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LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Xbox 360) artwork

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Xbox 360) review

"With the success of the Lego Star Wars series, LucasArts decided to release a Lego game based on another famous George Lucas movie franchise, Lego Indiana Jones. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was the result of that idea. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is based on the three original Indiana Jones movies released in the 1980s. Like the films, Lego Indiana Jones follows the adventures of the title hero, Dr. Henry Jones Jr, an archaeologist and a teacher of history, as wel..."

With the success of the Lego Star Wars series, LucasArts decided to release a Lego game based on another famous George Lucas movie franchise, Lego Indiana Jones. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was the result of that idea. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is based on the three original Indiana Jones movies released in the 1980s. Like the films, Lego Indiana Jones follows the adventures of the title hero, Dr. Henry Jones Jr, an archaeologist and a teacher of history, as well as an adventurer and a treasure hunter. Set in the 1930s, Indiana Jones travels the world in search of legendary and undiscovered artifacts, all the while battling homicidal Nazis, cultists, and thieves. In Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, all three of the movies have been created in Lego format. All of the environments, characters and objects are made of Lego, and a comic feel has been added in order to make the game more amusing.

The player controls the main character, Indiana Jones, in the story mode, with an AI partner or someone controlling a second character in cooperative play. Each movie has been divided into 6 segments, so the overall game contains 18 levels. The majority of the levels are quite long, and involves the player solving various Lego based puzzles in order to advance the scene. In between these puzzle solving sequences are cut scenes, and fighting based segments, where Indy has to defeat a certain amount of enemies or defeat a boss character, which often involves solving a puzzle in itself, as most boss characters cannot be killed normally like regular enemies. The puzzles should not worry most players, however, as they are not overly difficult and mostly involve building up pieces of Lego in order to repair or construction something that allows the player to advance to the next are. Often times, this requires the player to switch between the two characters in order to operate a mechanism, such as having one character operate a level or switch while the other stands of a platform that is controlled by the lever. While the majority of the gameplay is repeated in various areas in creative formats, players will start noticing repeats of similarly designed puzzles after a few hours. Due to the variety of things that the characters build with Lego however, it's always entertaining to see those whacky Lego characters will do next. The core gameplay also involves some running and jumping sequences, though these aren't as tricky as the jumping sequences from traditional adventure games. A lot of frusration is saved because of the game's instant respawn system. If players die, they instantly respawn in the same place, only at a loss of some bonus Lego pieces. This means players won't have to slave through sections after checkpoints in order to attempt what they failed at the first time. The only problem with the gameplay is the camera angles, which often making jumping more difficult then it has to be, due to the fact that it makes it harder for players to use their depth perception in certain areas.

Lego Indiana Jones is of course, made of Lego. Player shouldn't buy the game expecting breath taking graphics, though it is clear that just because the game is based on Lego, doesn't mean the creators neglected trying to make the game visually appealing. The Lego bricks have a nice shine to it when light is reflecting off of it, and the water reflects light exceptionally well. When Lego based objects and characters are destroyed, they burst apart in an explosion of colorful Lego bricks, which is wonderful to look at. Cutscenes are also animated in Lego fashion, though instead of making it horribly cheesy, the Lego style cutscenes actually add a lot of comic relief to the game.

Lego Indiana Jones has a great audio aspect to it. The main reason? Lego Indy features all of the original music from the Indiana Jones feature films. The iconic Indiana Jones theme is used generously throughout the game, including action scenes and the main menu. Fans of the movies will recognize a number of recognizable tunes from the movies as well, though they aren't as memorable as the main theme itself. The sound effects in the game include a number of sound effects appropriate for the comical style of Lego influenced Indy, such as block exploding and Lego building sounds. One of the most commons sound effects that players will hear will be the sound effects of Indy's whip, which comes complete with swooshing and cracking noises. As for voice acting, players shouldn’t expect much from Lego Indy. While there are a few voice actors to make grunts and groans for the Lego characters, they never speak. Even during cutscenes, where there should have been dialogue from the movie, the game features a variety of grunts that serve to tell the story, without having voices, Surprisingly, this system works quite well in Lego style.

Lego Indiana Jones is an extremely replayable game. Once the player has finished playing through the story of each movie (with each of the six stages of each movie taking about an hour), the player has the option of going back and playing each section of the game in "free mode", where the player can choose to play as any character in the game they want. Characters for free play mode are unlocked through the spending Lego pieces collected throughout each level. In order to ensure that players aren't stuck on a level with a character they can't use to advance, the player will always have a party with one character of each "type" on the team. The player can swap between these characters by hitting the right bumper button. What is the motivation for playing free mode? In story mode, players will notice that there are some areas where they cannot reach with Indy, or any of the current story character. Some areas are small, which require small characters to access, and some areas are barred shut with giant hunks of Lego steel, which require a character with an explosive weapon to open. The only way to access these areas is to play each level again on free play and use the special abilities of each character to access hidden areas. There are a large number of hidden treasures and secret scattered throughout each level of the movies, so if the player wants to complete their museum of artifacts (completed by gathering 10 pieces of treasure in each level), they'll have to play through each level multiple times with different characters. The sheer number of hidden objects and unlockable characters and special features make this game extremely replayable. The stories themselves will require at least 18 hours to play through, and players who go back and replay levels trying to unlock extras will get a lot more out of the game. While Lego Indy lacks an online cooperative play mode, it still has a local multiplayer mode, which adds hours of game play is you can get someone to play with you.

While Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures has some minor flaws, mostly involving camera issues, though these don't hamper the game enough to detract from it's fun appeal and nostalgia factor for Indiana Jones fans. Lego Indiana Jones is definitely a worthwhile game to pick up and play, and it'll keep you entertained for hours at a time.

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Community review by Probester (August 14, 2008)

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