One of the only criticisms levelled at the best-selling LEGO titles is that there has been very little change with each iteration since the original LEGO Star Wars.
Even LEGO Batman, which cast off the restrictions of following a specific movie plot, did little to change the hugely popular gameplay formula that has delighted gamers since 2005.
That all changes with LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. While this may seem to be Indy’s own take on LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, this sequel makes countless more improvements over the original and advances the series as a whole.
Once again following the adventures of Dr Henry Jones Junior, the key addition this time is levels and missions that follow the plot of last year’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
However, the original trilogy covered by the first game is also present, this time rebuilt from the ground up in order to provide a fresh challenge.
“Still hugely popular with both kids and adults alike, the new title mixes innovative re-tellings of the classic movies and a brand new story with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” says brand manager Simon Wells.
“Families will be able to share their Indy adventures in the humourous, tongue-in-cheek world of LEGO ensuring that this title will be a favourite this Christmas and one of the key gifting titles for the holiday period.”
This time around, both the original adventures and Kingdom feature much larger levels that feel more three-dimensional than the more linear and limited stages found in previous LEGO games. So, players will be able to wander freely around a Cairo marketplace rather than working from one end to the other.
The series’ renowned drop-in/drop-out co-operative mechanic is also more freeform in LEGO Indy 2. Rather than trapping players in the same area and limiting their movements, the screen now splits into two and allows each player to wander off and explore the levels at their own pace.
Other mechanics, such as the ability to build and drive vehicles and, of course, Indy’s whip have also been enhanced.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
However, by far the biggest improvement over previous LEGO titles is the addition of the Build Your Own Adventure Mode. This gives players a blank area of terrain and allows them to fill it with their own creations, whether it’s platforms to climb, puzzles to solve or Indiana Jones-style booby traps to avoid.
This not only gives that game more replayability than ever, it allows players and Indiana Jones fans to tap into the creativity and come up with their own adventures worthy of the Fedora-wearing treasure hunter himself.
These can be shared online on the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions, tuning in perfectly with the rise of LittleBigPlanet-style user-generated content.
“For the first time ever in a LEGO game, Build Your Own Adventure Mode allows you to create your own levels and environments and share them with your friends, which makes this the most interactive and constructive LEGO game yet,” Wells adds. “With a tongue-in-cheek take on all of the Indiana Jones films, including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this is one to recommend for all children’s stockings this Christmas.”
LEGO Indiana Jones will be supported by a three-week TV campaign covering UK and Irish TV. The ads will be supported by Sony and will run around key children’s programmes to drive demand and what Wells describes as “pester power”.
“One of cinema’s most beloved adventure heroes returns to the fun and constructive world of LEGO for his latest outing,” says Wells.
“Following the phenomenal success of last’s year’s LEGO Indiana Jones game, expectations are incredibly high with this new adventure and LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues will certainly be one of the top performing kids’ titles this Christmas.”