When it comes to creating LEGO games, the folks at Traveller’s Tales have truly mastered the formula. With their latest installment, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, they have taken a slight departure from the traditional LEGO game formula while still delivering an entertaining and fun gaming experience. This block-based adventure builds upon the success of its predecessor while introducing new elements that keep the franchise fresh.
A Remake and a Sequel
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 can be considered both a remake and a sequel. In the previous game, players had access to a hub that allowed them to choose any of the three original movies. In this installment, players can now choose between six hubs, each with its own set of five levels. The first three hubs revisit the original trilogy, showcasing familiar scenes but with all-new levels. The remaining hubs focus on The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the most recent and controversial film in the franchise.
The Good and the Bad of the New Hubs
The new hubs in LEGO Indiana Jones 2 offer both positive and negative aspects. On the plus side, they are expansive and filled with interesting scenery and side missions. However, their size can sometimes be overwhelming, and the lack of navigation assistance leaves players wandering around aimlessly, unsure of where to go next. Additionally, playing revamped versions of scenes from the original game can feel a bit strange, especially considering the lackluster source material provided by The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While the concept of the new hubs is promising, there is room for improvement in their implementation.
Changes and Their Mixed Results
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 introduces several changes, and while some are successful, others fall short. To unlock new characters with unique abilities, players must defeat them and purchase them. Vehicles can also be bought, adding a new dimension to gameplay. However, the inability to switch between characters at will can be frustrating, requiring players to backtrack and find specific characters when needed. Boss fights have also been enhanced, becoming more epic and strategic. While this is generally enjoyable, there are moments when it becomes frustrating.
Refining the Action Elements
The developers of LEGO Indiana Jones 2 attempted to refine the game’s action elements but did not quite hit the mark. Piloting vehicles in the game is often challenging due to the bird’s-eye third-person view, which makes it difficult to control them effectively. The addition of a targeting reticule for Indy’s whip adds a new layer of gameplay, but its implementation during hectic fights can be tedious. A different perspective, such as an over-the-shoulder view, could have improved driving scenes and shootouts, drawing inspiration from games like Burnout and Gears of War.
Abundance of Content
One aspect that LEGO Indiana Jones 2 excels in is its abundance of content. The game offers numerous side missions, unlockables, and hidden secrets, providing players with a wealth of things to explore and discover. While the main story can be completed in a day or so, achieving 100 percent completion requires a significant time investment. Multiplayer enthusiasts will be pleased to know that two players can explore different areas simultaneously, with the screen splitting and merging seamlessly. Additionally, the game features a level creator that strikes a good balance between complexity and accessibility. Unfortunately, one major drawback is the absence of online multiplayer capabilities.
One area where LEGO Indiana Jones 2 truly shines is its graphics. The cutscenes are visually stunning, with the slapstick comedy aspect looking more lifelike than ever. The juxtaposition of realistic backgrounds and LEGO constructions creates a striking visual contrast. This improvement in graphics sets the stage for the LEGO series to potentially tackle more special-effects-driven masterpieces in the future.
Staying True to the LEGO Series
Despite the changes and enhancements, LEGO Indiana Jones 2 manages to retain the essence of the LEGO series. The cutscenes continue to provide amusement, with LEGO figures reenacting famous movie scenes in their own unique and comical way. The beloved LEGO language of grunts and murmurs is still present, and once the cutscenes conclude, players are free to smash everything in sight to collect those precious LEGO studs. The game even incorporates quirky elements from the movies, such as Indy’s fear of snakes, which play a role in certain puzzles. When players meet their demise, they are swiftly revived with a small fine paid in studs, allowing them to continue their adventure with full health. The well-known music from the films further enhances the nostalgic experience of the LEGO Indiana Jones 2.
While LEGO Indiana Jones 2 introduces many improvements, some old annoyances persist. Screen tearing occasionally occurs, although players have the option to sacrifice framerate for a fix. In single-player mode, the A.I. partner struggles to follow the player effectively, often getting stuck and requiring assistance. Switching characters to aid the A.I. partner can result in both characters becoming stuck in the same location. Additionally, most puzzles remain disappointingly easy, which may not be an issue for the game’s target audience but can be a letdown for experienced players.
Striking a Balance
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 does an admirable job of striking a balance between sticking to the tried-and-true formula and introducing new elements. However, some of the changes introduced in this installment require refinement in future iterations. The “where do I go now?” problem, in particular, poses a significant challenge, especially for younger players with shorter attention spans. Nonetheless, it is refreshing to see the developers venture into new territory and breathe new life into the LEGO franchise, which has managed to remain engaging despite the constant release of LEGO-themed games.
- Build Your Own Adventure mode: Create and share custom levels and environments, combining them with existing levels.
- New characters: Play as characters from The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, each with their own special abilities.
- New vehicles: Utilize a variety of new vehicles, including planes, boats, and mine carts.
- Weapons and abilities: Interact with LEGO objects using Indy’s enhanced whip and utilize a range of environmental weapons to fight enemies.
- Collectibles: Gather artifacts to unlock over 60 playable characters, including both heroes and villains.
- Co-op gameplay: Enjoy drop-in, drop-out cooperative gameplay for two players, allowing parents to share the Indiana Jones legacy with their children in a fun and humorous way.
With its unique blend of action, adventure, and puzzle-solving, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues offers an entertaining and enjoyable gaming experience for fans of the LEGO series and the Indiana Jones franchise. While it may not be a must-buy, it certainly pushes the franchise forward and demonstrates the potential for future LEGO-themed games.
RATING OUT OF 5
The cutscenes feature lifelike slapstick comedy, and the contrast between realistic backgrounds and LEGO constructions is visually striking.
Basic navigation is smooth, but controlling vehicles and engaging in combat can feel clunky.
4.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack captures the essence of the film franchise, and the sound of LEGO blocks clinking together adds a heartwarming touch.
3.5 Play Value
The game offers a wealth of content, although certain issues hinder the enjoyment of some aspects.
3.7 Overall Rating – Good
The game goes beyond average, as it successfully introduces new elements while staying true to the LEGO series.
Game Features: (Adapted to fit the article structure)
- Build Your Own Adventure mode: Unleash your creativity by designing custom levels and environments, and share them with friends. Combine your creations with existing levels for a truly unique experience.
- New characters: Play as characters from The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, each with their own special abilities. Take control of Mutt Williams on his motorcycle and harness the power of Oxley’s Crystal Skull.
- New vehicles: Embark on thrilling adventures with a wide range of new vehicles, including planes, boats, and mine carts. Be cautious of quicksand as you explore the exciting levels.
- Weapons and abilities: Utilize Indy’s enhanced whip to interact with LEGO objects and unlock iconic puzzles. Engage in combat using a variety of weapons found in the environment, such as chairs, guns, swords, and bottles.
- Collectibles: Discover artifacts throughout the game to unlock over 60 playable characters, including both heroes and villains. Play as Marion Ravenwood, Mutt Williams, Short Round, Rene Belloq, Willie Scott, Marcus Brody, Dr. Henry Jones Sr., and Irina Spalko, among others.
- Co-op gameplay: Share the adventure with a friend through two-player drop-in, drop-out cooperative gameplay. Experience the humor and excitement of Indiana Jones alongside your partner.
- Enhanced graphics: Immerse yourself in visually stunning cutscenes, featuring lifelike slapstick comedy. Marvel at the contrast between realistic backgrounds and the iconic LEGO constructions.
- Abundance of content: Delve into a world filled with side missions, unlockables, and hidden secrets. The game offers a vast array of activities, ensuring countless hours of gameplay.
- Online capabilities: Engage in online co-op gameplay with friends, exploring the vast LEGO world together. Experience the adventure alongside players from around the globe. (Note: Online capabilities for co-op play may require a patch, as stated by LucasArts on their Twitter account.)
- Easy navigation: Enjoy smooth navigation through levels, making it accessible for players of all ages and skill levels. Explore the expansive hubs and embark on exciting quests with ease.
- Challenging boss fights: Prepare for epic boss battles that require strategic thinking and the utilization of various abilities. Experiment with different approaches and discover the most effective strategies to emerge victorious.
- Nostalgic soundtrack: Immerse yourself in the world of Indiana Jones with a soundtrack featuring the iconic music from the film franchise. Relive the excitement of the movies as you embark on thrilling adventures.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is a game that successfully blends action, adventure, and puzzle-solving. With its unique gameplay elements and a wealth of content, it delivers an entertaining and enjoyable gaming experience. Whether you are a fan of the LEGO series, the Indiana Jones franchise, or simply enjoy a good block-based adventure, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is a game worth exploring.