|System: PC, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales|
|Release: March 22, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
The missions are broken into three different subcategories: adventure / platform, space combat, and real-time strategy. The adventure missions are the ones most closely related to those of past games of the series, but look and play better, with solid enemy AI and a ton more things to smash. The boss battles do a great job finishing levels with an epic struggle, but we expect no less from a Star Wars game. The space missions and RTS missions are where you see this game break from the standard. With literally hundreds of allies and enemies on the screen and no lag or drop in frame rate, the large scale battles are truly a spectacle to behold. The strategy missions feel like a light version of StarCraft with LEGOs, as you take out enemy buildings using a hefty variety of vehicles, then use blocks to create your own support buildings. But no matter which mission you're tackling, even when surrounded by a seemingly inescapable amount of enemies, the forgiving difficulty keeps you from breaking a sweat. You essentially have unlimited lives, and only lose a couple thousand studs (pocket change) when brought down to zero health. Despite having a varied group to control, you'll most likely keep to those wielding lightsabers, since continuous mashing of the attack button will thwart any attempts to do you harm. However, LEGO games have never been designed with challenging gameplay in mind, making the game approachable to a wider audience.
As touched on before, the graphics shine in this latest version. The venues are all perfectly molded and believable in the Star Wars universe, and the animations are fluid and varied. Each of the 114 characters is uniquely tailored with its own personality and combat style, so how Anakin swings his lightsaber is completely different than how Mace Windu or Obi-Wan does. Even small elements, like Yoda hobbling along on his cane when pressing the analog stick lightly, then quickly jumping into a double flip to decapitate a droid, all showcase the care given to each character's authenticity.
Little needs to be said about the music and sound. It's Star Wars; the music is world renowned, the sound effects iconic, and both are perfectly integrated into the game, period. The voice acting is an issue all on its own though. While I fully understand that voiced scripts have no more place in a LEGO game then they do in a Sims game, the lack of talking only accentuates the confusing direction and hint system.
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is a pleasant break from the constant onslaught of first-person shooters, only made more satisfying by adding humor to the formula, a nearly extinct theme in modern video games. While the controls and difficulty are watered down, and you'll inevitably find yourself lost many times throughout, the game is just pure, addictive fun. And with so many things to collect and unlock, it's just that many more reasons to keep picking up the controller and redoing a level for the twelfth time.
CCC Freelance Writer