The Empire Strikes Back
For many, The Empire Strikes Back is Star Wars’ gold standard. I’m delighted to report that The Skywalker Saga does an excellent job of doing justice to the source material. From start to finish, the episode hits every note. Han (and General Rieekan(?)) kick us off by searching the blizzard fields of Hoth, turning on communication towers, and riding Tauntauns in the process. From there, we’re straight into “Assault on Echo Base”, taking down AT-AT’s with Snowspeeders. As ever, it just feels right.
“Never Tell Me The Odds” gives us another vehicle section, as we navigate the Millenium Falcon into hiding, away from ensuing Imperial forces. I can’t stress enough how much I adore the vehicle sections in this game. The more, the better. “Hibernation Station” has Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 escaping Cloud City following Han Solo’s cryofreezing. Much like “This is Some Rescue” from A New Hope, the level starts slowly, but ramps up as you go through, ending with a showdown with Boba Fett. And, yes, it’s a lot of fun.
No ESB recreation would be complete without a Luke vs Vader showdown, and “Revalations!” is a wonderful way to see out the episode. A word on boss battle combat, while we’re here; melee combat is very, very satisfying, but I could do without the auto-lock on. That doesn’t hurt this particular fight, but it would have been nice to have the option to turn it off.
The Empire Strikes Back is Lego Star Wars at its best. It’s so well-paced, the humour is on point, and there are enough set pieces to keep things from getting stale at any point. It’s just a really, really good episode.