Lego Indiana Jones PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PC
There is nothing inherently wrong with Lego Indiana Jones, but I don’t think anyone will be shouting from the hills about the fun times they had with the game after playing. In truth, it is just not as exciting as the Lego Star Wars games were. Everything you’d expect seems to be there. Interesting co-op puzzles – check. Travellers Tales’ trademark humour – check. A vast amount of objects, items and extras to collect – check, check, check. However, in terms of sheer fun factor it is definitely somewhat lacking.
It all starts out well enough though, as just like Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones has an exciting trilogy of films to look to for source material. As a result, the setting, script, and set pieces from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and Last Crusade have all being ‘Legofied‘ for you to play through. The big change this time though is that levels are more puzzle based, which arguably leads to the game offering less captivating thrills.
Instead of gallivanting around levels with the sole mindset of beating up your foe you now have to be on the lookout of keys, gears and other secrets to be found (well you are an archaeologist after all). Don’t get me wrong though, as the puzzle are still easy enough to wrap your head around, they are just much more involved than what was on show in Lego Star Wars, with the extra layer of complexity noticeable right from the start of the very first level.
Another small problem is that the Indiana Jones films almost always focus solely on Indy himself, with little to no side-stories involved at all. Because of this there is little chance for the game to offer a vast array of differing mission to play around with this time. This is a bit disappointing as the appearances of Han Solo, Princess Leia, C3P0 and R2-D2 helped keep Lego Star Wars feeling fresh as you could enjoy the adventures alongside the main Luke Skywalker story. Nevertheless, the full storyline of the original Indy series is available to play though, which should please fans of the franchise, but it should be noted that when playing as Indy’s sidekicks it is just not as fun as you’d expect. In fact, non of the 60 or so unlockable characters are all that appealing at all.
Regardless, the way the story is told – by use of irreverent unspoken cutscenes – is once again very clever, with the introduction of Dr. Rene Belloq being a excellent example early on in the game. Indy’s fear of snakes is also played on pretty well throughout the course of the game. Also, the use of music is once again top notch, with the trademark themes of the series used expertly to highlight the comic action.
Furthermore, the AI of the non-player characters is another area of the game that seems to have being reworked from the Star Wars efforts, so if you are playing alone you should notice your team mate will usually go where you want without too much hassle. The ability for characters to climb ropes is another welcome addition too, and adds an exciting new dynamic to the game.
But still, even with all these little touches it is quite easy to say that getting in a battle with a lightsaber in hand is easily more entertaining than using Indy’s whip. Shooting and dodging laser fire is also more appealing than doing the same to normal bullets. The lack of something to rival the use of Force Powers is disappointing too, and the fact that certain characters can double-jump, use a shovel and a wrench does nothing to make up for it.
However, I will admit what Travellers Tales have created with Lego Indiana Jones is probably the best they could have done with the licence, but all the same it is still a game that seems somewhat lacking, and a bit of step down from previous highs to be honest.
Of course, many of the other facets which made the older Lego titles the huge success they were are back once again this time round. Drop-in multiplayer is obviously returns, which means anyone of any age, and arguably any skill level can give the game a go with a friend (or parent) and get some joy out of it. The hub area also makes a welcome reappearance, thus letting you select any level at any time (once someone had completed it first). Truth be told, the only thing that was disappointing not to see in the menus was an option for online co-op play. It would have being nice if we got that too, but we unfortunately did not.
So, in the end, perhaps the worst thing you can say about Lego Indy is that it is not as instantly likeable as the Lego Star Wars games, and that it’s more of a relationship you’ll have to work at instead of being the love at first sight Travellers Tales’ previous efforts were. However, many would argue that those are the kind of relationships that always end up working out best in the end. Although I would have to admit I’d still only give this one a six, even if I had a few drinks on me at the time.