|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Also noticeably improved are the graphics. The slapstick comedy of the cutscenes has never looked more lifelike, and the in-game contrast between the realistic backgrounds and the LEGO constructions on them has never been more stark. One hopes the LEGO series will take on more special-effects masterpieces in the future.
Despite all these changes, the basic soul of the LEGO series is there. The cutscenes are amusing, with LEGO figures acting out not-particularly-faithful recreations of well-known movie scenes. They still talk in that cute LEGO language of grunts and murmurs, and as soon as the cutscenes end, you still proceed to smash everything you see in search of those tiny LEGO studs. There's still the occasional offbeat touch; for example, Indy's fear of snakes from the movie makes it into the game and plays a role in some puzzles. When you die, you're still slapped on the wrist with a fine (paid in studs) and placed right back where you were with full health. The soundtrack still features the well-known music from the films in question, not to mention that indescribably heartwarming sound of LEGO blocks clinking off each other.
A few old annoyances stick around as well. The screen still tears now and again, though if you're willing to sacrifice some framerate, there's an option to fix this. In single-player mode, your A.I. partner still can't seem to handle the simple task of following you very well. He's always getting stuck somewhere, and if you switch characters to help him out, sometimes your own character will get hung up in the same place. Most of the puzzles are still painfully easy, also, which is probably less of a problem for the game's target audience than it is for us.
Whatever its flaws, this game does a decent enough job of walking the line between sticking to the formula and mixing things up. The developers will need to refine some of the changes in future installments; in particular, the "where do I go now?" problem is serious, especially for very young children with short attention spans. Regardless, it's refreshing to see them try something new for a change, and given the constant stream of LEGO-themed games, the franchise has aged surprisingly well.
CCC Freelance Writer