Game: Lego Indiana Jones
Platforms: DS, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC, PSP, 360 (Reviewed on 360)
I could never really get into the Lego Star Wars games. Probably because I only tried out the first one, which covered the prequels, and I wasn’t as interested in the source material. Never tried the Complete Saga, and I know to everyone out there that must seem like sacrilege, but I was just never motivated enough. Then I heard Lucasarts would be bringing Henry Jones, Jr. into the Lego fold, and the child that lives inside my cold, emotionless heart came alive.
It’s a well-documented fact I love anything Indiana Jones. There’s just something about the character that makes me want to be there for any and all of his adventures, be they on the silver screen, television, comics, books or now on my 360. Centering around the first three adventures (or films, if you will), Lego Indiana Jones follows our tiny hero through all your favorite locales. Whether it be the booby-trapped cave in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Club Obi Wan in Temple of Doom or the final temple in the Valley of the Crescent Moon in Last Crusade, each is superbly rendered to capture the feel and look of the film. The game takes some liberties with the source material, adding more levels in to each chapter to lengthen the game. Of course, the game isn’t just about far off destinations, it’s also about the characters Indy meets up with along the way.
No two ways about it, this game is designed for co-op play. The game makes it more interesting by giving certain characters unique abilities for puzzle solving. Marion and Elsa are given extra jumping ability, while Henry Jones, Sr. and Brody can read hieroglyphics with the help of a book. Indy has his trusty whip for location based swinging, but all characters can pick up tools like shovels and wrenches to complete certain puzzles. Though, most puzzles aren’t really puzzles so much as they are tasks, or as I like to call them, chores. I didn’t really mind the “digging items up to use someplace else” the first ten times I had to do it. By the end of Temple of Doom, I found myself getting disappointed anytime I saw the ground sparkling. The only other issue I had with co-op gameplay was in the computer AI. Sometimes they just don’t wan to tag along, making me go back to get them over and over again. Was it enough to ruin the total experience for me? Not really. It’s a platformer. It’s going to get a little repetitive at points.
That’s not to say I didn’t have a blast playing this. The good news is there are plenty of neat things to keep the game from getting stale too quickly. There’s well over fifty characters to unlock either by playing through, or by earning enough tokens to buy them. Ranging from the minor Thugee slave drivers to my personal favorite, the German bare-knuckle boxer from Raiders, you can play as pretty much any character to ever grace the screen in any of the films. Heck, you can even unlock a playable version of Harrison Ford’s other famous role as a scruffy-looking nerf herder. Of course there’s also all those achievements for you completionists out there. Based off quotes from the films, you’ll find yourself throwing countless bananas at monkeys just to get the “Bad dates” achievement. Throw in a couple unlockable secret levels, you’ve got yourself more than the 10-12 hour playtime just running through the story will provide.
Playing through this game reminded me how much fun the Indiana Jones character really is. If you enjoy the films at all, and enjoyed Lego Star Wars, this is right up your alley. Of course, in this crowded summer there’s no rush to grab this game. It’ll still be fun no matter when you pick it up, and you don’t have to worry about not playing one of the more major releases like Ninja Gaiden II, Metal Gear 4 or Soul Calibur IV. I’m glad I started playing it, and sometime in the near future, look forward to trying for that 100% completion.