LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues Preview
Okay, so it’s definitely weird that LEGO Rock Band is in the works, but it makes perfect sense that Traveller’s Tales would want to continue in the tradition of lending a light, cheery tone to the world’s biggest action movies. LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was a typically solid effort in the franchise and fans can now expect a sequel: The Adventure Continues is headed your way this fall, and it’ll boast several new features. Of course, the basic gameplay and control mechanic should remain the same – the developers would never alienate the avid followers – and as usual, it should sport great co-op fun for two buddies. In the past, Traveller’s has tackled Star Wars and Batman, and to “LEGO-fy” Indy once again isn’t a bad idea. In this particular case, it’s definitely best to stick with easily recognizable names; there are millions of fans out there for each major franchise. Besides, it helps a great deal that most titles based on movies fail to live up to expectations, which is where the charming appeal of these LEGO games come into play (bad pun).
One of the first questions most everyone has concerning this sequel is, “what movies will be evident?” There have been several “Indiana Jones” films after all, and you’ll be happy to hear that you will find LEGO representations of all the Indy films; “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Temple of Doom,” “Last Crusade,” and “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” You likely won’t be surprised to learn that cavorting around these family-friendly environments will include puzzle-solving, exploration, seeking, building, and of course, plenty of whip-based battles. You’ll even be able to grab someone with your trusty whip for further humiliation; just sling him over your shoulder and keep running around if you wish! As for the other stuff, fans of these games should take to this new adventure like a fish to water- with a simple manipulation of the analog stick, you can rebuild busted-apart LEGO structures, like bridges, and gathering up mini LEGO pieces will allow you to unlock a variety of goodies and bonuses. You can always replay certain levels in an effort to nab anything you may have missed during your first play-through.
However, this brings us to one of the more significant changes you will find in The Adventure Continues. Due to fan request (a request that has been around since the early days of the LEGO games), Traveller’s has finally decided to open up the world a bit. Prior to this one, while you could repeat completed levels and could sometimes select the desired world to play, there wasn’t a seamlessness to the exploration gameplay. You basically had a central hub where you could toy around with the unlockables and select the level you wish to play, but that’s about it. Here, you’ll actually be able to use a variety of vehicles, including planes and even camels, to transport you back and forth between worlds. We think it’s kinda cool that we’ll be able to parachute out of a plane whenever we wish; at least, that’s how we understand this new expansion. To further erase any invisible boundaries, Traveller’s is doing away with the co-op limitations: before, you could only get so far from the other character. But this time, you can go as far as you want; at some point, a line will appear, turning it into a split-screen offering so each player can go wherever he or she wants. Sweet!
Lastly, we’ve got the fully customizable stage builder, which isn’t just about slapping a few plastic bricks together. You will actually immerse yourself within the level you’re currently building; running around with your character and performing the appropriate actions. He’ll push walls if you want the level to be bigger, and if you need to input some terrain, an alien spaceship will let you raise and lower said terrain accordingly. Once you’ve completed your creation, you can certainly test it out and tweak it to your heart’s content, thereby adding another dimension of appeal to the already-entertaining format. So at the start of this preview, if you asked yourself, “what’s going to be new?” we should’ve already answered that question. It’s easy to call a game like this a “rehash” when it’s a sequel to a relatively straightforward game, but you have to remember that there’s a good deal more depth to these LEGO titles than initially meets the eye. Furthermore, it’s clear that Traveller’s has applied a few advancements and enhancements to make the experience feel fresh.
Come this fall, LEGO Indiana Jones: The Adventure Continues should be a good buy for fans of the series and the younger audience that doesn’t want to miss out on some tame yet engrossing Indy action.
7/21/2009 Ben Dutka