LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

There’s a new Indiana Jones movie out about now, so of course with it being a big one there’s going to be an equally big game tie in. This tie in will promise you the control of a photo realistic Indy (complete with Harrison Ford on voiceover duty) as he swings and whips his way through the same backdrops in the movie, here constructed out of thousands of polygons. Or that’s what you might expect out of your typical tie in anyway: certainly not LEGO caricatures, parodies of famous scenes and a story that goes no further than three of the films, but that’s exactly what we get with LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, and I for one am certainly not complaining and neither will the many fans of the LEGO Star Wars series.

Like Travellers Tales Star Wars games, LEGO Indiana Jones is a highly humorous take on a well regarded series of films. With gameplay that’s simple enough for kids to digest, but deep and substantial enough for adults, whilst the story (again silent comedy style) is clear and comical enough for all age groups to chuckle at. LEGO Indiana Jones certainly has a broad appeal, which is just one of its successes.

In regards to gameplay structure, LEGO Indiana Jones is much the same as LEGO Star Wars. Each of the three movies (which don’t have to be played in chronological order) is divided into six levels. Like the previous games, LEGO Indiana Jones is best enjoyed in its drop in and out coop play, which is obviously the way the game was intended to be played. No online play though, which is a bit strange in this age, especially when you consider that LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga had such a feature implemented, albeit in slapdash fashion.

All gameplay facets that were featured in LEGO Star Wars are present. So you’ll be smashing objects, collecting studs (of which you can buy characters and other things with) and pummelling enemies through a very simplistic but enjoyable combat system. Lives are again unlimited, though survival is encouraged as when you kick the bucket you’ll lose studs (although if you’re quick, you can gather them back up, not so if you plummet down a hole of course).

LEGO Indiana Jones has some key differences though that makes sure that the game isn’t just LEGO Star Wars with an Indy flavour. This time all manner of weapons can be picked up to shoot and bash your enemies to pieces, literally. It’s much more puzzle centric, which given the subject matter makes perfect sense. Rarely here, are you required to switch characters to make progress, but instead advancement is largely made by having the right item at hand. Because of the games primary target audience, puzzles are rarely tricky to solve and the hardest aspect of them can be finding the required item. New puzzling aspects include, digging objects up and characters now have particular fears of which must be dealt with before you can advance, then of course Indy’s whip also comes into play on plenty of occasions, of which can be used to pull out of reach objects towards you and swing across large gaps.

On a sourer note, the Indiana Jones subject matter is not as suited to Travellers Tales template as the Star Wars games were, as really in an Indiana Jones game I’d imagine most people would want to play as well, Indiana Jones, whereas the Star Wars licence boasts many colourful characters that people will actually want to take charge of.

LEGO Indiana Jones may not be the hardest or longest game in the world, but like LEGO Star Wars, the game has a lot to do. There are artefact pieces to find, characters to unlock and replaying levels is encouraged etc. It may have a lot to keep yourself busy with, but it also has considerably less content than the Star Wars games did.

Such a flaw and any of its other flaws are overshadowed by the sheer, unbridled enjoyment that LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures offers. Like the LEGO Star Wars series, it truly is a universal game that should be charming and enjoyable in equal measure to all age groups.