Dr Jones cracks his whip and lands on Wii. LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is the latest game to get the "LEGO" makeover coming from TT Games who last year released the acclaimed LEGO Star Wars.
The Original Adventures is being released in parallel as the new movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and features all three previous movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade.
The structure of LEGO Indiana Jones is practically identical to LEGO Star Wars, Barnett College acts as the main world "hub" which connects all levels and missions together. Running on the same game engine as the Star Wars game, players should feel right at home with the exact same layout and basis of the game.
Each of the three movies are split into 6 different chapters bring a total of 18 main levels. On first pass you must complete the chapters in sequence but doing so opens up extra gameplay modes such as Free Play.
Those unfamiliar with the format of the previous game, LEGO Indiana Jones is a mixture of genres, essentially it is a 3d adventure / platformer with significant puzzle elements. When dropped into an area you usually need to fight off some enemies using a very simple fighting system then use the platforming elements to work out particular puzzles before you can move onto the next area.
This blend of action, adventure and puzzle works wonderfully as in the previous games, the whole Indiana Jones world fits perfectly on this successful formula and rarely becomes frustrating difficult.
When controlling the hero, Dr Jones, you have a simple and familiar control scheme consisting of a jump button and a punch button . In addition to this you can build objects out of LEGO or repair machines whilst holding down the button.
Just like Star Wars, Indiana Jones features a number of characters at any one time, using you can switch between them, each having their own unique abilities such as jumping high or fitting through small gaps. It is sometimes essential to switch around your characters in order to complete a particular puzzle.
Along with the different characters you also have a number of items such as weapons or hats that you can pick up, usually discarded by defeated enemies. Additionally your sometimes required to jump in vehicles or ride animals, all adding to the depth found in the game.
The majority of the environment is interactive, smashing stuff up earns you coins and coins earn you extra lives. Each level has a number of hidden treasures and artifacts which need to be collected to earn the elusive 100% completion rating.
LEGO Indiana Jones clearly looks best on a console like the Xbox 360, but the Wii version definitely holds its own and should be considered one of the better looking Wii games with an impressive level of detail.
Because the game is telling the story of the movie the developers have included quite a number of high quality cut scenes that fill any gaps in the plot. Sadly the world of LEGO is mute and we don't get to hear any voices, which is understandable but also slightly disappointing.
Obviously the signature Indiana Jones theme tune is rampant throughout the game but is accompanied by a more than adequate score. The game also features handfuls of over the top sound effects which add alot to the enjoyable gameplay.
Those that remember the movies will perhaps wonder why certain parts of the stories have been altered, LucasArts gave the official reason as to ensure the game could carry a safe "family theme" throughout, ergo no more Nazi's.
Travellers Tales haven't really added anything we didn't already see in LEGO Star Wars, its clear they wanted to stick to their winning formula and we don't blame them. With the exact same on-screen layout and gameplay dynamics it could both be comforting for gamers and considered lazy by critics.
Overall LEGO Indiana Jones is a very good quality game that comes highly recommended, it sticks to a perfect difficultly level for the majority of gamers throughout and should be a huge hit with fans of the franchise. Puzzles do become slightly tedious towards the end, but it still remains one of the most enjoyable and well rounded titles so far this year.