Disappointing omissions beside, better than LEGO Star Wars.
LEGO Indiana Jones is the third LEGO game made by UK based Traveller's Tales. After wearing out the Star Wars franchise with three games based on the films, it was time to move on to Lucasfilm's other big film franchise; Indiana Jones. Is it as fun as that galaxy far, far away? Or does it make that galaxy look like nothing?
LEGO Indiana Jones follows the events of the original three films; that's right folks, no Crystal Skull here. It's a bit of a shame that the developers didn't go that extra mile and do the fourth film too, but the original three are still awesome to play. Every character you could possibly think of is playable, although unfortunately Indy doesn't have as many known side characters so you'll be limited to playing with 'Rocket Wielding Enemy' or 'Gun Wielding Enemy'. In Star Wars there were far more individual and recognisable characters. The cut scenes do a great job of telling the story in a comedic way, but unfortunately they cut out all the gory bits such as face melting from Raiders and heat ripping from Temple of Doom. Fortunately, the story is still hilarious as it was with LEGO Star Wars.
Gameplay wise, LEGO Indiana Jones plays exactly like the Star Wars games but it has a greater emphasis on puzzles, platforming and brawling. The puzzles are great in this game; they're often quite challenging but also immensely satisfying and well done. The platforming is solid if a little frustrating for more casual players. The combat is also quite difficult but the brawling and whip play is both satisfying and immensely funny to watch. LEGO Indy features all the fighting, jumping and collecting as the Star Wars games.
The game looks really nice graphically. The characters are detailed and exceptionally well animated. The environments are far more detailed than in Star Wars and all the other effects such as lighting and smoke are done well. The cut scenes look great and overall the game is presented exceptionally well; just like LEGO Star Wars was.
The game features the great classic John Williams score and accompanying it are some great sound effects and character mumbling. The music and sound effects are edited perfectly to accompany the gameplay and it adds a bit of an epic adventure feel to what is a very silly game. The LEGO building sound is still ace!
Co-op play is still a blast but it's a big shame there is no online this time. Despite this, replayability is still good because of unlockable characters, bonuses and free play mode. The story missions will take about 6 hours to complete but there are tons of collectibles, unlockable characters, bonus levels, power-ups, hidden gags and other little secrets to make this well worth replaying a number of times.
Overall, LEGO Indiana Jones is probably better than the LEGO Star Wars games as a game, but small frustrations hold it back. The cutting of some of the gory stuff, and the omission of Nazis for generic baddies is rather disappointing. The lack of online co-op and also the fact that there is no Crystal Skull is a little bit of laziness on the developer's part, but I think Lucasarts are omitting them as an excuse for them to do a LEGO Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures for an X-Mas release or something-you heard it here first! Despite its shortcomings, LEGO Indy was worth the wait and is a fantastic light hearted game and it is probably the most fun I've had in a game this year.
-A hilarious take on three classic movies.
-Fantastic presenation and production values.
-Easy, pick-up-and-play gameplay.
-No online co-op.
-No Crystal Skull missions.
-A less memorable cast of characters than LEGO Star Wars.
Final Judgement: LEGO Indiana Jones is better than LEGO Star Wars in pretty much every way but its lack of online co-op and Crystal Skull content prevents it from being the ultimate LEGO Indy experience.