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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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LEGO – Indiana Jones (All Platforms)

LEGO – Indiana Jones (All Platforms)

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With three prior LEGO Star Wars games from developer Travellers Tales this time around the focus is on Indiana Jones. It is a good time for an Indy game with the recent release of the new film and courtesy of some help from Lucasarts we hope this is another fun title in the successful blocky franchise.

Immediately after loading, fans of the series will feel instantly at home as the game mechanic is almost identical to prior outings, including the control method. This time around however and in true Indiana Jones style there is more focus on adventuring and solving puzzles as well as collecting keys and artefacts to progress to the next section. Before you all start moaning and groaning, rest assured there is still sufficient focus on destroying everything in sight and collecting as many studs as possible. There are occasions where sections of this game are much more difficult than anything experienced before, such as scaling walls while avoiding traps. Casual gamers might even have issues completing these specific parts they are that challenging.

As the game is not entitled “Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” the developers have decided to focus on the full series of films and the game progresses through the storylines really well and there are some minor changes to some areas to better work in the game environment.  An example would be the temple at the end of the Last Crusade which has much more than three tests to pass. This all works great within the context of the game and enhances the pacing from time to time however I can’t help but wonder why the LEGO Star Wars games didn’t go down this route.

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The Wii version of the game lets the player use the motion controls for many actions and cleverly everything is optional as all these actions are assigned to buttons as well, this lets the player choose how he/she wants to play and should be applauded. You can swing Indy’s whip with a similar movement on the Wii remote and then attack by shaking it hard. The only missing facet of the Wii control method is the fact that there is no way to merely punch with the motion controls so I ended up using the Z key as it is the better way to fight the enemies.

The PC version supports a keyboard configuration and mouse control is pretty much missing entirely including button presses. Hooking up a controller is a good idea to improve the playability especially if you intend to experience multiplayer mode. Interestingly the manual doesn’t even mention support for the keyboard just a button layout for a 360 controller!

The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are pretty much identical both in respects to the control system and the graphics and work extremely well.

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There is the same level of characterisation as prior games with Indy being the only one able to open some of the games sections thanks to its multitude of uses. Guys like Henry Jones Sr are able to decipher hieroglyphs and open other secrets. The Thugees are the bad guys able to talk to statues of Kali and can open secret areas.

This high level of characterisation is further enhanced by the inclusion of character phobias. Indiana is afraid of snakes and Willie is scared of spiders, leaving both cowering in fear when they are near so you then need to use another character to clear the way or solve the puzzle blocking the path. This adds a human touch to the game and is bound to appeal to the younger audience who will find it a cool aspect of the gameplay (I mean very few kids are NOT afraid of snakes or spiders, right?!).

A big change between the Indy Lego game and the previous Star Wars versions is the combat. The new system is obviously more hand to hand rather than lightsaber or blaster based, however you can pick up guns the enemies drop. That said they rarely last more than a few shots before becoming useless. Sometimes this ends up slightly frustrating as you run into a room with a bunch of gun toting  guards and you are armed with your fists and a whip … meaning you have to run at them and lose a ton of health (or several of your unlimited lives).

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Vehicle control is vastly improved to prior offerings and it is good that the developers spent some time play testing this feature, the controls are more intuitive and responsive although some vehicles will take a little time to master. I particularly liked the horses in the game and they moved very well and responded naturally to the control system.

The cooperative side of the game is as good as before and with a friend the game reaches another level, however sadly there is no online option for any of the platforms on review which left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Replayability is pretty good with a plethora of items hidden away in levels that you should go back in free play mode to unlock. Earning Extras, such as unlockable bonuses like Stud multipliers or regenerating hearts is more involved than simply finding a red brick, instead you hunt parcels and then you take them to a nearby mailbox to deliver back to the college where you can then buy them.

My biggest complaint with previous LEGO games has been the camera which needed a lot of work and unfortunately it is no better. When a second player is killed due to merely being offscreen, this almost borders in the unacceptable zone. If you combine this with Indiana Jones massive whip- leap jumps then the developer is setting things up as a recipe for disaster. To be honest sometimes the game in cooperative mode is a pain in the ass.

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The latest in the LEGO series is all-in-all a fun and replayable single player game with some great additions for multiplayer as well, if you can overlook the sometimes hideous camera problems. The game is not only fun to play it can be fiendishly addictive and will have you coming back for more.

Gameplay
84/100
A lot of fun and hopefully they will sort out the camera angles in future games which has lowered the score.
Graphics
75/100
Works perfectly well across all the platforms.
Sound
80/100
Sound effects are acceptable but the music is the strong point, it is excellent, just like the movies.
Value

85/100

A ton of replayable features both in single and multiplayer.
Overall
(Not an Average)
83/100
Well worth a look if you liked the previous titles. Who didn’t?

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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