Lego Indiana Jones 2 – The Adventure Continues
key review info
- Game: Lego Indiana Jones 2 – The Adventure Continues
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
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It is a known fact that the movie industry is all about creating new fictional or real content for the sole purpose of entertaining viewers by challenging them to either take part in adventures or discover the human spirit. The Indiana Jones franchise has been around for some time now and has made it from the wide screen into our homes by being incorporated into the videogame industry. This is how everyone can experience the thrill of being a great adventurer from the comfort of their own home either by playing new and daring adventures or by reliving some of their favorite movie scenes.
Most particularly, LEGO has embraced the Indiana Jones trade mark since June 2008, ever since the release of the first LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. The result was a smashing hit, in part because the developer created an animated cartoonish figure that abides both the LEGO and the Indiana Jones distinct and unique characteristics. The game was a perfect mix of adventure and good old fashioned fun, and also followed the script of the original motion picture. Children were thrilled because they got to play in a LEGO world and adults were entertained by the humorist events and sense of adventure that the game brought forward.
Following the success of the first game, the sequel, The Adventure Continues, is by far one of the greatest achievements that developer Traveller's Tales has pulled off. From the moment you enter the game, you are greeted by the same heart-racing soundtrack that has made the motion picture such a success. The same background music will be present throughout the entire game and there will be times when you will completely be thrown off guard by the amazing rush experienced by combining the gameplay adventure with the movie’s soundtrack.
The new LEGO adventure has multiple scenarios, most of which feature the names and events from the four original movies including the latest, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. As you enter the game, Indy will find himself drawn from one adventure to another, each of them proving to be more dynamic and challenging than the other. Still, you will not be alone in your quest; there will always be a trusted sidekick by your side that has his or her own unique abilities that just need to be put to good use.
The Crystal Skull adventure will take you everywhere from bar fights to car racing scenes and also into the middle of a dangerous jungle with ancient tombs where a wide variety of puzzles await to be solved. Always on your tail will be a shady Nazi female character that will trigger numerous cut scenes and jump-start most of the adventures that lie before you. The Crystal Skull is the main focus point of this great adventure and, as in the movie, Indy is often faced with the difficult task of finding the treasure and then having to watch how the bad guys steal it away from him over and over again.
Each chapter in the game is a re-adaptation of some scene from the four movies. It doesn't lack either the humor or the sense of adventure and I dare say it completes the experience by adding the clumsy behavior of the LEGO characters. The funniest moments of the movie are even funnier when you watch some toy characters twitching their faces and struggling in physical combat.
Controlling a character is relatively easy. There is only a limited number of controls but at the same time there is a rather large number of actions that you can trigger. For instance, you can drive cars, motorcycles, trucks, tanks, boats, airplanes and even ride elephants and camels.
Although these actions are of general usage for all characters, each of them is equipped with a unique ability that can unlock various bonus levels of the game.
You can switch at any time between Indy and any other character and, believe me, when I say that in order to solve some puzzles, you have to control and make use of the abilities of multiple characters. In a sense, you get to work with an entire team that has the same purpose, save the girl, get the prize and punish the bad guys.
Another interesting factor that contributes to the dynamic overall experience of the game is that you can unlock and buy new vehicles and characters as you progress. This way, you can gather and make use of the skills and abilities of a very large number of characters. If you want to have some fun, you can even use them to win various competitions such as checkpoint racing and airplane stunts.
You will be faced with this question quite often along the game. When exploring a new location, you have two choices: one is to proceed directly to apprehending the villains and completing your mission or to unlock all aspects of the map by collecting all the gold, solving all the puzzles and completing all the challenges. There will be an overall progress percentage at the end of each adventure that will indicate how much of the game you have unlocked.
You can always return to your favorite bar fight or car chase, but you also need to feed the occasional monkey with a banana so that you will be given keys or various items. The funny part about all this is that you never know what to expect. The game makes it hard to predict what's to come and thus the question “Now what?” will often come to mind. Do not despair and remember that you have all the time in the world to complete each challenge. There are no time trials or other events that require any timing on your behalf. Breathe in when I tell you that you can pick up the adventure whenever and however you want to.
As you can see, the game faces you with plenty of questions and I only say this because most of the time, you will find yourself staring at you monitor and searching for ways to unlock new events. The nature of “What if ?” is only natural, because as you get familiar with the game, you will learn to identify patterns in the way bonus levels are hidden or the way your can unlock a new vehicle. Still, all of this can be accomplished by tapping into your inquisitive nature and not leaving any stones unturned.
Each step of the way, you must ask yourself this question and, most importantly, follow through. The game has a remarkable ability to make the obvious stare you in the face. You can look at a pile of random LEGO parts and see nothing, but as you get closer and assemble them together, you can build a crane that will reward you with vast treasures. My point is never settle for what's obvious and explore every inch of the map. The rewards are worth it; plus, you get to add new chapters to the story and legend of Indiana Jones.
I hope you don't expect to play a LEGO game and be serious throughout the entire experience. Humor is a basic and fundamental component of the title. It will strike you when you least expect it and manage to keep a smile on your face during the entire gameplay.
There is nothing funnier than watching Indy grab an enemy and perform a head lock or a wrestling maneuver. I do admit these things are very rare as you play, but when they happen, they’re a sight worth seeing.
The funniest moments are during the cinematics and cut-scenes. Watching the LEGO counterparts of the original characters stumble, fall and twitch is a lot more humorous than you might think at first. These animations are intended to fill in the gap between the scenarios and at the same time give you a chance to breathe between missions. Some of the motion pictures’ greatest moments have been captured and adjusted to the LEGO world; for instance, there is a scene where Indy gets into a bar fight in Nepal with his Nazi counterpart. Although in the movie it's a serious thing, the game makes it a bit goofy by adding the comic LEGO expression. Even though there is no actual dialogue present throughout the game, the expressions and gestures are vivid, making the actions very easy to follow.
Probably one of the most important aspects of the game is the possibility to play in split-screen mode with a friend. Unlike other games, this feature is completely dynamic and adjusts to the relative position of the players from each other.
If both characters are near one another in the same space, the split-screen disappears allowing both players to maneuver using the same full image as in single player mode.
Worth mentioning is the fact that the split-screen is never strictly defined as half the screen for each player. As the left and right players remain the same on the keyboard, if they change position on the screen, the split-screen will change to accommodate this new change. Confusing at first, but very easy to adapt too, I find this feature to be extremely useful and stimulating in enhancing the gameplay experience.
Extending the Fun
For the first time ever in a LEGO game, you now have the ability to create your own adventure. Unlike your usual development tool, creating a new level is just like playing the game itself. You will be given an empty work environment where you will have the freedom to express your own style and design the adventure that you have always dreamed of. This hands-on approach is especially interesting mostly because you simply control a character and make him or her move the desired pieces around the map.
I have to admit, all the buildings and environmental features have already been created and all that’s left is for you to arrange them in any desired manner. Still, this is a perfect exercise that will compel you to use your imaginative abilities so that the game can reflect your type of personality. You can have a lot of fun designing a new scenario because you are enabled to test and improve it without having to leave the game.
What’s even more exciting is that you can ask your friends to try and complete one of your scenarios. This way, you can keep yourself motivated to create new obstacles for them and they will get to enjoy an even more challenging adventure, suitable to their skills.
A true test of your skills will be to actually create a fully interactive environment, with enemies, traps and bonus levels that will even make you feel like you are playing a sequel of the title. No matter what you decide to design, remember that there are endless combinations and variations you can try, making the level editor both a game and a powerful tool with the sole purpose of entertaining and challenging you and your buddies to new adventures. So, roll up those sleeves because it’s building time.
You will be surprised to learn that there is no real end to the game. Of course, you can complete all the scenarios and defeat all the bosses at the end of each level, but this doesn't mean that the game is over. You have merely completed some default levels that were meant to better familiarize with the game. You can play a new adventure each time by accessing the level editor and creating your own branded LEGO world. Creating everything from environments, traps, treasures and rewards becomes a matter of placing the right pieces together, in the true sense of the word.
I dare say the game is never over and it can last for as long as you tap into your imagination. Although Indy's adventures may have come to an end, there is no need for you to stop there. The wonderful LEGO world enables you to experience far more adventures in the same funny and goofy manner that LEGO has so well depicted. My only thought is that the game itself is truly an adventure and no matter the age, both children and grownups will have a blast playing it. Remember, an adventure cannot truly be called as such until you get to share it with someone. So, grab a friend and relive or create your own Indiana Jones adventure. There is nothing childish about it except for the LEGO parts used.
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