Wot I Think: Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars

By John Walker on March 26th, 2011 at 4:00 pm.

Yes, I fancy them.

The latest Traveller’s Tales Lego game, Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars, came out yesterday. I’ve played the Story Mode through to completion, and fought against replaying the entire thing in Free Play in order to have time to write this review. Is it any good? Well, I’ve sort of given that away. Yes, it’s extremely good. Here’s Wot I Think to prove why.

It’s hard to imagine how the Traveller’s Tales team don’t look at each other and sigh, “Here we go again.” Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the third Lego Star Wars game, and is the eighth Lego game they’ve made. Not including the Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean they’re currently making, or the rejigged releases of the previous Star Wars games. But even if they do, there’s not a single sign of tiredness in yet another absolutely stunning game.

Clone Wars is based on the TV cartoon series of the same name, that I’ve never seen. However, since I pretty much can’t stand Star Wars altogether, and have previously adored the LSW series, such ignorance was obviously not going to be a hindrance. So it’s set between the events of the Episode II and III movies, with an adult Anakin Skywalker buddied up with a young Obi Wan, fighting against the evil Empire.

TT know their formula for these games, and they’re not embarrassed about repeating it. Three chapters, each broken into six sub-chapters, with a vast array of playable characters using individual skills to solve puzzles, kill enemies, and most of all, smash up stuff. And once again, on a first play through there’s only a very limited number of secrets you can unlock, bonuses you can collect, etc, with levels littered with areas you’ll note should be returned to once you’ve finished them in Story mode, and replay in Free Play mode. All in place, as ever.

But there’s a bunch of new ideas in here too. Most notably, many levels (in fact, most of one chapter) offering a pleasingly simplified RTS game. We’ll get back to that. There are sequences in which you can control a small squadron of soldiers, usually about five, by playing as a Rebel soldier commander type. You can issue them commands, usually to focus their fire on a particular area, blowing up stuff that lightsabers alone cannot destroy.

There’s also space flying sequences, dozens of vehicles to ride, and a central hub that’s more elaborate than any of the previous games, offering literally hours of extra content.

More than anything LSW:CW takes the mad joy of smashing everything in sight to a new level of pandering to my OCD love of destroying ever object and collecting every token. Smash a block and it’ll inevitably leave a smaller block to smash. Break a wall and it’ll open up to reveal something else to break. That might fall into pieces that can be built into something using the Force. Which can then be smashed. And the constituent pieces it collapses into? Smash those too.

Funnily enough, as I started Clone Wars I thought, “Oh, shame, this is going to be another Lego Indy.” The weakest games in their collection, the Indy games suffered from a lot of faults, most frustratingly the endlessly spawning enemies. It’s not nearly as much fun to solve puzzles, smash objects, and try to reach tricky areas if there’s a non-stop assault of baddies trying to reduce you to plastic parts.

However, while Clone Wars is definitely far more combat focused than most of the Lego games, they seem to have finally found the correct place to put the balance. Unlike Indy, your average Jedi character is capable of putting up a fantastic fight, not least because swinging your lightsaber when not immediately next to an enemy causes your character to deflect the lasery bullets back into your attackers. Which means, you can still merrily smash up a big pile of stuff in one corner while under attack, because you’ll also be bouncing bullets back behind you as you go. And, importantly, the spawning enemies only appear in a few levels, and often can be stopped by manipulating the environment.

Of course, following their regular formula for the most part does mean making their regular mistakes. I swear Traveller’s Tale have never read a single review of their games, so consistent are the needless frustrations. The massively restricted camera means jumps can be frustrating to judge, and running backward is always tiresome. The peculiar control for vehicles still doesn’t allow anything to reverse, which is mad. And still – agonisingly still – you cannot manually select which object you wish to manipulate with the Force, meaning you’re constantly spinning around and picking up C3PO rather than pulling the switch you were sodding well facing. TT clearly couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks, and I sort of wish their arrogance would bite them on the bum. But the rest of the game is so gorgeous they flipping well get away with it yet again.

The RTS game took me completely by surprise. Not just that it existed at all, but that it’s so smartly implemented that it feels completely in keeping with the themes of the game, and even series.

Large, open battlefields contain circular areas belonging to either the Rebels or the Separatists (proto-Empire, I think). Control of a circle is taken by destroying all the units within it, each hooked into a central hub. Most of these sequences require that you take control of all the Separatist hubs to win, although some have more specific tasks.

Units are purchased with the regular Lego tokens that you collect throughout the rest of the game anyway, so there’s nothing strange about the introduction of a resource. These are gathered, as ever, by smashing things in the environment, or destroying enemy crafts. With them, based on how much territory you occupy, you can build turrets, shields, tanks, and most pleasingly, various All Terrain (AT-x) vehicles.

What makes it more interesting, and so smart in how it matches the main game, is the use of silver and gold units. Throughout LSW:CW you’ll find both silver and gold objects that can only be destroyed in specific ways. It’s a typical theme of the series, designed to make certain areas or tasks only accessible in Free Play when you can take in a character with the correct weaponry. Silver objects require a strong blast to destroy (the soldier with his rocket launcher is always a joy to have in your squad), and gold require sustained fire. In the regular levels this could be that squadron of soldiers, or maybe someone with a machine gun. So you’re familiar with those rules, and it makes perfect sense that the same apply here.

A silver turret, for instance, is going to require you build a unit with heavy artillery. Anything gold will need something like the giant laser-firing tank. And they link together cleverly, so taking out bases requires unpicking the enemy defenses. A gold turret in one circle may be being protected by a silver shield generator in another, which is in turn guarded by a gold barracks producing endless troops of Clone droids. You need to find the weak points that will let you unravel their defenses.

And throughout all this you can still jump out of whatever vehicle you might be using to be just your regular characters running on foot, smashing stuff as ever. It matches the core game masterfully seamlessly. Even more so when a won battle may then see the same characters carry on in the same environment in the regular manner.

Space flight sequences are similarly smartly linked in. Whizzing around in a ship, blowing up enemy canons and the like, is only possible because you’ll land your ship on various bases and complete on-foot sequences to release the necessary ammunition, or rescue appropriate people.

I mentioned the hub. You’ve got your giant Rebel ship, which becomes more explorable as you get gold bricks from completing levels. This opens up familiar areas – places to see your collected items, large hangers for mucking around in vehicles and ships, and places to design your own characters. The whole place is populated by the characters you’ve unlocked, either through play or by buying them with tokens, and their varying skills will allow you to explore even further. Then that’s not it – get a ship and you can fly across to the Separatist ship, and start the whole process over there too – only this time under attack if you’re currently a Rebel character. Red bricks that let you purchase bonuses (fast build, double score, glow in the dark (!), and even invincibility for a million tokens (I bought this, and it naturally spoils everything) are no longer in one place, but instead scattered about as secrets to uncover. This might be a touch frustrating in some circumstances, but it does make their role make a lot more sense. And from the hub you can launch various bonus modes, including some excellent strategy challenges, requiring you to complete various tasks on the battlegrounds within a time limit.

Oh, and the humour. I laughed out loud so many times. Sometimes the pratfalling is a little lazy, but often just tiny expressions, silly background details, or lovely running gags throughout a cutscene, are perfectly delivered. The poor Jedi who just wants to have a cup of coffee for an entire level is my favourite, and the punchline to it made me laugh and cry “AWW!” at the same time. And the very final gag of the epilogue level’s ending (which I’ll obviously not spoil) is by far and away one of the strangest they’ve ever done.

These action poses are deliberately corny.

Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the Traveller’s Tale formula in fine form, with a whole bunch of new ideas that work brilliantly. It’s perhaps not quite as sublime as their Harry Potter game (I definitely will write a review of that soon), but it’s far more elaborate and involving. And in the 10 hours it took me to finish the three campaigns, it informed me that I’d completed 41% of the game. And I’m dying to go back in Free Play and unlock a whole bunch more. As ever, it’s a second game so differently is it approached when you can play as any character at any point.

As ever, you can play in single player perfectly (and there are barely any of those awkward moments where you’re relying on the AI to help you out – here you more often can tag out to another character and two-player a puzzle alone), or jump into co-op at any time. It’s the exact game parents should be playing with their kids. And as anyone familiar with the games will appreciate, they’re games where you can never fail. You can get stuck, but you can’t die and be forced to restart anything. You just fall apart, then get put back together again and carry on. They prove that constant threat of failure is absolutely not necessary for a game to be entertaining.

If you haven’t enjoyed the previous Lego Star Wars games, it’s unlikely this will win you over. But you’re such a wrong-faced buffoon that you don’t deserve fun. It’s constantly delightful.

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95 Comments »

  1. westyfield says:

    I notice from the screenies that you’ve used a gamepad. Did you try playing it with a mouse and keyboard, and if so, what was it like?

    • wcaypahwat says:

      I’d certainly recommend a pad, though these games do work fine with just the keyboard. But the whole point is to just sit back, relax and have fun, really.

      Especially since if its your cup of tea, you’re essentially forced to replay everything at least once, to find all the extra goodies (byt force i mean more like a heroin addiction, rather than a gun at your head. you WANT to do these things)

    • karry says:

      I wonder how the controls are. I remember trying to play the first LSW game, i plugged in my gamepad, and i kid you not, i spent hearly AN HOUR, trying to map my buttons. Either the game decided to just erase my mapping, or they switched it to the second player controls, or both players would be keyboard controlled…i swear, i never had such troubles with a console port controls in my life, i’d say Traveller’s Tales is a grossly incompetent company when it comes to UI. Never bothered to try any of their other games.

    • Wulf says:

      There are demos of their more recent offerings available. I understand your concerns, really, as I’d guess that any PC gamer would. So see if one of the more recent demos matches up to your standards. If not, it’s not the game for you! There are plenty of other games out there which might be better suited to your tastes.

      Still though, worth giving one of the more recent demos a go to see how they work with generic gamepads, yeah?

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      I get so sad every time I see someone recommending using a GamePad for any PC game (yeah, that includes ports). I’m dedicated to the PC because it has the Mouse/Keyboard setup. If I could use a modern GamePad (oh God, how I’ve tried!) I’d be playing all those exclusive PS3 games I’ve been missing out on. Instead my PS3 is only used as a Blu-ray / Media player.

      The last time I could competently use a game controller was the Super Nintendo, even the Wii-mote gives me headaches now and then.

    • Wulf says:

      If it’s any consolation (poor choice of words?), I play the LEGO games on the keyboard with a VVVVVV-style key layout and I actually find that works really well. I don’t see the necessity for a gamepad at all, as that would only distract from my ability to play -> pause -> switch -> chat -> switch -> unpause -> play in a speedy manner.

      Never saw the attraction of pads myself, really. I have a 360 controller sitting not far across from me but I never use the bally thing. It’s probably got a thin layer of dust on it now just from the sheer disuse. It just sits there, mournfully, hoping that one day one game might entice me into using it again. None really have.

      However, some people like pads. If that’s their bag then more power to them. People play in different ways. I don’t see any one way as being less valid than another. Just as I don’t see me playing this game on the keyboard alone as being any less valid than a joypad. (Or gamepad, whatever.) Like I said, it worked for VVVVVV and it works for this. If you’re holding off on this just because of that, then I recommend you try one of the demos and just rebind the keys.

      Here’s what I use:

      Movement – Cursor Keys
      Tag – A/Tab
      Attack – Z/Alt
      Jump – X/Space
      Special – C/Control

      And I just hit whichever key I feel like for what I want. It actually works really well.

    • noodlecake says:

      I don’t understand. :S Xbox360 controllers are just so unbelievably slick and comfortable, especially in comparison to the old Master System, NES clunky square arthritis inducing bricks. Mice and keyboards give me wrist ache after a while and they’re awkward if you wanna sit anywhere comfy. I like keyboards and mice for some games, most notably Strategy games and FPS games but mos other games are much easier with a pad. I couldn’t imagine playing LittleBigPlanet, Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear Solid or Lega Harry Potter with a mouse. In fact I tried with Lego Harry Potter and then had to wait till I got paid so I could buy an xbox360 controller to play it.

    • Dominic White says:

      “I’m dedicated to the PC because it has the Mouse/Keyboard setup.”

      I’m a dedicated PC gamer because it has these things called ‘USB ports’ that you can plug any controller into, so you can use a steering wheel for driving games, a HOTAS setup for flight sims and any of a hundred variants of gamepad for games that require access to multiple buttons simultaneously and/or dual-analogue controls.

      When did people forget that the PC was the most flexible system out there? Mouse/keyboard is good for some things, but absolutely wretched at others, but somehow it has become the ONE TRUE CONTROL METHOD to a lot of people.

    • Wulf says:

      I rarely disagree with you, Dom, but I think that this is a case of ‘to each their own.’ I actually really can’t use a keyboard easily because I need to be quite close to my screen in order to see it. My optic nerves are only about a quarter as functional as they should be, which gives me very stunted sight. I’d never be able to use a pad in front of the keyboard.

      To be honest, this is why I’m glad that the keyboard does exist. It’s the perfect controller for me and it’s never failed me in any game I’ve played. I find that a pad just tends to get in my way. And noodlecake, I don’t know whether I have wrists of iron, or whether it’s because my keyboard is quite ergonomic and I use a trackball, but I type long passages like this on a daily basis, and I play lots of games. I do not have RSI! It’s either, as I said, wrists of iron or it comes down to using the right hardware. Perhaps I just uset he right hardware.

      If I used a mouse and a non-ergonomic keyboard then my wrists might end up frequently on fire, but I don’t, so they aren’t.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      @Grey_Ghost: I used to be you until about 2 months ago, Pure PC all the way since my 486DX back in the day. If it couldn’t be played with mouse and KB, it was a lazy port imo. But I then found myself struggling to complete a race in Test Drive Unlimited 2. I spent literally 10+ hours trying it in agonizing intervals where I’d get frustrated and quit then try again later. The problem was simple, a keyboard is an on-off state. Steering by taps, accelerating or braking by taps, it just wasn’t working. So I spent 25 bucks and got a wired USB XBox controller from Newegg, and it was like being reborn. I could dynamically steer, break and accelerate. It became a completely different game, and so much more enjoyable.

      I played Batman Arkham Asylum recently and found the controller much easier to use then the keyboard as well. However that was not so for the latest Assassin’s Creed – so pick and choose. I still use mouse/KB most of my games outside of driving, but I suspect there is a that time when every gamer should concede that analogue > WASD in certain situations; it’s worth it.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s not cricket, is it? No, I wouldn’t say that everyone should concede that a pad is going to be better for everyone under certain circumstances just as I wouldn’t say that everyone should admit that the usual PC suspect peripherals should be used for certain games.

      I’ve tried pads, and they just get in my way. I tried a pad with LEGO Batman, I played for five minutes, I became so quickly annoyed with it that I unplugged it and went on to complete the game on the keyboard alone. I found that VVVVVV was more responsive for me on a keyboard, or perhaps that my fingers just moved faster on a keyboard, being used to the positions of the keys, and whenever I play console games these days I tend to find pads clumsy because I’ve barely used them.

      Whether analogue is truly better than a keyboard in any situation is subjective and down to each player to decide. And I’m not even using WASD in this game! (See my keybindings above.) I did try pads, but they’re just not something I can get used to. I sort of liked pads back when they were smaller, and I still occasionally plug in an old USB Saturn pad (I loved and still love that pad) when I want to play a 2D fighter. But the 360 pad is a massive clunky thing, and personally I find that it just gets in my way rather than actually being a good peripheral to play games with. YMMV.

    • Wulf says:

      Hm. The comments system is eating one of my comments. I tried putting it in as an edit and that revealed that it thought it was spam. I’m not sure what part of it it thinks of as spam, though.

      http://pastebin.com/AYWpezzQ

      There’s the comment for those who want to read it, and perhaps it’ll shine some light upon potential problems with the spam filter, if you RPS chaps want to take a look.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      Jenkies! I wasn’t knocking all PC peripherals, just dual stick GamePads in general when it comes to 3rd person (Lego games are semi 3rd person aren’t they, least the two I’ve played are) & 1st person games.

      I totally accept that they have their use in driving games and the like. Hell I bought one (that I’ve yet to try) to see how well it would work with Mario Kart.

      I just fear them becoming the norm on PC, especially for ports & multi-platform releases. I just don’t want the Mouse/Keyboard setup to become an afterthought when it comes to PC gaming. Which seems to be the attitude that many ports & multi-platform releases take.

    • TheTingler says:

      For god’s sake you guys, don’t make a big argument out of this. Keyboard AND gamepad works just fine with this game. If you want to try, there’s definitely a demo out there, at least Lego Harry Potter anyway.

  2. markside says:

    Thanks, been waiting for this review!

  3. CrazyBaldhead says:

    Yo dawg, I heard you like games so we put Lego in your game so you can play while you play.

    • Wulf says:

      Well done.

    • CrazyBaldhead says:

      Oh my, what a catch. It’s Big W. himself. It looks like you haven’t visited the Fallout NV review page in a while, Wulf, which is quite a shame.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ve moved on. There’s only so much you can do to defend something that you’re passionate about. At the end of the day… well… not everyone’s going to even understand why you’re passionate about it. And I generally don’t feel so angry these days. (I noticed that I was being unusually hostile, tracked down the cause of that, and put a stop to it.)

      Hooray for unstable biochemistry and certain meds which make it even more volatile.

  4. Navagon says:

    This game sounds awesome. Like the product of a studio that really loves what they’re doing. I haven’t tried the other Lego games, to be honest. But I think I’ll keep an eye out for this one.

    • Wulf says:

      They’re little gems, they really are, and so much fun. To be honest, if you like Batman then Lego Batman is going to be one of the better superhero games you’ll ever play, and I had way more fun with it than I did with Arkham Asylum (which was still fun, but not as much fun).

      Of course, that might be heresy, I’m not sure. Still, justified heresy!

    • Urael says:

      Just bought Lego Batman on your recommendation, Wulf. No pressure. :)

      Oh, and Lego Harry Potter because John likes it and Lego Clone Wars because I loved Lego Star Wars I & II. Honestly, these Lego games are just adorable.

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, it’s typical Traveler’s Tales humour with a Batman twist, which is awesome. It’s amazing because occasionally Batman tries to be serious without reverting back into ’60s Batman. This is something that he fails at. Many of the characters are present and they’re handled masterfully, especially the Joker.

      And it just has that TT silliness there, where they’ll throw something random in there because why? and it’ll be awesome. They’re doing that a lot in the game reviewed here, too, as I noted below with the icecream truck thing. Geez, after all their catalogue thus far, you’d think I’d be tired of them. But I’m not.

    • Wulf says:

      I got spamdeleted again. 8D

      http://pastebin.com/cRAMmR9Z – So I’ll just do that. Maybe it’ll help with figuring out why I trigger that spam filter so much.

  5. Sucram says:

    I heard they added split screen to the co-op. Been playing the previous Lego Star Wars game and not being able to walk more than a few feet from your co-op partner without dragging them off the edge of a cliff is harming my marital bliss, so keen to know how well the new co-op works.

    • Nathan says:

      Yep. There’s split-screen in LEGO Harry Potter too, and it can be a real life-saver. Brilliantly implemented, too.

    • mrjackspade says:

      There’s split screen in the PC coop version?! And do you only need a single copy of the game?

    • Ragnar says:

      Try the demo.

      I know there’s split-screen in the Xbox 360 version, and it’s the slickest split screen I’ve ever seen. When you’re together, it’s all on one screen. As you wander farther apart, the screen splits diagonally – / – into a left and right half. When you come together again, it seamlessly blends the screens together into one. Very slick.

  6. msarge says:

    Lego Batman somehow ended up in my collection of games despite being a “kids game” and I was so surprised at how entertaining it actually was. They’re great games to play with the girlfriend too. I’m tempted to pick a newer one up, but, considering how similar all these games are, I’m not quite convinced it would be worth full price.

  7. obvioustroll says:

    Wait a sec… did he just say he doesn’t like Star Wars?

    • FalseMyrmidon says:

      Yeah… what?

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      These days, i fell that it’s strangely alright to not like Star Wars… I’m a bit sad about that though.

      Also, John also seems not to know Star Wars. To clarify. You’re playing the Republic against the Separatists, and neither can be clearly called “Proto-Empire” because that only rises after the war. That whole thing is probably the most interesting aspect of the new trilogy.

    • Nick says:

      you mean the ONLY interesting part.

    • Evil Otto says:

      The original trilogy was extremely interesting, just not in a good way…

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      What is “Star Wars”? If we’re talking about the original trilogy and especially the Expanded Universe prior to 1999, I’m a drooling fanboy.

      After that, not so much. I find everything set in the prequel era mind-numbingly boring, to put it nicely. Who the fuck are the Separatists, anyway? What do they want? Why? I’ve watched the prequel trilogy several times, and I have no fucking idea, and no reason to care.

    • Vandelay says:

      Although I wouldn’t say I dislike Star Wars, I would say that it certainly doesn’t hold as much interest to me as it did in my teen years. Even up until 19 or so, I would have said Empire Strikes Back was one of my favourite films and I actually liked the new trilogy a lot, but then I actually watched more films and realised they are all pretty uninteresting. Hope/Empire are definitely good films, but the others are fairly shit, excluding a few sequences.

  8. Wulf says:

    I’ve had the same experiences playing these games. Possibly my favourite of them all thus far (I haven’t played this one yet) being Lego Batman, which was absolutely amazing. I love these games, plain and simple, but that should surprise no one who’s familiar with my tastes. I’ve even played Lego Batman with my gran, and that’s just how accessible these games are.

    So accessible, in fact, that they remind me of the old scrolling beat ‘em ups of old. You can just sit down in front of it, and no matter what controller you’re using, it’s fairly damned intuitive. You can jump in, have fun, leap out, and so on. One of my all time faves when it comes to old games is Golden Axe (III being my fave of the series, since it had branching paths and it let me play as a panther guy, yes yes, I know), because that was about as accessible as accessible gets.

    With that sort of game, you can hand someone a pad and they can start having fun right away, and that’s exactly the sort of thing that Traveler’s Tales have done with their Lego games, it’s almost identical in some ways, it’s the scrolling beat ‘em up that everyone said couldn’t be done in 3D, and yet, here it is. And it has all of the zaniness and potential for fun breakage that modern games do. (I skipped half of a level in Lego Batman. still proud of that.)

    I haven’t picked up this, yet, so… am I going to? Yes yes yes.

  9. Wulf says:

    New post for this so that any comments between the two don’t get all mixed up.

    John – If I haven’t watched the films in forever and I’m really hazy as to what the plot was, will I get just as much enjoyment out of this or should I really go back and watch the films again first?

    Just curious.

    • Pantsman says:

      I’m not John, but given that the review made his own lack of knowledge of the lore quite evident (there were no Empire or Rebels during the clone wars :P), I expect it’s not very important to enjoying the game.

    • Wulf says:

      Woo! That means I won’t have to watch the films before playing the game that I’m now downloading.

    • westyfield says:

      Essentially, the Republic are the chaps with the clone army and the Jedi on their side. They’re the good guys. The Separatists are the nasty ones with the robot army. The Republic becomes the Empire somewhere between Star Wars 3 and 4, and the Rebel Alliance is presumably formed after the Empire, before episode 4. Beyond that I doubt you’ll miss anything, though I don’t know whether there are any in-jokes for players who are all lored up.

    • Wulf says:

      Ooh. Okay. Thanks for that!

    • Urael says:

      What a lot of people seem to be missing each time this game is mentioned is that much of the game is based on the Clone Wars series. Some of the stuff we’ve seen is lifted directly from episodes of the show, and the main characters are voiced by their series actors, so watching the films…well, they’ve already done those in game form.

      Proto-empire is more applicable to the Republic forces, actually. The Seperatists were merely created to give a reason for the Republic to militarise itself, a boogeyman against which Palpatine could scare enough people into supporting and maintaining his rise to power from where he could build his new Empire. It’s always fascinated me how his plan was subversion of the Republic, never it’s removal and replacement. But then, the resources he’d have needed to accomplish that would possibly have required a second galaxy nearby.

      Can’t wait to get this. Looks awesome. :) Oh, and in my experience they’re best played with a pad.

    • bill says:

      This may be a big mistake, but:
      Basically the separatists are Al Quaida, and the Republic are President Bush with an excuse to go to war. (or more accurately probably Donald Rumsfeld.*) .
      Of course, it all breaks down now that the Republicans lost the election.

      *which would make Bush, Yoda? Weird image. Rumsfeld as palpatine works pretty well though.

      It was about the only interesting thing about the new star wars stuff. But not really deep or interesting enough to save it.

    • Cradok says:

      Going by your analogy, though, Osama would have to be Rummy in disguise, so it’s not really the same thing at all.

  10. adventerous3 says:

    I just got the game, and I’m noticing that it does not recognize my mouse, and is keyboard-only controlled. Is there a fix for this, or is just the way it is?

    • Wulf says:

      There’s no need for mouse controls with those games because there’s no camera. Don’t think of it like a third person action game, think of it like an old side scrolling beat ‘em up, like Golden Axe, brought into the future. Or like those 2.5d games, like Pandemonium and Klonoa.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would like it to have some camera movement mind. There are a few times when the camera becomes a problem. None of it really matters as there are no lives and no real punishment for dying. Which is sadly why I nearly always run out of motivation before I reach the end. Brilliant to play with the girlfriend or a non gamer after a few drinks though!

    • drewski says:

      The day TT introduce a player controllable camera is probably the day the four horsemen get their horses out of stabling.

  11. Grape says:

    I’m for the most part the most interested in the RTS-ish “Ground Battle” -sequences, but I feel that John Walker didn’t explain them well enough in one of the single most crucial areas – the friendly troops you can purchase.

    How does that work? You build a certain structure, and then purchase different troops, who will then walk about the map and attack enemies? Can you give them orders? I know you can take “direct” control of them by having them follow you and shoot whenever you do, but what happens if you leave them alone? Will they just stand there and die, or will they actively engage enemies, and, you know, fight a battle? This is one of the deciding matters on whether or not I’ll buy the game. You need to explain these things. I mean, I’m sure it’s great fun to purchase a tank and drive around in it, but I’m fairly sure there’s a reason why they called it “Ground Battle“, and not “Ground one-single-asshole-in-his-tank”.

    • John Walker says:

      While your tone isn’t exactly endearing me, I am pleased to report that the units will sort of fight for you. The big actions, like taking out enemy units, is your job. But your guys will do defence for you.

      Also, it’s all incredibly easy.

    • Wulf says:

      I agree with all that John said!

      Though I don’t know if it would work if it wasn’t easy, so it’s good that it is. It sort of has this weird appeal to it. “I can get on this absolutely massive robot? Whoo! I can drive it around and stomp on robot armies?!” And then you proceed to do mad suicide runs on a six legged robot of doom.

      I think making it any more difficult or complicated would ruin it. It is what it is. And what it is is glorious, silly fun.

  12. ucfalumknight says:

    Traveler’s Tales truly believe in the philosophy: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The one time they tried to “fix it” was Indiana Jones 2, which was for the most part, rubbish. This is a studio that puts out high quality games using the same formula, but mixes it up just enough to make it just as fun as the last one. My Kids and I still play Lego Star Wars II, Lego Batman, and Indy 1. This is the most requested game on family game night. We are also eagerly awaiting Lego PotC. Excellent Review, thank you so much!

  13. Bilbo says:

    I’d like to think that with Lego Indy they were just trying to delineate between Jedis and swashbuckling Archeologists; pitting Indy against the nazi war machine it wouldn’t have been as effective if he’d been able to fight them off in droves, but nerfing the enemy count wouldn’t have been any better for capturing the cinematic feel of the movies; while the resultant gameplay was definitely pretty frustrating, I think it was a good decision. Indy had to duck and dive, whereas the jedi characters in LSW can happily chop everything to bits.
    Also, your lack of approval of star wars as a whole really shows in this writeup – they’re not rebels, they aren’t fighting the empire, etc etc. I know it’s only a minor point, and in no way indicative of the general level of game criticism you present, but it’s still there to be considered.

  14. Mac says:

    Shocker – digital is cheaper than retail in the UK.

    D2D = £16 with 20% off code this weekend
    Steam = £19.99

    £25 most places retail …

    Bought and downloading – looking forward to playing this with my 6 year old daughter tomorrow :)

  15. Teddy Leach says:

    I’m still waiting for them to consolidate all of their Lego games into one enormous, glorious, game.

  16. drewski says:

    I really enjoyed the DS complete edition, apart from the shooter/racer bits, which were awful, so I might get this.

    But – heresy – probably on the consoletoy. I know, it makes me sad too.

    • Ragnar says:

      I’ll probably do this too. Games like this, which I will primarily play in co-op, just work better on the couch + TV setup of the living room. I wish I had an HTPC that I could use for such games, but the console will make due.

  17. Pantsman says:

    Seeing as it’s apparently WIT day at RPS, when might we find out Wot RPS Thinks of Dragon Age II?

  18. godkingemperor says:

    I’d like to see TT put together a non-franchise Lego game. Something where they could go completely barmy

  19. Wulf says:

    Okay, I’ve only just finished the colosseum arena at the beginning of the game, but I have to say, I’m absolutely loving this. It’s made me happier than any game has done in a while. Using force powers on a pillar to make an impromptu staircase out of the pillar stones? That’s just entertainingly ludicrous. It’s also unthinkable to the vast majority of the mainstream, these days, and I don’t know why… because it’s fun! So far, it’s a blast.

    I know I’m unusual as a gamer in this regard, but I’m also a fan of how you don’t actually kill anything. I’m tackling a big beastie in the arena, and what do I do? My options in most games would basically be – kill it like the big game hunter you are! Except here I get to use a whip-chain and force powers to remove a mind control device that’s making it all hostile, it’s pleased enough to be free that it let me ride it to victory. Whoo! Totally for that.

    Then I get to knock a bunch of critters out via charging around madly on the aforementioned beastie, and… there’s ice cream! Laser blasts and ice cream! Unfortunately the ice cream is a casualty of Fett who uses his flamer thing to melt it. Oh ice cream, we barely knew ye.

    Does this sound utterly barmy and off the wall? Well, it was! But that’s what I’ve come to expect from these games. But this one seems even more so. I mean, good grief. I’m really digging this. It’s a rare treat. And what a treat it is.

  20. oceanclub says:

    I loved Lego Batman on the NDS, but found that on PC or XBox, the fact you had analogue jump directions (rather than 8-way), meant I just kept missing. Rather frustrating.

    P.

  21. Buttless Boy says:

    I can’t understand the appeal of these games. I played one of the Star Wars ones with some buddies and we were bored stiff. It seems like all there was to do was break arbitrarily selected pieces of scenery and fight baddies using a fairly stiff, awkward combat system. The actual fun parts of LEGO, the stuff I liked as a kid – customization, freedom, building – none of that seemed to be in the game. Likewise, the stuff I like about Star Wars – space monks, epic fantasy, escapism – that was all swallowed up by the (admittedly charming) goofiness. It felt like a mediocre game from 1997 to me, but since everyone else loves it I feel like I must have missed something. Anyone care to explain?

    • Wulf says:

      Different strokes. I can’t understand the appeal of Skyrim, for example. After watching the latest trailer for it, I feel that to appreciate it I’d have to have my last bits of intelligence wrung out by an entity of pure testosterone to the point where the most complex words I could articulate would be unga and bunga, respectively. It’s just a big, dumb male power fantasy. That works for some people, though, but it doesn’t do anything for me. I find it a snorefest, and unbelievably… well, like I said, dumb.

      It’s not an entertaining, silly dumb to me, either. Duke Nuke might be able to pull that off, I don’t know, but what I saw of Skyrim just looked plain… plain. Frankly. Yawnorama, another game set in ye olde medieval land where you get the guts of various creatures spread over you. Supposedly nordic, not that I saw a trace of nordic archetecture there. Looked all germanic and/or Gregorian/Victorian era to me, typical fantasy stuff. It’s the kind of stuff I nod off at. Now… on the other hand, Skyrim is the most exciting thing ever to some people. I don’t get it. I shake my head in disbelief.

      Different strokes.

      No two people are the same. What excites them and what they derive joy from will be different. I derive joy from sillier, happier, more creative things. It’s colourful, it’s funny, it makes me laugh, it entertains me, and it has the odd really clever scene. (I get to ride around on big lego robots!) It’s just the light-heartedness of it all. I mean, gaming has become so dystopian lately that you could almost use games like this as heroes. Gravelly voiced narrator time!

      In a time of unimaginative games, an era of manshooters, where testosterone is king, where people kill by the thousands for their entertainment, numb to the world around them, not even realising that they aren’t really having fun… shackled by their sense of normalcy and unable to conceive anything else. There comes a prophet. A prophet who will change the world!

      Okay, hyperbole much? I know. But that’s the point. I’m being silly. This entire post is silly. And again, different people, different tastes, different humour! And at the end of the day, I’m not even sure that we could understand it each other in this respect if we tried. The best we can do at the end of the day is respect that there are such people out there, in both cases, and that there are games to suit both of us.

    • TheTingler says:

      Simple: you don’t like the games. It’s not a crime, you know. :)

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Thanks for the responses.

      @Wulf: Speaking as a TES fan, I think what people are excited about is the lore of the series. Nobody really thinks the presentation of the trailers are particularly interesting (although I love the partial return of the Morrowind theme music), but the fact that dragons are showing up, when they’ve been repeatedly mentioned in the lore but never shown; the opportunity to explore the relatively interesting Nordic culture; that’s what drives the fanboy excitement for Skyrim. Most of us Morrowind fans are just crossing our fingers Bethesda learned their lessons from Oblivion and Fallout 3, though. Which is unlikely since they made boatloads and shit-tons more money, respectively.

      @TheTingler: But I feel like I SHOULD like it. It’s goofy, it’s LEGO, it’s Star Wars – these are things I enjoy. It seems like I must be playing it wrong when clearly this game was designed just for me.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      I probably wouldn’t bother with them – except they are fantastic played co-op with your kids if you have any.

  22. Aankhen says:

    Whizzing around in a ship, blowing up enemy canons and the like, is only possible because you’ll land your ship on various bases and complete on-foot sequences to release the necessary ammunition, or rescue appropriate people.

    Won’t someone think of the poor, orphaned storylines‽‽

    I’m torn on this. It really looks like fun, but on the other hand, I don’t think I was very impressed by the earlier games (I’m basing this on the fact that I’ve never managed to play through the first level of any of them). Maybe it’s time to man up.

  23. phenom_x8 says:

    Try to use this apps http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/ for your generic controller, it will emulate our $5 controller into x360 controller.
    Who wants to pay $30 just for a controller on pc?? Better spend it on a new RAM module me think!

  24. Lambchops says:

    I’ll probably pick this up in the sales, the Lego games are always great fun. Whenever I find myself thinking “but this is just the same as the last one” there’s another charming cutscene that has me smiling and not caring and eager to get on with more smashing, exploring and puzzle solving.

    Also there’s been over 50 comments and nobody has started arguing over the plural form of Lego yet! I don’t know whether to be impressed or mildly disappointed.

  25. Thirith says:

    Lego, Legi, Lego, Legum, Lego; Legi, Legorum, Legis, Legos, Legis.

  26. Wulf says:

    I got to ride around in an ice cream van in the middle of a star destroyer.

    The action button for it made it play a little jingle, and people flocked around, and I promptly accidentally ran them over, which didn’t harm them at all and was one of the more entertaining things I’d seen all week.

    I… think that’s the only other thing I need to say about this game.

  27. The Magic says:

    Wrong-Faced Buffoons, represent!

  28. tigershuffle says:

    Just to say…….the Clone Wars cartoon series….has got better and better.

    I sit and watch with my 8yr old son. :) …..oh and as a heads up for fanboys …..Republic Commando clones Fixer n Scorch et al …..made a cameo appearance in an episode So they are obviously still on Lucasfilms radar :D

    and there was some very dark ‘force’ dream sequences for a kids cartoon in a recent episode.

    as for the game …..Star Wars + Lego = :)

  29. fallingmagpie says:

    Anyone got a link to the PC demo? Can’t find it myself for some reason…

  30. Ragnar says:

    I’d highly recommend the Xbox 360 controller. I used to be the same way, always configuring games and using utilities to make my existing gamepad work. Then I decided that I didn’t want to spend time configuring a gamepad, didn’t want to have to reconfigure controls for every game, or try to remember which button is 6 and which is 11.

    I got the wireless Xbox 360 controller for Windows, and it’s one of the best gaming investments I’ve made. Fire up any modern game, and it auto-detects the gamepad, automatically configures keybindings (except Assassin’s Creed 1, which for some reason bungles them up), automatically shows the appropriate button image for each action. You can run 4 wireless gamepads off 1 USB receiver. And if you have an Xbox 360, you can use them for that too. It is gaming as it should be.

  31. RegisteredUser says:

    All of this would be so epic and my interest super piqued IF IT WEREN’T STUPID MEN OUT OF LEGOS.

  32. kennycrown says:

    I don’t know whether I have wrists of iron, or whether it’s because my keyboard is quite ergonomic and I use a trackball, but I type long passages like this on a daily basis, and I play lots of games.

  33. treeroy says:

    “the Rebels or the Separatists (proto-Empire, I think)”
    I’m impressed by how much you clearly enjoyed the game, given your evidently lack of knowledge about Star Wars. Great review.

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