Apr 23, 2014

[Games] LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (PS3)

Looking over our collection of PS3 games, it's pretty obvious that there's a LEGO fan in the house. In terms of our home, Sietch Creare, that person would be me. Tobie had his LEGO period as well, of course, but I could refine the statement and say that there's a major fan of the LEGO-based video games.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is an attempt to apply the LEGO formula to another George Lucas creation - the Indiana Jones movies. I suppose it was an easy enough transition given their success with the Star Wars games, but I wasn't totally sold on how popular this franchise would be among younger audiences. And these games typically go for that particular market.

But the game was still a decent amount of fun, although it did not make it to the mandatory achievement trophy requirement for the PlayStation Network. Still, I worked my way through the game and decided to formally review it today.

Synopsis: LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is a puzzle platformer developed by Traveller's Tales and published by LucasArts. It was released for several platforms, but I ultimately played it on the PS3, just for the record.

Similar to various LEGO Star Wars games, this edition actually covers the stories of all three original Indiana Jones movies all in one game. That means the distinct adventures of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The core gameplay is the same as all other LEGO games - you control a group of characters with unique abilities that can be utilized to get past various obstacles, solve puzzles and unlock hidden areas.

One of the primary character abilities in this game is the option to use Indy and his trust whip. It serves as a decent weapon for fighting various Nazi soldiers or a way to swing across gorges with the aid of nearby trees. Given the fact that this is a human-centric adventure (in contrast to other LEGO games), there was  need to emphasize the option to use various objects found around the game. Thus one can pick up bottles and guns here and there that can be used to get past various enemies.

But they also added a fear element, playing on Indiana Jones' famous fear of snakes. Now when he encounters a snake, he is unable to move closer to the area until another character under your control is able to push it away somehow. It doesn't sound like much of a feature, but it was certainly a nice way to capture the feel of the movies and the characters a lot more.

But the core dynamic remains the puzzles of the game, something that fits quite nicely with the whole Indiana Jones concept. Being able to control Indy as he navigates some lost temple or other ancient archaeological site and defeats the ancient traps set in his way is a lot of fun. I'm not quite sure how much most kids will have dealing with these adventures - they sort of make more sense when you have a decent knowledge of Indiana Jones as a character. 

The need to focus on human character did sort of limit the gameplay options this time around, and that's to be expected. It's hard to replicate the diversity offered by the whole host of Star Wars characters. But the developers did a decent job of finding a way to keep the game clever and fun and presented a good 82 characters to unlock.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is a solid gaming experience tied to the distinct feel of the LEGO games. It may not be a guaranteed hit among players of all ages, but it's a good amount of fun, especially for fans of the movies. Thus the game as a whole gets 4 surprise character abilities out of a possible 5.

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