I found out about this game the day before its release and I was over-joyed. The Lego series of games have all been excellent and charming (albeit formulaic) and each release has noticeably improved the series. And on paper, it looked like Indiana Jones 2 would continue the trend. Unfortunately, a couple of major game play tweaks make the game a much more shallow experience.
First off, major props to the new hub system. While the lay-out can be a bit confusing, finding your purchasable items is harder than it should be, and you have to constantly back-track to get required characters; it's a wonderful rich environment with lots of mini-games, puzzles, and lots of items to scavenge. This is exactly the sort of development I expected from the Lego series and I expect its flaws will be ironed out with future Lego releases. If only the rest of the game lived up to it.
The biggest problem is the size (or lack thereof) of the levels. Most levels are one big room with only a few levels that allow you to explore (and even those are far smaller than the epic levels of the other games). Virtually all character-based levels can be completed inside of five minutes. The only large levels in the game are the vehicle levels, which involve lots of tedious crashing into other vehicles until you smash enough to continue. Even the Lego Bonus Levels are small with none of the puzzling required in all the other games... just hop into a vehicles, smash and grab coins, occasionally hopping out to grab a couple of coins inaccessible to cars. Collecting the $1,000,000 coins is incredibly easy on all six bonus levels and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. The only good thing about them is the ability to keep your coins (a first in the series), which makes saving up for the bonus multiplier really easy.
Also gone are the canisters within the individual levels, which cuts the replay value of this game dramatically. Even without bonus multipliers, it's easy to get enough coins for True Adventurer status since there's relatively few hazards or enemies on the levels (although there doesn't appear to be any bonus items given for doing so). Treasure Mode (which re-dresses the regular levels) require you to bring in the needed players (no selecting characters from a menu) which adds a level of tedium to the process as you frequently have to trek across the central hub to find a spear thrower or explosive user. Collecting the treasure on these levels (and various hidden bonus levels) will open up the Lego Land Bonus levels, which I mentioned earlier.
Of interest is the level builder, which will allow you to duplicate the regular Bonus Levels, which are puzzles that rely on the skills of certain types of characters to solve. Not having played around with it too much, it looks fairly easy to use; but at the moment there's no way to trade them on-line, so it's of limited interest.
If this had been the very first Lego game, I'm sure I'd be gushing over it; because all the trademark humor and fun is here. The combat systems is still the same, but with a tweak that allows the player to select targets if they hold down the attack button; which is a very welcome addition (no more jumping up and down trying to find the sweet spot to destroy an item with a gun). But the less expansive and involving levels make this the weakest entry in the series. Hopefully Harry Potter will return it to glory.
29 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?