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The force moves in mysterious ways and none more so than LEGO Star Wars...
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away two franchises had computer games launched in their names. LEGO developed games such as LEGO Football Mania and LEGO Drome Racers, and Star Wars had memorable titles such as Obi-Wan and the adaptation of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It would be fair to say that virtually all of the titles, with the exception of the brilliant RPG Knights of the Old Republic were, well, poor.
So when it was announced that there were plans to make a LEGO Star Wars game, logic dictated that it wouldnâ??t exactly set the world on fire. The videogames industry is rife with franchise cross-overâ??s in a blatant attempt to grab your cash; however a strange creature emerged from this dark alliance. Rumblings at the Edinburgh Games Festival earlier in the summer were emerging, and those rumblings were saying that LEGO Star Wars was surprisingly good... very good.
Sceptical at this revelation, the TVG team went to EGN and Game Stars Live to seek out this disturbance in the forceâ?¦we wanted to see whether the rumours were true. They wereâ?¦
LEGO Star Wars takes place over the course of the new Prequel Trilogy of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and next yearâ??s Revenge of the Sith. At the London Docklandâ??s event, Eidos was only previewing the very first level â?“ they werenâ??t going to be spilling the beans and show any of the Episode 3 levels.
When it was announced that Eidos had won the publishing rights, CEO of Eidos, Mike McGarvey said that, â??â?¦We look forward to working with Giant on maximising the game's potential." After getting a hand-on look of the game, weâ??ve got to say that it seems to be mission accomplished even at this early stageâ?¦
Essentially the game is a typical third-person action/adventure, mixing in strong puzzle elements through its co-operative design. Despite only being witness to a small fraction of what the final game will offer, we can quite honestly state that this will surely be one of the finest Star Wars games within the genre â?“ easing all those painful memories of Star Wars: Episode 1.
The one-level demonstration allowed players to take control of Obi-Wan and Qi-Gon Jinn during the opening stages of the Phantom Menace aboard the Trade Federation battleship, when they find themselves attacked by legions of battle-droids. The controls are beautifully simple, with a two-button attack setup granting a number of combos, along with a button for the force, which allows you to interact with certain objects and make those funky LEGO brick shapes to help you navigate throughout the level.
Certainly itâ??s the charisma of the game that stands out at this initial stage, somehow the chaps at Giant Interactive and Travellerâ??s Tales have managed to merge both LEGO and Star Wars perfectly, creating a style that feels far more accomplished then 90% of the Star Wars games weâ??ve seen in the past. One particular example had a Protocol Droid following us to activate doors, however sadly he took one step too near to a TVG member trying his luck with his LEGO light-sabreâ?¦ imagine the humour as the droidâ??s leg got chopped off and he had to hop his way through the level LEGO style - theyâ??ve got no knees you see. Realising that the droid was still ok, the luckless character took another blow from a light-sabre and lost yet another robotic limb, this time around his arm; so with only one leg and one arm left in tact, we took the moral decision and ended his short life â?“ thankfully crucial to the mission another droid quickly took his place.
It may not sound like a major aspect of the game, however the perfect amalgamation of LEGO and Star Wars certainly grants the game a level of charisma and style sadly missing from many Star wars games and arguably improves upon the filmâ??s that theyâ??re based upon.
The game has a Single-Player mode and a Two Player co-op mode, where two players play co-operatively to solve the puzzles and fight their way through a barrage of enemies from the Trade Federation and beyond. As youâ??d expect, all of the characters, vehicles, and environments are made out of LEGO, but the game also includes a neat little feature â?“ you can use the force to build useful objects out of LEGO. These objects could be anything, in the level shown at Game Stars, the LEGO built a platform that allowed access to other areas.
In previous Star Wars games that have been based or derived from the movies, one of the key objections was the fact that the characterâ??s dialogue wasnâ??t spoken by the actor form the film. LEGO Star Wars gets around this quite simply â?“ there is no dialogue.
One of the features thatâ??ll have Star Wars fans excited is the â??Free Playâ?? mode, where you can change your character, so you can play as Darth Maul, Jango Fett, even R2-D2 at the drop of a hat. It was even commented on by one TVG team member, who shall remain anonymous that â??â?¦it even makes Jar Jar Binks look coolâ?¦!â? The game incorporates a â??drop-and-goâ? system similar to that featured in Microsoftâ??s Brute Force, allowing a second player to drop in and out of the action as they so choose.