Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Preview

We ran from giant blocky boulders in our latest look at this swinging action game.

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We've been anxious to get our hands on LucasArts and Traveller's Tales' latest tag-team effort, Lego Indiana Jones, since the game was first announced last year. The publisher-and-developer pairing has yielded some Voltron-like results with the Lego Star Wars games, so we've been understandably curious to see what happens when you mix Legos and Indiana Jones. A recent trip to LucasArts' offices finally let us try out a work-in-progress version of the Xbox 360 game which, while a little rough around the edges, is on its way to matching the appeal of the Lego Star Wars games.

Traveller's Tales has added a number of new mechanics to this latest Lego outing.

For those who haven't followed the news around the game, Lego Indy is taking a Lego Star Wars: The Complete Trilogy-style approach to the classic trilogy of films starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The game will offer 18 levels, with six based on each of the films in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. In addition, you'll find some bonus levels in there to add some excitement. You'll make your way to each set of levels via the game's hub based on Jones' day job as a professor at Barnett College. Our hands-on time let us try out the first two levels in the game based on Raiders and have a stroll through Barnett.

The first level in the game was pretty familiar to us because it was the level demoed for us during Game Developers Conference and based on the opening of the first film. You'll take control of Indy and his "friend" Satipo as they enter ruins in search of a gold relic. Obviously, the level played out a bit longer than the movie sequence, courtesy of a much richer, more involved route to the relic. New gameplay elements, such as ladders, swing points for Indy's trusty whip, and new collectibles were all on display in the level. They also featured a colorful look with a few placeholder elements here and there. In keeping with the whole explorer vibe of the movies, the level featured a number of different puzzles; some you could solve solo and others that required cooperating with your artificial intelligence controlled buddy.

As with the other Lego games, the action was given a goofy and humorous spin courtesy of some fanciful art direction. This also included silly, humorous cinematics that move the narrative along. Once you successfully guide Indy through a deadly gauntlet of the iconic moments from the film--including natives and a giant Lego boulder--you get to head out on Indy's plane. This latter part of the level showed off some of the flexibility that's been added to the various playable characters. While each character will have his or her own unique special ability, as we've seen in previous Lego games, it's also possible for Indy to temporarily get some additional abilities by picking up an object. In this case it was a wrench, which allowed him to repair his plane.

Fans of the films will find more than a few familiar faces here.

Once we wrapped up the adventure, we had a quick stroll around Barnett College, checking out the different themed rooms. These rooms offered access to different pieces of content, such as collectibles, cutscenes, and a shop where you can use your collected studs to purchase extras, including playable characters. The area was fairly spacious, with a good amount of nooks and crannies to explore, though the graphics weren't final yet.

Following our quick tour, we went to a map room and selected the next level by moving a magnifying glass. The level finds Indy checking in with old flame Marion Ravenwood at her bar in the Himalayas. As in the film, the reunion takes a turn for the worse as the evil Belloq shows up to cause problems, along with a plethora of henchmen (no, not Nazis--the game is steering clear of that topic). Clashing with Belloq's cronies offered a good showcase for the new swapping feature, which doesn't require you to be in as close proximity as in previous Lego games, and the slightly different bent that combat has in this game.

Playing Lego Indy is a much more melee-centric experience that incorporates objects to pick up and throw. The level also highlighted temporary item-based abilities again, with Indy gaining the dig ability from picking up a shovel, which you need to deal with a puzzle when you're outside the bar. The last bit of the level we played had us facing off against Belloq in a boss battle that required us to make use of the environment to dole out some damage to the fiend. In playing Marion, we also noticed she's able to jump higher, apparently a special trait of the playable ladies in the game, and she throws a mean right cross to boot.

Overall the visuals and general presentation in the game are looking good. There were obviously some rough edges due to unfinished elements and the occasionally awkward camera. But overall, the game is looking sharp and comes packing a good amount of personality. The characters have expressive faces, uttering the odd grunt here and there for effect. The cinematics are the expected mix of faithful reproduction of key moments mixed with original tomfoolery worthy of a chuckle or two. The game unabashedly wears its goofy heart on its sleeve like all the other Lego games, and it works well.

That goofy Lego humor is most definitely intact.

Based on what we played, Lego Indy is looking like it's going to be a whole lot of good-natured fun. The game tweaks the already solid Lego Star Wars mechanics to better fit the Earth-based adventuring. The results so far are promising and feel like a good fit. Traveller's Tales is clearly getting more comfortable with the Lego formula it established and is starting to have more fun with it. We're anxious to see how the game shapes up and how much it can be polished. If you're fan of the previous Lego games, you will definitely want to keep an eye out for Lego Indy when it ships this June for a veritable bevy of platforms: the Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, DS, PC, and PSP. Look for more on the game in the coming weeks.

Discussion

121 comments
saadxxx
saadxxx

i played this game in the mall and three words this game sucks!!!!!!!!!

megamaster32
megamaster32

if you love lego star wars you can say this game is the chip off the old block i might get it but im saving money for ninja gaiden 2

clintbrew
clintbrew

looks good but i think they should had Waited just to add Kingdom of the Cystal skull cus there is Lego Toys based on the Latest Film

Shock007
Shock007

taking away the nazis. thats kinda stupid

pspman45
pspman45

looks awesome i have always liked lego games, but this looks to be a sure hit.

wolffman92
wolffman92

I hope you will be able to play in the level that would be in the Last Crusade where you are on the train when Indy is a boy scout.

katamari
katamari

I am so looking forward to this game!!!!

Aka_Oni
Aka_Oni

This game looks pretty good and the concept works well on any platform that a person choose to play it on. I do agree with them taking out the nazi's in the game I mean it's lego for Pete's sake. How do you explain nazi's to the children that are actually going to play a game like this?

Nite_Dubs
Nite_Dubs

I was interested in this game until they said they took out the Nazi's. They are easily one of the most popular and safest villans to portray. There must be a large underground of them that they are trying not to offend so they will still buy the game. :/

PhoenixVenom
PhoenixVenom

lego star wars was fun and i dont even really like star wars, but i love indiana jones so im looking foward to it and it should be a blast

Rabbids_Rule
Rabbids_Rule

looks so fun. i hope theres still gonna be minikits and a huge shop.

mr_gouda
mr_gouda

I know it's a kid's game and all, but I hope they up the difficulty level in this game. Or at least offer a Hard Mode, or you don't get infinite lives or something. The Lego games are super fun, but they're alittle on the easy side.

SomeFreakyGuy
SomeFreakyGuy

I can't help but worry that they might put lego nazi's in it... because surely they were quite prominent in the trilogy...

guerillaKZ2
guerillaKZ2

love the films!!!!!! stevn spielberg 4 ever!!!!!!! this is gonna be great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DizzlMan
DizzlMan

I love Indiana Jones so i will defently look into this but what i really cant wait for is the Indiana Jones for the next gen consoles

gmc2u_64
gmc2u_64

No nazis? They just took away some of the main villains in the indiana jones series.What a rip-off.

bombermania24
bombermania24

Awesome. Looks like it's come along well. Can't wait for this one!

VanGriffin
VanGriffin

Looks fun. Great timing with the fourth Indy coming out this summer..

thomas_bobbypin
thomas_bobbypin

hmm interestin! @ NefariusEdicus.....the are? any way looks like a cool game i might but it for my bro he LOVES lego star wars and i like it cause its funny

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Woohoo! Looks like it'll stay the same as the LEGO Star Wars games, good that is one of the best LEGO game engines they have.

NefariusEdicius
NefariusEdicius

No Nazis? That's stupid! There are Nazi's in almost EVERY Indiana Jones movie... and, apart for some lame exceptions, they are ALWAYS the antagonists, the opponents, the bad, the evil, the ENEMY... wtf, how can you have a game based off of a movie without the enemy from the movie?! I'm seriously not getting this game because of this stupid censoring of history, and a great trilogy. What a bunch of idiots.

greater_bird
greater_bird

Love the idea of the game, and will almost certainly buy it, but... what's with the lack of Nazis?? They were kind of integral to the first movie...

chappy_man
chappy_man

After the great lego games of the last few years i can see why we get so excited over this :p

romainsimoni
romainsimoni

I'm 25 years old and interested in this game. Is this normal?

muscled_arbiter
muscled_arbiter

Hmm, Lego in sorta real backdrops?! Um, I will pass. Why don't they make a real Indiana Jones Trilogy game like Tomb Raider? Lego taken out of "Legoland" and placed with "real textured backdrops" is kinda silly.

chris_penmoor
chris_penmoor

My 3 year old loved the Lego Star Wars games but I'm worried that this game is going to get a PEGI 7+ plus, Why should it not be a 3+ like the star wars games (allot less people get chopped in half by light sabers!)

megadisc
megadisc

woo hoo lego is so cute leh

Dassam
Dassam

I loved Legos as a kid and love the Indiana Jones trilogy. This will be a def rent for me only because it sounds like it will be a pretty shallow game. But I am looking forward to it.

clintbrew
clintbrew

i also heard they took the Gore out as well i wonder what a lego heart looks like i just wonder if they got the music from all 3 movies cus the music rocks

antimat0r
antimat0r

The problem with this game is that Lego style games are aimed at the younger audience, but Indiana Jones is a dated film which would appeal to the older generations. This being said, hope it does as well as the Star Wars Lego games.

GamerErman2001
GamerErman2001

Why do they remove Nazis? If the parents don't want them beating up LEGO Nazis, they shouldn't be buying a LEGO game based on Indiana Jones!

king_bobo
king_bobo

I hope this game isn't going to be too shallow. I enjoyed the Lego Star Wars games, but I can't see how this is going to be especially different.

Uhero41
Uhero41

Haha awesome I'll definetly be picking this game up! Games like this are great on handheld's!

isshiah
isshiah

I cant wait for this game! I love the star wars ones and am also looking forward to the batman lego game. I don't think the Nazi's being left out will ruin the game that much.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Not as interested as they don't keep true to the movies by putting Nazis in the game. We weren't interested in becoming one as wasn't the goal of the world at the time to defeat them ??? People are so darn sensitive these days. It was history and it was part of the Indiana Jones storyline(s) so at least you could have put in unlockable content or some sort of mode that included the Nazi involved levels.

uklegendkiller
uklegendkiller

Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun to play. I loved the lego star wars series so i can't wait to get my hands on this :D

zeus_gb
zeus_gb

I can't wait to be chased by the lego boulder! :D

David_W
David_W

Let's hope they include more films if this franchise continues to be succesful. How about the Alien/Preditor films? Yeah, sure, it's a little past the taget audience for Lego as a toy, but I bet it would do darn well in games sales terms. Also - the Jason and Freddy films would be great for this, as the figures are so easily dismembered. ;)