In the history of “Ideas so crazy they just might work”, the LEGO Star Wars video games stand as the shining example. by Patrick Evans
July 4, 2006 – Growing up, LEGOs are toys that spark children’s imagination. From the simple building blocks of a house to the multi-colored “planks” of a pirate ship or a square, boxy build of a race car, the only limitation to what you can build is the imagination. So when last year, LucasArts reached into our childhoods with their retelling of Episodes One through Three in LEGO Star Wars. Answering the calls of countless fans, myself included, LucasArts will now retell the original trilogy in LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.
Starring the cast of the Original Trilogy, LEGO Star Wars II will refine the formula set by its predecessor in providing fun adventure gameplay and combat while remaining fairly accessible to casual gamers. One of the most important adjustments to the “ease” in gameplay will be the adjustable difficulty. If, throughout a level perhaps, you are getting your rear handed to you by various storm troopers and the like, the game will adjust its difficulty down to allow players to continue making progress through the game instead of giving up in frustration. On the other hand, if you are slaughtering everything you come across without so much as a ding, which may have been the case for some players of the original, then the difficulty will ratchet upwards to keep play interesting.
LEGO Star Wars allowed players to play as their favorite characters throughout the game and unlock countless goodies, but The Original Trilogy will go one better by allowing players to customize their character with interchangeable parts. That’s right, you can have the head of Princess Leia on the body of Han Solo carrying a light-saber while donning Darth Vader’s black cape. LucasArts will be rewarding owners of the original by using their save files to unlock the original unlockable characters. Including the original characters, over 100 characters will be accessible in The Original Trilogy, including Luke, Lando, Greedo, and every other memorable character imaginable.
The customization doesn’t end there either. Like in the original, players will construct different vehicles throughout the game to accomplish goals and clear levels. This time around, however, all non-droid characters will be able to construct vehicles from parts strewn across the stage. These pieces will be found behind obstacles and whatnot, requiring various character skills to access. Additionally, hidden model kit pieces will be hidden in each of the levels throughout the trilogy, allowing you to use custom vehicles, which aren’t found by default in game, through specific stages.
Character specific combat and moves will be expanded upon, making the difference between playing as Han Solo and Chewbacca two completely different gameplay experiences. While Vader may be able to use a Force Choke-Hold to defeat opponents, Chewbacca will be adept at ripping the LEGO arms off of stormtroopers. As stated above, various characters will be able to solve specific puzzles as well. Chewbacca’s brute strength would be useless in a specific stage, for instance, where Luke’s force abilities would be required.
These improvements and more, such as bigger level designs and a more competent camera system, will ensure that fans of the original will be more than satisfied by the LEGO telling of Episodes four through six. Look for the LEGO pieces to start flying late this summer.
By Patrick Evans
CCC Staff Writer