Lego Indiana Jones Review
I picked this game up for cheap in the back-to-back case with Kung Fu Panda. This game entrenched me in my sofa with my then girlfriend for days on end as we problem solved and found the collectibles. This was my first Lego game played (I’d later play through Lego Batman, but not to the same extent). Let’s get to the review!Single Player:
Although the gameplay is very much the same in co-operative multiplayer that I’ll get to later in the review, I’ll explain the game’s concept in this section. Lego Indiana Jones is basically a comical way of portraying the movies – removing any of the graphical violence or sexual references that the movies might have implied. Lego Indiana Jones takes a comical route in not only realistically portraying the events as they occur, but also making it child-friendly. This might not be a main concern for quite a few people on this site, but for anyone with up-and-coming children gamers, this might be one of the earlier games you stick them in front of once they reach the age of eight or nine.
If you’ve seen the movies, this game follows the same plot. However, it came out before the latest blockbuster, so that one will be omitted (though if you’re interested in it they came out with a Lego Indiana Jones sequel). Each movie is portrayed in the game with around seven or so levels each, with natural and logical progression. Granted, it’s not perfect, in that they needed to add some more “action” to the game to give you something to do, but it’s relatively close.
The gameplay revolves around problem solving and manipulating your environment. Sure, there are bad lego guys that attack you, but a mash of the attack button will take them down relatively easy. The rest of the time you’ll be using the powers that come with each lego character. For example, Indiana Jones can use his whip to pull down levers, while some female characters can scream at such a high pitch as to break glass. Scholars can analyze hieroglyphics to solve a puzzle and open a hidden door while smaller characters can go through tiny tunnels to reach hidden areas.
Each level revolves around two characters working together, and usually one of those characters is Indiana. You can switch off easily between you and the other character with a push of a button, and when you aren’t controlling a character he will be taken over by the computer, who, for the most part, will competently follow you around. There are some vehicles that you get to use (motorcycles, tractors, etc), but for the most part you’ll be on foot. Throughout the levels you can destroy almost whatever you want, which will help you create pieces to build helpful items out of. Destroying items also gives you studs, a collectible purchasing item, that directly relates to achievements that I’ll get to later.
Once you have beaten a level in regular gameplay you are welcome to go back and play the level again in a free play format. In this format you can change your character by using the bumpers to allow you to use abilities that you couldn’t previously use when playing through the level. This means that you are capable of reaching new areas and finding previously unobtainable collectibles.
In the end the game is great at encouraging problem solving while being so light-hearted that it’s very hard to not find enjoyable. Sure, it can get frustrating at times when you can’t figure out where to go or if the computer is being a little unhelpful, but if it wasn’t difficult at all there would be no satisfaction in completing the puzzle. Is the game a hardcore one that requires hours or practice? No. Is the game fun for what it is trying to do? Yes.Single Player Score: 9/10
The game has a local co-op which is very fun when given the right chemistry of people, and taken in small doses. It’s nice in that the computer isn’t controlling the other character, so it’s easier to say “stay there”. However, I tell everyone that picks up this game to make sure that their significant other is a gamer, or else they are asking for a divorce
. But seriously, I had quite a bit of fun playing this with my girlfriend, though at times I wanted to burn the game and bury it in a ditch. What’s the issue you may ask? Well the game works like an old coin-operated arcade game (think TMNT 1989 Arcade) where both characters are incapable of moving beyond the constricts of the screen. This means that if one player wants to go this way while the other player wants to go that way, you’re going to have conflict.
Apparently this is fixed in the latest Lego Indiana Jones installment, where it goes into split screen when going too far apart, and that will solve quite a few issues. If you’re thinking of playing with someone else, I recommend staying away from this one and picking up that one instead. However, get the right chemistry with the right person and you have a very fun game to play together, and problem-solving with two people can get you through some of those more “difficult” parts.Multiplayer Score: 7/10
You’re playing a Lego game, so you can’t expect much from the graphics side of this game. Each character is going to be made out of, you guessed it, legos. However, they do a pretty good job of using facial features and clothing to make each lego character indeed look like the character they are supposed to represent. The environment is almost always destructible, which is pretty fun to watch. There are cutscenes before almost every level start which is always interesting and basically helps intertwine the levels into a movie format that you are more capable of identifying.
The sound could go either way, but I rather liked it. The characters don’t talk themselves, but there will be some “umphs” and giggles. Throughout the whole game you will hear some kind of theme song playing in the background, with the classic theme being prominent. You will hear the sound of lego gun-fire, the breaking of buildings, and the construction of new ones. I found it very fitting and very relaxing for the game’s atmosphere.
The game is nice in that it is geared towards a younger audience, and that’s pretty obvious. Although you have health, shown by little hearts on your screen, dying will only make you lose a bit of your collected money while still putting you back right where you died. This makes the game a lot less nerve-racking, which keeps the laid back atmosphere in tack. You are also capable of replaying levels whenever you feel inclined, either through story mode or free play, which makes nothing in the game “missable”. There is also a significant amount of things to do in the game that aren’t directly related to the main storyline. These include designing and naming your own character and messing around in the “hub” of the game – the University where Professor Jones works. You can enter cheat codes if you’re so inclined to help you unlock certain characters as well if you’re interested. There is also a couple of bonus levels that revolve around you collecting all of the “money” in the level through exploratory means.Graphics/Sound/DLC/Intangibles score: 9/10
If you’ve played any of the other lego games, you’re probably pretty acquainted with the achievements. I think they are relatively solid, but some people will consider them a bit of a grind – it’s all based on the outlook you take. You’ll get one for beating each level in story mode, which will satisfy a lot of the more casual gamers. If you find afterwards that you are interested in the game and want to do more, you can go back in free play and collect all the items in the game that are hidden. There are also achievements for exploring the bonus levels and some for doing X action X amount of times. There are also some oddball type achievements, such as kissing female characters with Indy.
Scandalous. In the end the achievements are very effective – you get your basic ones for beating the game while also getting your more advanced ones for item collection and bonus level completion. It creates replay value while still rewarding you for playing the game normally.Achievement Score: 9/10
Final Score: 34/40 = 8.5/10 = 4.25/5
I think that when you put Lego Indiana Jones into your machine you have to be expecting something. That something is a relatively laid-back atmosphere with simplistic controls and cute gameplay, that attempts to follow the movie’s plot. A solid, yet frustrating co-op mode can increase the joy you get from playing the game, while collectable items and bonus levels can increase the replay value.
I spend a lot of time on my reviews. If you feel that I misrepresented the game in anyway, or didn’t serve the game due justice, and feel the desire to leave negative feedback, I please ask you to leave a comment instead so that I may improve my review. If I don’t improve it within a day, then I do deserve the negative feedback if it is still warranted.