NOTTINGHAM--It's not every event that you walk into to find stormtroopers patrolling the cinema and Darth Vader sitting in the audience. Jonathan Smith, Lego Star Wars producer at TT Games, had obviously felt the need for some backup as he discussed the latest incarnation of the successful Lego Star Wars franchise, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
Coming out on November 9 in the UK on the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and DS, the latest game will let gamers play through all six Star Wars movies in a mash-up of the first two games, along with some new surprises.
Smith started the event by explaining that some members of the press had become confused about what was coming in the demo. He told GameSpot, "This press release came out, and I think people heard what they wanted to hear. It said something like, use your Wii Remote as a lightsaber... It's no secret that your character has a lightsaber and you fight with it, but I think many people took that to mean that we'd created a new peripheral." Not wanting to let those people down, Smith said that he would be trying something in the talk to see if it would work.
He duct-taped his son's lightsaber to the Wii Remote. "Here is the Wii lightsaber, TM," He joked. "Anyone can make one of these at home." The experiment seemed to work with a surprising amount of success, but Jonathan soon separated the two. He explained why, sadly, he thinks that a Wii lightsaber peripheral might not work. He said, "In the real world it's much easier to use the original Wii Remote because it's much lighter and it doesn't make your arm hurt... There are design reasons why it might not be great, because you'd miss a lot of the time--you're not going to be able to fight with style. You're not a Jedi, you know. So, we very, very quickly thought that it's not going to happen in this game."
The new game will be big, explained Smith. "It's a vast game. A massive game. An almost amazingly huge game." But size isn't all that matters: The game will also boast a host of new features and levels, including a variety of environments that have been redone to "make them more fun." Gamers will also be able to play as some 120 playable characters (some of which will need to be unlocked) and take them into scenes where they don't originally appear.
There will also be a variety of special bricks to find, which will add extra abilities, including Super Cronk (a request from Smith's son), which makes the character go really fast, Poo Money, Stud Magnet, Fast Force, Super Jedi Slam, and Tracker Beam.
He also showed off the grapple feature, which he said was his "favourite thing" in the game. By moving the Wii Remote upward, when a character is standing on a red grapple point, he or she will sail upward in the air to the next grapple point.
There will also be a variety of new levels, including some which were missing from the first two games, Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars 2, such as Anakin's Fight and a podracer. He showed the Lego Towns level, where you enter a Lego city and have to complete tasks such as rescuing a kitten from the top of a cathedral. The character customiser has also been much improved, and now allows gamers the full range of Lego bits and pieces from both the original games to customise a character with. Smith commented, "You can create really outrageous character customisations."
The game will feature co-op online play for both the PlayStation 3 and the 360 but not for the Wii. Smith explained the decision by saying, "Our reservation is not many people play the Wii online. Let's see what happens in the future."
Smith also hinted that despite the title, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga might not be the last Lego-themed Star Wars game. He said, "We've made games that encompass the six movies, but the Star Wars universe is so big, and there is lots of stuff that could be done, particularly in a Lego way."
When asked by a member of the audience if he knew what George Lucas thought of the use of his beloved franchise as a Lego video game, Smith said, "I understand that he thought it was 'awesome.'"