Game Reviews

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Star onStar onStar onStar onStar half
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Star Wars holds an attraction for just about everyone. For some, it's just a kids' film they remember from their youth. For others, it's an epic saga for all ages that they like to watch once in a while. Then, there are the nutters who worship at the alter of the Jedi.

So combining the story of the movies with Lego bricks was an instant success when the first Lego Star Wars game was released in 2005. The first game covered the more recent trilogy of movies and was available on the GBA. A year later, The Original Trilogy came out on the DS and now it's the turn of The Complete Saga. You could easily mistake The Complete Saga for being a compendium of the previous two titles but you'd be wrong.

This game is a complete remake. The Original Trilogy on the DS was an out and out disaster, taking the brilliant gameplay available to other platforms and stripping it of all pleasure – ultimately, it was bug-ridden to the point of being unplayable. Now though, you have the story and levels of both the previous games but with the celebrated gameplay of the versions available on other platforms, updated to include some original content.

With the story spanning all six movies played out with little Lego figures in a little Lego world, you control characters while playing through the levels using blasters, lightsabers and Force powers to restore balance to a galaxy far, far away. In total, there are 160 characters to play as, including droids, bounty hunters and bad guys like General Grievous and, of course, Darth Vader, as well as goodies such as Anakin, Leia, Chewy, and the greatest of the Jedis, Yoda.

You unlock characters as you play through the game, switching between them using the touchscreen. This is particularly important when you need to be playing as certain droids to open doors or as a Jedi to use Force powers to manipulate a platform or block.

Force powers can be controlled using the touchscreen, too, enabling you to push items around with the stylus (alternatively you can just use the A button, which is faster but less interactive). The gameplay is seamlessly realised and works brilliantly.

The action swings from all-out exchanges of blaster fire with droids and lightsabre-wielding Jedis, to solving puzzles. These puzzles are far from lame additions to the combat and make up a large part of each area. For instance, you need to shake objects using the Force to find items and move Lego structures from one side of a level to another in order to reach higher platforms and doors.

The levels themselves are largely quite linear, but there's still plenty hidden off the beaten track. Locked doors can always be opened with the right character – sometimes that's a character from later in the level you can backtrack with, or it might be one unlocked later in the game. Finding whole undiscovered areas with new characters makes for masses of replayability once you've completed the game.

And though it may sound like it, the straightforward levels don't actually make it simple just to walk through the game if you want to. There's a lot to see and do and it takes time to really get to grips with each level but there are clever elements implemented for younger players or those looking for a quick blast on the train journey to work.

It's not the only area that's well thought out, of course. If your character dies – or should we say 'breaks' (they are only Lego, after all) – they're instantly re-built where they fell. There's no going back to an earlier point, although you do lose some of the Lego studs you've collected, the currency needed to unlock equipment and cheats in the game's shop.

The greatest strength of the game, however, is how you can choose how much depth you want to the experience. Your level of involvement really comes down to your choices in-game, and even the 'lightest' approach doesn't go unrewarded. On top of the platforming, for example, there are some excellent vehicle-based flying levels (such as the Death Star run and Battle at Coruscant) which use a top-down, vertical-scrolling view across both screens. They break up the pace of the game without the quality of play dropping for a second.

That quality is matched by the production values. Unlike the previous iteration on DS, The Complete Saga is a gorgeous affair, with excellent cut-scenes and full Skywalker Sound musical score. The in-game graphics are fully 3D and benefit from a brilliant camera, thoughtfully laid out levels and, we're delighted to say, entirely responsive controls.

Lastly, because one man alone can't save a galaxy (even Luke has help), we ought to mention you can also play co-operatively with a friend provided you both have a copy if the game.

Whichever way you look at it, it's clear that many Bothans died to make this game. That's a little joke for those of us who fall into the 'Star Wars is a religion' category. The point is, however, that regardless of how seriously you take your Star Wars, we can't recommend this enough.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

A brilliant game for Star Wars fans and DS fans alike, The Complete Saga combines childlike simplicity with fiendishly hidden depth, providing an involving experience you'll find difficult to beat
Kirsten Kearney
Kirsten Kearney
Having been a journalist for ten years, Kirsten has played every game known to man. When she does put her DS down, she likes partaking in military training such as tank driving and sniper rifle practice. The staff at Pocket Gamer are just glad she's on their side.