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    Lego Indiana Jones preview

    Indiana Jones: professor of archaeology, expert on the occult, obtainer of rare antiquities and star of the latest Lego game. Not bad for a guy named after a dog...

    The decision to immortalise the wise-cracking hero in Lego form is clear: the Indiana Jones films are almost as iconic as Star Wars, and their cheeky humour runs parallel with the tongue-in-cheek approach of the recent Lego games.

    With the building blocks already in place from the Star Wars games, it hasn't been too difficult for Traveller's Tales to whip the engine into shape and recreate the original three films in a style fit for Dr Henry Walton Jones, Jr.

    Builders of the lost ark

    Things kick off with Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indy's quest to capture the golden idol from a Peruvian temple. Don't expect an easy ride: even though it acts as the game's training mission, you'll still need to tread carefully.

    There are plenty of traps to avoid, and mastery of Indy's bullwhip is crucial. A quick flick of the Wii Remote will crack the weapon, allowing Indiana to disarm enemies and flick switches.

    Although tracking down in-game screenshots is harder than finding the Grail itself, we've got it on good authority that anyone familiar with Lego Star Wars should instantly recognise the HUD.

    Collecting Lego gems for fortune and glory plays as big a part as always, and there will be plenty of breakable objects and secret items tucked away for you to find on your own or with a friend in co-op.

    Things will also be more puzzle orientated than before, and you'll need to combine Lego Technic pieces to progress. Once the relic's been snagged it's time to escape the collapsing temple.

    The boulder chase is featured in its entirety so you'll be running into the screen and hurdling objects. The level's conclusion features a battle through the jungle to the waiting seaplane, snakes and all.

    Then it's off to Nepal to locate Marion Ravenwood and her medallion. A battle with the Nazis is in store, and things really heat up when the buildings start burning down.

    Indy's ability to 'weaponise' the objects around him really stands out. He can pick up items to attack people with, so the bar is perfect for a fight because it's packed with stools and bottles.

    The Nepalese mountains and ancient structures bulk out this portion of the game (in the film it was simply one bar scene), so don't think you'll escape any temple action for long.


    Talk about a bad date

    Cairo's markets are up next, followed by the dig scene - with plenty of snakes to avoid - then its a car chase, a level in the submarine dock (along with the Bantu Wind and U-Boat) and finally an explosive finish at the secret island where you'll witness Major Arnold Toht's infamous melty-face scene in all its Lego glory.

    If you thought that Lego Star Wars was visually impressive, you're in for a treat. The locations in the films are far more exotic and colourful than Star Wars and Batman, and Traveller's Tales have really stepped up their game.

    Environments have a pseudo-realistic edge, so the Lego elements of an ancient shrine look really striking next to, say, a beautiful jungle backdrop.

    On with the show! The Temple Of Doom begins within the Shanghai nightclub Club Obi-Wan and the thrilling chase afterwards.

    Again, you'll need to make the most of your surroundings to survive the shootouts, so be prepared to duck and dive behind objects unless you want to go the way of the dodo.

    One plane crash later and you'll be fighting through the jungles of India, trying to defeat its many creatures. The trip to Pankot Palace is fraught with danger, but the elephant rides are simply adorable.

    Survive the night in the palace and an underground trip is your reward. Expect more puzzles and plenty of character switching before what should be the most exciting level: the quarry and mine-kart ride.

    Hop on, like Donkey Kong, and prepare for a track-twisting stomach-churning race that's scarier than a trip to Luigi's Mansion at Halloween.

    That's then followed up by a showdown outside, that culminates in the rope-bridge stand-off and baldy crocodile-lover Mola Ram's ultimate demise. Although there's plenty of swimming, this is one level where you definitely want to stay out of the drink.


    The template of doom

    As you've probably figured out by now, the game follows Star Wars's lead and splits the three films into six chapters each. But it's not about the numbers, it's about the mileage.

    Anyone claiming that the similarities will harm Lego Indy is speaking balderdash, as the all-important personality is there in abundance. A monumental cast starring over 60 playable characters is on offer, including Jones Senior, Short Round and even explodo-head himself, Rene Belloq.

    Just like The Complete Saga, you'll get to mix and match parts to make even more characters. Want to see Mola Ram's head on Short Round's body? No? Oh well, um... Well you can, should you ever want to.

    Many characters have unique areas that only they can reach, which ensures plenty of replay value. The ever-lovely Marion Ravenwood can reach high areas with her special monkey access (no, really), Marcus Brody's got an umbrella slide, and short-lived Satipo - you may remember he met a grisly end at the start of Raiders - can dig for treasure.

    There's no word on whether Willie Scott can scream enemies into submission (we'd be quite surprised if not), but given George Lucas's and Harrison Ford's involvements in both the Indy and Star Wars films, we'd be utterly shocked if Han Solo didn't put in an appearance. After all, Indy showed up in The Complete Saga so it's only fair, right? RIGHT?

    The vast crusade

    The final film will be the trickiest of the lot. It all begins with young Indy's circus train-top turmoil and his quest to reclaim the Cross of Coronado on board the good ship... Coronado.

    Venice's catacombs make up half of the second level, with the boat chase bolstering the second half, and then it's off to tippety-toe through Castle Brunwald in a failed rescue attempt and a fiery escape. Build your motorcycle for the race to Berlin, and once Henry's diary has been secured you'll be dashing through a Zeppelin and piloting a fighter plane to safety.


    Rescuing Brody from the tank is your penultimate task - the horse ride makes for an especially exciting sequence, and then the puzzle-laden search for the Grail and Donovan's transformation into a Lego skeleton round things off nicely.

    You'll need to keep your wits about you when the temple's falling apart as there are plenty of pits you'll have to negotiate, but some cunning whip use should see you safely through and off for a sunset finish - provided you can find the way back, that is.

    It's almost impossible to think that Lego Indiana Jones The Videogame might turn out to be anything other than a roaring success.

    Although on paper it may look like it's half the game that The Complete Saga is (three films instead of six, 60 characters instead of 120 etc) it's difficult to imagine Traveller's Tales skimping on content.

    They've proven their pedigree beyond a shadow of a doubt, and Lego Indiana Jones should only serve to extend that legacy. Having seen what's in store, it's safe to say that in choosing the Indy films, they've chosen wisely.






    source: http://computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=183682

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