The best Lego game so far, but with a few flaws that keep it from perfection.
That being said, LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is a blast, for the most part. All the usual humor and brick breaking fun is here. This time with a definite graphical upgrade. Objects are well defined and make all other previous Lego games look like last generation games. If you have a full HD 1080 HDMI set-up like I do, you'll certainly notice this upgrade even more.
This time, you get some new options in your game play. In many levels you hold down a button to switch between two locations in a level to complete your task between two groups of characters. This defiantly makes levels go further. Not only that, but in certain places there is God of War type button prompts. All be it, not as elaborate since it is usually only one button, but add something new to the game. I will say, there were a few times the prompt was a bit glitchy since the area to stand in for the prompt would not show on the screen without walking around. As usual, the characters control the same as always. But, this time they added some new flare to the force powers and allow you to use them better. I think they fleshed this out much more than in the previous Star Wars lego games and it was nice to see.
The other new addition is a minor RTS which takes up about 1/3, if not more, of the entire game itself. You have battlefields that you are placed in and must complete a task. Destroy and take over all enemy bases, destroy enemy statues, or destroy a specific enemy base. There is a time limit as well, which in the begging before you understand things better, may run out and force you to redo the level. It certainly adds a new dimension to the Lego game. One issue I have with it is that there is no "map" ability, to see and gauge the entire battlefield. It really would help. Another issue I had is that you cannot see the edge of the map half the time since your view is fixed, so I fell off and died many times because of it. Driving vehicles that do not respond well when there is cliffs had me driving them off the edge many times because of this. A few times I was unable to even turn the vehicle around and kept falling off the edge repeatedly because of how the vehicles control. I really think they should have just added borders to the maps without the cliffs to fall off.
Something that will be time consuming is you will need to do every level twice. There is one achievement for making them all Separatist, and one for Republic. This got very redundant to me and a bit tedious. The other RTS element is that you are able to battle a friend in local co-op split-screen in these levels. However, again, with it not being online, it is pretty much a throw away addition. I simply turned on my second controller and let the character set doing nothing so I could acquire the one Co-Op achievement in the game. Unless you have a friend around, it's the only way to get this achievement.
This time you get to go to space and pilot a star-fighter. Granted, the controls are a bit honky, but it is quite fun. There is usually sections of a ship you must land on and complete a task, then move on to another. After that there is usually some section to blow up in your fighter with proton torpedoes. I like this addition and enjoyed all the levels involving this.
If you have played other Lego games you know there is a type of "lobby" you go to when you are not in levels. Well, this time you are either on the Separatists ship, or you fly over to the Republic ship. As well, there is space between them. This is extremely large, almost too large. You will spend alot of time walking around each ship and finding or unlocking things. There is also Bounty Hunter missions on the Separatist ship, and Character clone tanks to unlock new characters once you have achieved 100% on a level. In the begging, this "lobby" can be quite enjoyable. However, later on after you have earned and unlocked sections of the ship you must walk all the way to the hangar bay, fly into space, and then land on the other ship. I think it would have benefited with a port device, or something to get you there quicker without the hassle. I found it extremely annoying.
I will say, there is 100 characters to unlock. This takes alot of time and tasks completed to acquire. They really added a variety to the characters. You unlock an Imperial Probe Droid to play as for example. Even a battle damaged Darth Vader, which is my favorite. The characters span the entire Star Wars saga, and are not all related to just The Clone Wars. There is also ships to unlock for the space battles, vehicles to unlock for the ground battles, and even little vehicles such as an Ice Cream Truck for just driving around to unlock.
Something I found interesting is that there is no 999 million cap to the lego chips, you can go up into the billions. I really don't know what the purpose is since there is no achievement for this, but having over 500 billion lego chips is a bit funny if not a bit pointless.
When all is said and done, this is certainly the best and most diverse Lego game so far. I spent nearly 50 hours acquiring and unlocking all. Earning all 48 achievements in the process. For 50 dollars, you certainly get your money's worth. Granted, there are a few set backs. Some frustrating camera angles being one of them, and the other things I mentioned so far. But, the good outweighs the bad here.
No matter your age, this game will give you plenty to do. If you love other Lego games, then you'll love this one even more. It's just a pity they didn't spend just a little more time ironing out some of it's flaws, because it could have been even better because of it. My one hope is that TT will get with the times and add online co-op to all their future games, it would certainly make everyone much more happy.