s Choice Award for 2022 goes to Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I was immediately excited when this was announced, but also hesitant, since I had previously not had any luck playing the Lego games due to my physical disability. I decided to try it and I was blown away by not only the implementation of new features that meant I could thoroughly enjoy it, but also the sheer scope of the game itself.
For the first time in the Lego series, TT Games included an impressive suite of accessibility options that literally made this game playable for me. This was exciting, because I found these games previously unplayable, even though they are designed to be more simplified than other mainstream Star Wars titles, such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Controls in this Lego adventure are finally fully remappable and there are several assists, such as a shooting toggle and additional health, that make the already approachable aesthetic of the Star Wars universe in brick form even more welcoming. Another great addition is an on-screen guide that moves with you and shows you where to go to get to your next destination. These points of interest can range from a location of a main story mission to the hiding place of one of the data cards needed for fun game modifiers.
Despite its trademark Lego humor, there is a surprisingly deep web of progression systems and things to do throughout the galaxy. At first glance, it is apparent that you can play through all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga, but beyond this, there are countless objectives and collectibles for completionists to uncover.
Personally, I was on a mission to unlock everything, because I wanted to be able to use each of the over 300 characters at any point in Free Play mode and also be able to use the entertaining modifiers, such as turning all the lightsabers into baguettes. To be honest, I did have assistance completing some tasks necessary for unlocks, since a portion of them involve speed and precise aiming. Once this was done, however, we collectively got the first platinum trophy ever on my account and I now have an extensive open world of my favorite galaxy to explore and creatively play in however I want.
As the first Lego game on this generation of consoles, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga truly sets a new precedent for what these games can be. Even though there is a linear aspect to story progression, players are given a lot of freedom and forgiveness. It is no secret that the Star Wars universe is one of the best known and biggest playgrounds that is great for video game adaptations and this one is certainly the most complete yet. I cannot wait to see where Lego games go from here.