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First look at LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

So guys, LEGO, right? We're culturally obsessed with the snappy yellow blocks and their licensed kits and games, and they're somehow adorable enough to quell any cynicism over their ubiquity. We even type their moniker in the trademark-required all caps without thinking twice. And here they are again, being all adorable and stuff in Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.

Above: The shiniest LEGO game yet!

Thanks to new high-tech plastic block rendering technology, LEGO Star Wars III looks significantly slicker than previous titles. The environments are less LEGO-ey and more organic, which may end up killing some of the charm, but they're fun to look at regardless, and the characters are crisper than Pringles.

Above: The characters are based on the latest line of LEGO models, unsurprisingly

And, thanks to a heroic effort on the part of LucasArts and Traveller's Tales, LEGO Star Wars III may actually make The Clone Wars into something we care about. New techniques, such as using Yoda's forcegrab tolift enemies and spray their fire back at their comrades, add more variety to the already variety-crammed series. The character animations are even smoother and more d'aww-inducing than ever, the free-flight space battles look fantastic, and they've made the oft requested addition of proper bosses. Flying through epic battles, seamlessly landing on ships and blowing open new sections, battling General Grievous' vile pet Gor... it's hard to deny that it looks stupid fun.

Above: Fly anywhere you want in this massive battle against the Republic's Malevolence (make obvious naming decisions much?), land inside... just go nuts, really

It's also tough, however,to drool over yet another LEGO game... no, yet another LEGO Star Wars game... no, no, yet another LEGO Star Wars game, but this time based on The Clone Wars. We'll be more likely gravitate toward The Force Unleashed II for our fix of lightsaber dueling, but LEGO Star Wars III still appears to be a strong move forward for the family-friendly series.

Jun 23, 2010

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer