So, for like the last forever we've seen the release and re-release of the Star Wars Lego games for Ps2, 360, PS3, PSP, etc etc etc. However, this time around it seems that the Lego games development team has decided to try out another George Lucas franchise and give us Lego Indiana Jones.
Let me start this off by saying that I like the Lego games and I really like Indiana Jones, but for some reason this particular movie franchise doesn't translate well in to the Lego universe as well as the Star Wars games did, but I'll touch up more on that later. For now, I want to nit-pick and bitch at everything I found wrong with the game before I actually lay in to it completely.
First off, the game looks pretty on a next-gen system. It's had all of it's edges smoothed and has had a nice bit of gloss painted across it to give it that next-generationesqe feel to it. As much of a graphical upgrade as it receives compared to it's lower-gen counterparts it's still not going to win any awards. Also, I had noticed on the PS3 version that in the beginning levels of the game that there was a pretty good amount of screen tearing going on. I usually don't care for such things like that but when the top half of your screen jumps to the right a full second and a half after the bottom half I guess I tend to get a bit agitated about it. Still, even though a few technical hiccups agitated me they didn't keep me from thinking that the game incorporated the whole Lego world/Movie world mesh rather well.
The Sound, on the other hand, is great and yet extremely annoying at the same time. Everything seems to be set on some type of action cue so at one moment you might be listening to something calming and then suddenly it will start the shrill noise of some sequence in which something will appear to threaten you. It works well most of the time, but in certain cases it gets downright annoying really damn quick.
Example: There is a point where you encounter little spiders and whenever they appear it immediately does this "OH NOES! SPIDARZ!" music to let you know that they've arrived. If you walk away from the spiders so far the music stops and returns to normal, but if you walk back towards them? "SPIDARZ!" Now, at this certain point where you find these little spiders apparently one of them glitched out and got stuck in a wall and the entire time I was in that room trying to complete a puzzle (that requires a bit of going back and forth) I had to hear that same surprise cue begin upwards to about fifteen times. It got old. Quick.
The pseudo-dialogue is rather humorous, and in these types of generic games something similar is welcomed. Instead of hearing over-acted dribble your treated to a series of jeers, sneers, snickers, laughs, grunts, hums, and ponderings that express the characters feelings and current situations. Considering the "script" is quite humorous at times these feints at speech add to the funny.
As far as gameplay goes it's a pretty straight forward game. Run from one area to the next while flailing your characters aimlessly in to any and all lego contraptions and picking up the stubs and collectible treasures. The action parts in the gameplay are nice and to see Lego Indy toss a bad guy over his shoulder or give some gunman a noogie is kinda funny. However, unlike the Star Wars, counter part you'll find yourself continuously shot to pieces by enemies due to the lack of a block feature this time around...well...unless you have a shovel. Not to mention that considering the game is called Indiana Jones you'll find yourself playing as your partner most of the time. Throughout most of the game I found myself constantly switching away from Indy because, for the majority of the game, Indy sucks. Most of your secondary characters are stronger, can jump higher, and are just generally more useful than Indy himself. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that certain whip-jump areas were required you could probably go throughout the entire game as everyone else EXCEPT Indy.
Another gameplay element I want to bitch about this time is the destructible enviroments and how you interact with them. In Star Wars it was a novel idea to be able to move things using the force and get some stubs or some strange reaction out of the environment. However, this time around all you do is destroy everything with whatever contraption you have in your hands at the time. At times I felt like Indy was like the Hulk because you basically just walk up to everything and start punching wildly until it ceases to exist and then you collect the remains mindlessly. At least Star Wars Lego had some novelty charm to it...Indiana Jones just feels like "Rawr! Destroy the flora with gusto!"
The controls are pretty tight and I have no beef with them. They are the exact same control scheme as Star Wars so if you've played those games then you'll assimilate to the Indy game rather quickly. The AI is also pretty smart this time around so your partner wont waste time walking around aimlessly and generally takes the quickest and most effective route to get back to you or help you. It has tons of unlockable content along the way and it should give fans of the Lego series enough to mess around with in order to attempt that 100% completion before Lego Batman arrives.
Overall, it's not a bad game. Good for a Saturday run through when your not running over citizens of Liberty city or just generally bored. For die-hard fans of the Lego games it's a pretty comfortable buy, but for those of you who are aren't sold on the whole Lego thing don't throw down the full amount before you try it out first.
Lego Indiana Jones:The Original Adventures - 7/10