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Joseph Rositano
24 Dec, 2009

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues Review

360 Review | Crack that whip.
You have to question Traveller’s Tales motivation for making LEGO Indiana Jones 2. With the first three Indy films more than covered in the original game, and the fourth movie being panned by fans and critics alike, it didn’t seem like a second LEGOfication of Indiana Jones was needed. Indeed, the game has several new features and gameplay improvements, but at the end of the day it feels shallow and is the worst entry in the LEGO series.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2 follows the events of all four Indiana Jones movies. Unlike previous instalments which have featured a single hub world, the game has an individual hub for each film, with the exception of Kingdom of the Crustal Skull which is split into three parts. The hubs are a little more unique as they have an emphasis on exploration. There’s no longer a generic level select screen, you have to walk around and enter caves, buildings and other areas which correspond to a moment from the film (such as the bar on top of a snowy mountain in Raiders). Red, Blue and Green LEGO bricks are also hidden throughout the hub and replace the hidden red bricks in actual levels.

Indy shows his awesome parenting skills in dealing with smart-arse Teenagers.

Indy shows his awesome parenting skills in dealing with smart-arse Teenagers.
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This unfortunately leads to our first major grip with LEGO Indy 2. Level design is simply uninspiring and feels shallow. In previous ventures, levels consisted of multiple rooms that featured hidden pathways and collectibles which encouraged replay value. The idea was when playing through a level in Story mode you would be limited to what you could do, but when returning in Free Play mode with a bunch of other characters you suddenly had these new abilities which helped you uncover all those secrets. LEGO Indy 2 doesn’t have any of that, and most of the time you’ll be presented with just one small area to explore that can be completed in less than five minutes if you know what you’re doing. It completely contradicts the foundations of the series, and in the process losses a lot of appeal. On that note, a substantial amount of levels are centred on hand-to-hand and vehicle-based combat. These types of segments were never strong points of the franchise to begin with, so it’s baffling why it is a major focus in Indy 2.

Vehicles are also tedious to drive. It’s not that you can’t ride along a road, but they seem to topple over whenever you encounter a bump or get knocked around by an opponent. It’s obvious the developers have tried to make the physics engine more realistic as it feels like you’re driving a real toy LEGO model, but ultimately it ruins the flow of the gameplay and just adds frustration to the experience.

Tree hugger.

Tree hugger.
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Fortunately the game does have a few positive things going for it. Firstly, there’s a new targeting system that lets you manually aim Indy’s whip and weapons. It’s implemented by holding the attack button which causes a crosshair to appear on-screen, and providing you’re close enough to your desired target you can fire the weapon. Although a relatively simple addition, it brings a sense of freedom and adds a layer of strategy to the standard gameplay. Another improvement to the experience is the integration of splitscreen multiplayer. As with previous entries you’ll initially start off sharing the same screen, but if one player got ahead of the other then you don’t need to worry about the camera hindering your progress – the screen automatically splits and when both players close-in on each other again the camera returns to normal. It has been a long time coming, but its integration puts the franchise a step above other co-op enabled titles.

Perhaps the most anticipated feature in LEGO Indy 2 is the level creator. Indeed, it’s a fun little feature for those who have a creative spark in their mind, but compared to games such as LittleBigPlanet on the PS3, you don’t have as many options available to play with. In fact, apart from raising and lowering land, the creator only lets you place pre-built objects around a grid. So, in other words, don’t go expecting to create levels that are of the same quality as Traveller’s Tales’. The real let down however comes from the fact you’re unable to send or download user-created levels via the internet. It’s really disappointing and is simply like a missed opportunity by the developers - being able to swap with friends and randoms alike would have greatly increased the game’s lifespan and made the feature a lot more enjoyable.

Splitscreen multiplayer makes co-op a lot more fun.

Splitscreen multiplayer makes co-op a lot more fun.
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Visually the game looks almost identical to previous LEGO titles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the developers have once again done a fantastic job of capturing the look and feel of the LEGO universe, and as the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Cutscenes, however, do look a little more polished than what we’ve been treated to in the past. Typically the soundtrack consists of music from all four Indiana Jones films. It’s interesting listening to how the music has changed through time, particularly going from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

While featuring a number of gameplay improvements and trying to reinvent the standard LEGO formula, ultimately LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is a let down. Levels no longer feature collectibles or hidden pathways to discover which hampers the replay value of the title. Also, the lack of an online system to exchange custom levels is disappointing and feels like a missed opportunity. The game is still fun for those who can’t get enough LEGO in their day, but otherwise it’s the worst entry of the series.
The Score
Despite featuring a number of gameplay improvements and trying to reinvent the LEGO formula, ultimately LEGO Indiana Jones 2 lacks the substance and appeal of previous entries.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues Content

LEGO Indy 2 confirmed
30 May, 2009 Crack that whip.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 trailer
05 Nov, 2009 More blocky adventuring.
Latest LEGO Indy 2 images arrive
25 Aug, 2009 Crack that whip.
3 Comments
4 years ago
...licorice whip.
4 years ago
You know just how to indulge my sweet tooth, Burnz. icon_wink.gif
4 years ago
Should have been dlc for the first, this sort of shit is what is already bringing our beloved industry into disrepute....
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  25/11/2009 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Activision
Genre:
  Action
Year Made:
  2009
Players:
  2

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