Nov 6, 2007
So you've caused a brick-showering gunfight in the Cantina. You've abused the Force to stack up some empty beer bottles - then rolled a bowling ball through the lot of them. You've built a little LEGO car and pootled happily around one of those flat plastic Lego roads with the bobbly grass on. You've created a new Star Wars hero with C-3PO's head and Princess Leia's legs. And all this in the first five minutes.
Basically, you're not going to need us to tell you how brilliant LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is. This game's designed for kids, but it's well-designed for kids, which means it's still fun for people like us whose heads have started to grow through the top of their hair. With a short, sweet level for every decent scene from the six flicks, The Complete Saga is like a mouth-moistening box of mini donuts, with a seemingly endless array of secret rooms, bonus bits and unlockable characters as the equivalent of dabbing up all the escaped sugar. From Imperial corridors satisfyingly stuffed with stormtroopers to neat switch-flipping puzzles on the appealing plasticky green-brown Endor, this trek through Lucas's head feels as complete as anything from The Miyamoto Factory.
Which is odd, because the bulk of The Complete Saga's action - mostly just walking forward and smashing anything in your way - has bored us to knuckle-chewing tears in games like Avatar and Crash of the Titans. But then those games didn't have LEGO - looking shinier and meatier in this latest-gen version - or some of history's best (and worst) sci-fi movies to build from. Riding those woolly Banthas, "being" Anakin in the blisteringly fast Pod Race, chasing Boba Fett over Bespin...if you don't come away willing all your favourite movies to be transformed via the medium of plastic bricks, you're either dead or a big fan of Schindler's List.
The level design is sparklingly special - every corridor corner, every Clone ambush, every enticing trail of shiny gems has been placed to perfection. It reminds us of GoldenEye, the way the smile creeps across your face as you learn the maps by heart through repeated play. Be warned, though: LEGO Star Wars just loves killing you, safe in the knowledge you've got infinite lives. The endless hordes of Droid Fighters on Naboo actually made us scream into our fists.
So, what if you've already played the previous LEGO Star Wars? The vehicle sections from that game have been completely reworked - but then the new-style vehicle bits didn't feature prominently in The Original Trilogy anyway.
On the upside, you get plenty of new characters. It's now easier to unlock some of the two games' best bonus features - including LEGO Town. It reeks of joy. And there's the near-Mario levels of hidden stuff tucked away on each stage. It's tummy-tinglingly brilliant to discover how much variety there is in the secrets (jigsaw wall puzzles, secret vehicle sections, building little piles of LEGO into everything from televisions to AT-ATs) when, on first sight, the levels seem like little more than a few fixed corridors. It's one of those games you instantly know you'll be going back to for every last hidden bit - it's the least you can do to reward the developers' enthusiasm and sense of fun.
So. LEGO Star Wars is one of the most joyous, unpretentious, brilliant games you'll play on your newest console. It's not particularly challenging, but you'll honestly be having too much fun to notice or care. It is, simply, fantastic. And it's got LEGO Indiana Jones in it.