Ben Kenobi suggested that Yoda should watch were he puts his lightsaber
I have played and completed all the core LEGO games to 100% (or as close as I can get when considering achievement glitches), so I like to consider myself a bit of a LEGO fanboy. I’m not claiming to be cool, (although my C-P30 underpants suggest that I am) but I do know my LEGO Star Wars from my LEGO Indiana Jones. Over the years Traveller’s Tales (TT) have evolved the gameplay from the simple world of classic Star Wars to the complex magic casting of Harry Potter. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is the next step in this slow evolution, but with every step forwards, TT always seem to take a step back.
At its core, LEGO Star Wars III is the same gameplay that has featured in the various games through the years. Two players can work together locally to tackle a series of Star Wars themed levels built with LEGO. The majority of levels are platform and puzzle based. They can be played alone, but in co-op the puzzles feel far more natural e.g. one person can use the force to open a door, whilst the other throws a switch. There are also the usual vehicle based levels and a new RTS (Real Time Strategy) set of levels (more on that later).
In terms of bang for your buck, punch for your pound, empowerment for your euro; the game delivers. There are plenty of levels that can be played through first in story mode and then again in free play. It is during these second run-throughs that the game comes into its own. Each level is packed with hidden extras and there is nothing quite like finding some hidden Easter egg with a co-op partner. If sheer gaming volume were taken into account, LEGO Star Wars III is probably the biggest in the series yet.
Improvements are also present elsewhere: graphically, LEGO has never looked so good; from the very first mission, TT state their intentions by having hundreds of enemies on screen at once. The enemies look better, with an introduction of more varied textures such as animal fur. There appears to have been some work done on shadowing to add depth to an otherwise flat textured world of plastic figurines. Finally, there is a sense of epic gameplay continually being showcased in open battles and daring boss fights. TT has certainly upped their game in this department.
Despite what TT has managed to achieve there is still a disturbance in the force. With better graphics, plenty of gameplay and a commitment to co-op, what could possibly be wrong? We need to discuss the Jar Jar Binks in the room.