The LEGO titles are among the biggest selling games every year, but they would never have taken off if it weren’t for Star Wars.
The first game and its two follow-ups brought in a broad range of consumers, from younger and casual gamers to avid fans, encouraging developer Traveller’s Tales to give the LEGO treatment on other well-known licences.
With last year’s chart-topping LEGO Harry Potter proving that the tried-and-tested gameplay hasn’t lost its appeal, it’s time for another trip to a galaxy far, far away in LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.
As the title suggests, the game follows the storylines and battles from the hugely popular Clone Wars animated series.
Once again, the action focuses on block-busting platforming, with gamers navigating environments constructed from the iconic brick toys.
Objects shatter into smaller pieces, studs can be collected as currency, and vehicles, platforms and more can be constructed.
That’s not to say LEGO Star Wars III is just a reskinned version of its forebears. The game takes on a more strategic approach, giving players command over battalions of clone troopers. In order to defeat the army, they must build bases, deploy vehicles and call in reinforcements.
The new SceneSwap mechanic also encourages them to switch between different teams that are spread across each level.
By completing different areas of each stage, they can help their stranded colleagues progress further.
This can be particularly useful when using the traditional drop-in/drop-out co-op mode.
The LEGO titles are more popular than ever, as is the Star Wars franchise (see ‘Why the Force is still strong with this one’), so expect LEGO Star Wars III to be a smash hit when it arrives later this month.
Why the force is still strong with this one
In 2010, $510m was generated from Star Wars toys. This set a new record for the most toy revenue achieved for a movie without a theatrical release. Star Wars is the best-selling toy licence in the US.
Lucas strikes back
Not content with the billions generated by the first six films, George Lucas has decided to bring all of them back to cinemas in 3D. The movies will also be released on Blu-ray this year.
Clone world wars
Sony launched MMO Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures last September. This game is based on the same animated series as LEGO Star Wars III and saw 1m players register in its first week.
LEGO Star Wars III will be the first title from LucasArts on Nintendo’s 3DS. Positioning Star Wars as a launch title makes it a strong contender to be one of the early best-sellers on the format.