The LEGO series continues to produce game after game. The most recent to hit the shelves is LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. The game picks up from the 4th movie, but also has play options for the first three. With a few new modes in this year’s model, does Indiana Jones 2 bring a new adventure or just more of the same?
If you have played any of the LEGO games in the past, then you pretty much know what to expect. You kick and punch your way through levels, grabbing coins and building things out of LEGOs. LEGO Indiana Jones 2 sticks mostly with this formula, though it adds some pretty nice features. The game starts you off at the beginning of the 4th movie, playing as Indiana himself. Not much has changed from the movie’s storyline, though the game does tweak a few things here and there to make them fit the LEGO universe, usually in the interest of humor.
Your main goal in the game is to complete all of the story levels from the movies. The 4th movie is split into separate acts, while the old movies are just a single act each. In each level, you will find tons of LEGO goodies to kick and punch, with each of them spilling coins onto the ground to collect. Coins are your currency in the game, so you want to make sure and pick up as many as possible. There are a few different color coins with each color representing a different amount. You are also tasked in each level to find 10 green, red, and blue blocks. Gaining all 10 drops a chest on the ground near you, giving you a chance to buy a very cool prize. Throughout each level, you will also find characters and vehicles that you can purchase and use. Each level or act has a fair amount of things to find to fully complete the level, which does provide a fair amount of replay value for those completionists out there. You will also find unlock codes during the game for extras like invincibility and the ability to use any character you want.
The controls in the game are pretty simple, with kick and jump buttons, a button to grab objects and build, and for some characters, a special move. For Indiana himself, you have the ability to use his whip to open up new passageways or lasso a nearby enemy. There are guns to pick up in each level, as well as shovels, bananas and tons of other fun accessories. The controls, however, are not especially clean when it comes to getting into a vehicle. There is no reverse when inside a car, so you can only drive left, forward, and right. This can become incredibly frustrating when you are in close quarters, and every little tiny thing stops your car and does damage to it. The frustration is doubled by the horrific camera angles, which have yet to do a decent job in any of the LEGO games to date. You always find your vision blocked by a tree or building in the foreground, making it very hard to keep track of where you are.
While not a lot in the game has changed, there have been two big additions to this year’s game: the level creator and the split-screen co-op. The level creator is actually fairly deep, giving you full range to create your very own LEGO playground to enjoy. The creator is fairly easy to grasp onto and is helped by a pretty solid tutorial. The game also now gives you the ability to build your own adventure. Here you get to select your quest item, pick your two characters from the list of characters that you have unlocked in the story, and then select the level to use from all the ones you have unlocked. You may also use your created levels here, and select whether to go on foot or by vehicle. The great option here is that you can make your adventure as long as you want, stringing together multiple levels from different stages of the game, using multiple characters and vehicles. This is a cool twist and adds a bit of replay value, but unless you have created all your own levels, then you are in essence just replaying completed levels. You also have a quick play option that allows you to replay any part of a completed level, which is good fun if you want to try a certain part of a level over again.
The past LEGO games allowed for two player action, but had the old formula of keeping both characters within the same screen, often times causing headaches and frustration. In this game, you are given free roam to go opposite ways and clear levels faster, but this feature is so poorly implemented that I often found myself staying on the same screen as my partner anyway. The problem is that the split screen is a dynamic one, meaning that if your partner goes north and you go south, you will have a horizontal split screen bar. However, if your partner starts to move left and you move right, the bar will start to move diagonally, causing the split screen bar to move all over the place and making it difficult to play.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 is a fun game that should bring about some fun moments of destruction and building, and perhaps some nostalgia. The game keeps many of the series staples, but it also has yet to fix fundamental issues that have always plagued the LEGO games. The new modes added to the game do breathe some new life into the series, and while the local split screen is a nice idea, it is so poorly implemented that you will find yourself playing it side by side or by yourself. This game has a lot of charm and should keep people occupied, but frustrating issues might keep some away.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Awkward local split screen is hard to get used to
Camera issues and horrible driving controls not fixed