supermooseman's Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (PC) review

Grab your hat and whip, you're in for a fun time!

Indiana Jones is the second franchise that Traveller's Tales are bringing in to the world of Lego gaming, the first being Star Wars. The fact that Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was released closely to the new Spielberg film - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - is purely to get sales from the hype, as you will see no mention of an older Harrison Ford and his sidekick Mutt here, but instead playing through the first three original films.

The main hub area is Barnett College (acting much like Dexter's Diner did in Lego Star Wars), which has lots of secrets to discover and places to explore. Not only can you access the three main stories from here, but you can purchase characters for use in Free Play in the library, watch cutscenes in the theatre, admire your artefacts in the display room and more. Although you will not be spending the bulk of your time here, thought has still been put into each of the different rooms and the nooks and crannies.

The game follows quite closely to the actual feature length films, and splits each one into six levels. Although not everything is exactly as it would be while watching the whip-bearing adventurer on your TV, it comes pretty close, all lovingly recreated in clever level designs. All the memorable moments are still here, including the iconic boulder run and the helicopter, boat and tank fight scenes. However, as this game is rated for everyone, moments such as Toht's face melting off have been replaced with his Lego head comedically falling off.

In Lego Indiana Jones you will never get tired of the puzzles that are presented to you. New tricks are always presented to you, with some parts having you find bricks and assembling them to build something, while others have you jumping on top of trucks and beating up any enemy that comes near you. It's this wide experience that the game offers that really makes everything exciting and fresh, meaning that you won't get the feeling of "been there, done that". Some of the characters you play as have phobias, which are puzzles to solve in themselves. Indiana Jones is scared of snakes, and you will have to switch to the other character and find some way to clear the route so you can advance in the stage. Other characters also have their own weaknesses, such as being scared of spiders or rats.

As mentioned earlier, humour plays a part in Lego Indy. Although you will not be rolling on the floor laughing out loud as you would be on an internet forum, the game will scuffle a small chuckle out of you every now again in the no-speech cut scenes, ranging from the Star Wars references (such as the knight's shadow looking - and sounding! - like Darth Vader) and Indiana wearing a girl's blonde wig. The gags don't just stop at the cutscenes however, and as you play through the game you will notice things such as a Lego interpretation of the Mona Lisa and Sphinx hanging on the wall. Humour is hard to pull off in a game, but it has been done well in this case.

You are not alone in any level, and you will always have at least one other AI with you, whom you can switch to at anytime to take advantage of their attributes (or just because you like them). The problem here is that most of the time you'll just want to be playing as the star of the show himself, not only to just constantly whip things for fun. The artificial intelligence in the game is not the best, and sometimes you will see them falling down gaps that could have easily been made. Luckily, drop-in/drop-out gameplay features a big part. At anytime your friend can pick up a controller and jump into the action and help you solve puzzles. You cannot do this via a wireless connection, but this would have been a pointless addition. The fun is having your friend by your side and talking to them, working as a team to solve the tasks.

Another problem in the game is the enemies that respawn. Although not a nuisance in all cases, there are a couple of sections where you are trying to solve a puzzle and enemies just keep flying at you over and over again, no matter how many times you blast them to bricks. It can get frustrating, but luckily this doesn't happen very much at all, and calms down once you have got past the mass of enemies. Finally, controlling a vechile such as a bike or a car can sometimes be a tiny bit tricky, and leaves you feeling like it could have been tightened up. Although in saying this, the problem is not constant and is only more apparent in smaller environments.

Each level you play is packed to the brim with hidden goodies and secret areas. You will not be able to get 100 percent on the first play through of the game, but you will instead have to purchase characters for use in the Free Play mode, which gives you an incentive to pick up the coins as you go along. Each type of character has a special ability that helps you advance in the game, whether that is the bonus content or not. Indiana Jones has his brown whip, which allows him to swing across gaps nimbly and grab objects that are out of reach. There are also women who can jump higher, small characters who can squeeze through small gaps, guards with rocket launchers that blow up metal and more. These wide range of abilities and concealed areas makes the game crying out for a second play through to unlock everything there is on offer.

As this is a Games for Windows PC game, it means this game will play with the Xbox 360 controller out the box (providing you have the necessary equipment). This would be the better option, as the game feels like it was made for playing with it, and will make your overall game experience better. Although there is nothing wrong with the keyboard itself, you can get much more precision with the controller.

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is, quite simply, just plain awesome. You will not have sleepless nights over the difficulty of this game, but this doesn't mean that some of the puzzles aren't tricky to solve, or possibly most importantly; fun. Fans of the Indiana Jones series will get the most kicks out of this game, but non-whipping veterans will still have a great time here.
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Other reviews for Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (PC)

    Doesn't add much worthwhile to a stale formula 0

    When the first Lego Star Wars game showed up in 2005, it was one of the most surprisingly good licensed games ever made. The charm of the children's toys, the ability to play as a huge variety of action hero characters, the humor – they all combined to make a charming action platformer. If you have played either of the Lego Star Wars games, then for the most part, you have played Lego Indiana Jones. The level design doesn't seem quite as tight this time, and the source material isn't nearly as g...

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