Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Review - 03/06/2008

The Lego Star Wars games proved hugely popular on both last and current-gen formats. Being able to create Darth Jar Jar Binks hybrids and play through all your favourite Star Wars set-pieces was no end of fun.

While focusing on an arguably less popular franchise, Lego Indiana Jones goes about itself in much the same way as the Star Wars games. Each film is divided into six levels, complete with humorous cutscenes, the most memorable set pieces from the films, and puzzles to challenge the minds of young and old alike. I was new to the concept of Lego videogames, while well aware of the huge popularity of them, but it didn't take long to get used to the very old fashioned methods of gameplay. Old fashioned is of course no bad thing.

The game allows co-operative play throughout, and as such, while playing alone you always have at least one AI character with you. While the intelligence of most of the blundering sidekicks that Indy is joined by isn't up to much, they are required to complete many of the puzzles and challenges in the game. Of course, the way to play is in co-op, but with no online co-op, same-screen gameplay is the only option; it feels like a step back.

Indy has been recreated brilliantly by Lego.

You have the basic controls that you would find in any platformer. You can jump, with Indy swinging his legs emphatically in mid air, male characters able to do a dive with a consecutive press of the jump button, and women able to jump higher. Some also have their own unique abilities, such as taking control of a monkey while playing as Marion Ravenwood. Of course, by far the coolest is Indy's whip, which you can use at certain points in the levels to reach high places, avoid pits and gather in far off items. It's a very versatile tool, and you can trip enemies, disarm them, or just attack them using it. There are a variety of other weapons available, which any character can use. Swords, pistols, Uzis and bazookas make up the majority, though you can also find spears and the more unique weaponry featured in the films elsewhere.

You can also do a basic melee attack, which gets a lot of use smashing all the Lego objects and collecting the coins within. On the whole, it certainly feels like a platformer from two console generations ago in terms of style and methodology. The puzzles test your vision and ingenuity, often stumping you to the point where you try and push every object, or smash every Lego brick. It is, perhaps, a fault in the game that every so often an object that needs to be pushed or pulled, doesn't have the telltale signs on it that indicate it can be moved in that way. These are the times you will get stuck on the game, rather than as a result of the logic involved being too tough. Often you have to find cogs or build layers of Lego out of hidden stashes of bricks (with a simple button press), and these are frequently hidden in tough-to-find places, or require other items to be found to get them.

You'll visit virtually all the locations in the films, with all the characters.

There is a sense of satisfaction to be had upon completion of these puzzles of course, and while playing I frequently wasted tens of minutes in side rooms thinking that was the correct way to go, whereas in fact I was just completing a task to reveal a hidden treasure chest. You really have to explore the levels well, leaving no brick unsmashed, especially if you don't want to spend time on the unlockables.

1 - 2 - Next



Travellers Tales