Lego Star Wars II hands-on

Thursday 11 May 2006
"Nothing says Lego more than building things to play with," says LucasArts. And after getting a one-on-one with Lego Star Wars II in Lucas Art's backstage area, we've seen first-hand how this brick based sequel translates Lego's capabilities into some really engaging puzzles and action.

We saw Lego Star Wars II's take on the infamous Mos Eisley spaceport, complete with 'These aren't the droids you're looking for' moment - although, like the previous game, there's no dialogue. Actions speak louder than words, anyway, and the beauty of this sequel is the number of options for action you have. Every non-droid character can build with the various Lego bits in each level, and we watched with rising excitement as Luke and Obi-Wan constructed an AT-ST right in front of us.

The AT-ST is just one of the sequel's more involved puzzles. All of its parts are hidden around the area in garages and junk piles, and you have to smash these up and then reassemble the bits, piece by piece. Once built, Luke and Obi-Wan can progress, using the walker's lasers to blast through a blockade up ahead. LucasArts' focus is on offering more moments like this, instead of simple puzzles driven by using blocks and platforms to get up to higher levels.

Brilliantly, there's even vehicle combat. Around the corner from the blockade was a Stormtrooper in another AT-ST, triggering a laser-scorched face-off between the two vehicles that we don't mind admitting had us a little weak at the knees with joy.

But that's not all. Impressively, the handheld versions have their own nuances to bolster the action. Along with free play and story mode, the PSP version has challenge mode, pitting you against the clock as you race to complete a level while grabbing scattered pieces of new characters that you can unlock - like Darth Maul or General Grievous from the last game. And the DS game has a great-sounding Bounty Hunter mode, basically a four-player WiFi deathmatch.

Lego Star Wars II is out in the middle of September, so you won't have long to wait. Meanwhile, we're going to jump back in the bustle of E3 and have just one more go. We may be some time.