The clever folks at Telltale Games came up with a concept so simple yet so effective – combining the most popular toy on the market with some of the most popular film series. This proved successful with the release of LEGO Star Wars in 2005 and LEGO Batman in 2008. Another LEGO title to arise in 2008 was LEGO Indiana Jones, following the story of Indiana Jones’ first three films. To complete the set, Indy has embarked on another LEGO journey, this time into the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, within LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 is split into numerous parts, known as hubs, acting as a gateway to the part’s levels, bonus levels and various collectibles on offer. Each hub cleverly incorporates the films, containing well-designed environments and features, requiring players to free roam and solve small puzzles in between levels. Regrettably, this often leads to aimless wandering attempting to overcome obstacles in order to progress. Thankfully, the heavier vehicle influence reduces this wandering immensely.
Whilst vehicles have always been a fairly small portion within the LEGO series, featuring in vehicle-dedicated levels appearing every so often during the course of each title, transport in LEGO Indiana Jones 2 has been ominously improved. Vehicle-dedicated levels are a very common occurrence throughout the game with players having to destroy fellow drivers, usually by knocking into them. Furthermore, vehicles have also been incorporated into the hubs and bonus levels, meaning walking long distances are a thing of the past. On top of that, the amount of vehicles on offer has increased vastly with a range of planes, ships, cars, scooters, animals and more all available all the way through. However, the LEGO vehicles do have their flaws in the form of their handling, which takes some getting used to. At first, players will no doubt find themselves crashing into walls, buildings and more, though, as the game progresses, they will easily get to grips with the handling.
LEGO studs are once again the currency in LEGO Indiana Jones 2 with players being able to collect the coins by smashing the environment or simply collecting them. Once collected, players are then able to splash the cash on the likes of vehicles, characters and extras. Extras remain pretty much the same as before, ranging from stud multipliers to more novelty extras such as a snake whip and ice rink. As always, the extras are a great addition to the game and provide players with that extra giggle.
One element of LEGO titles Telltale Games have managed to develop to a good standard is the game’s cutscenes, expressing the same story as the film without the use of dialogue. Whilst this hasn’t been pulled off as well as it was done before, the slapstick humour is still very much evident and will even have older gamers letting out a quick chuckle.
It came as a surprise to see LEGO Indiana Jones 2 also allows players to endeavour through the other three films in the series: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade – all of which appeared on the predecessor. Like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the three films feature their own hubs, yet again, allowing players to collect studs, bricks and treasure chests in between playing the levels. Although first-time players of the LEGO Indiana Jones series will be perfectly happy with this inclusion, returning players may feel a little cheated having to fork out for the same content again. Nevertheless, they will be pleased to hear that the levels aren’t identical to those on the original, with enough alterations being made to justify another playthrough.
Replayability has always been a problem with LEGO titles, a feature Telltale Games have attempted to overcome with the inclusion of a LEGO creator. The creator allows players to create their own levels by placing them into the role of a builder, who is able to access all areas of the game’s already-completed levels. The builder can pick up, move, delete and copy objects, as well as being able to add new objects by accessing the creator menu through pressing the Y button. Each level can also be tested at any time by holding the Y button, switching the player’s role to Indiana Jones and one of his many sidekicks. These levels can then be ported to the ‘Build Your Own Adventure’ mode, allowing players to combine levels, forming their own story. Initially, this prospect was very enticing and a LEGO adventurers dream. Unfortunately, that dream becomes more of a nightmare due to the complications within the game mode, which aren’t addressed, even by the well-done tutorials.
Co-operative play on LEGO Indiana Jones 2 has been significantly improved over previous LEGO titles. Whilst the inclusion of online co-operative play is still not evident, local multiplayer is stronger than ever before. Whereas before players were unable to venture too far away from each other, the screen now splits in accordance to the distance and even the direction of where your fellow player is in relation to you. This may sound rather odd yet the feature works fairly well, often functioning in favour of both players. However, there are a number of frustrating moments where the change in direction of the screen’s split causes the camera a few problems. Thankfully, these slight hitches can easily be overcome.
Graphically, LEGO Indiana Jones 2 isn’t much of an enhancement on its predecessor, though the improvements are visible with some great looking environments and textures evident. The same also applies to the audio which will, once more, have players singing along to the ever-so-familiar theme tune.
To conclude, whilst gamers would have preferred a new LEGO title all together, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is another decent title to build into your collection. The improvements in co-operative play and the inclusion of new vehicles make this a worthy purchase, even for returning players, who may feel cheated having already played through three of the storylines within the game.