by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Going back in time
The very first impression that you get from Lego Indiana Jones is that someone has transported you back to the 80’s. The streamlined but still blocky Lego graphics combined with the nostalgic, light-hearted platformer genre call back to a time when computer games were still in their infancy and the main point of gaming was having fun. Perhaps this impression is the strongest to those of us who experienced first-hand the blocky graphics of the yesteryear, and the impression will be different on younger gamers. Nevertheless, the younger generation will hopefully also enjoy this old-fashioned approach to gaming.
Lego Indiana Jones, just like the Lego Star Wars title a couple of years ago, transfers the stories of the original movies into a platformer game title. LucasArts and Traveller's Tales have worked together to bring The Original Adventures of Indiana Jones to the PC and console screens almost right on time with the latest Indiana Jones movie. All us fans who have chosen our hat styles following Indy's example will be jumping up and down with joy with all this Indy-goodness.
The current playable version of the Lego Indiana Jones runs you basically through the very beginning of the first-ever Indy movie, including all the fun and joy of running away from a big boulder and fleeing spear-flinging natives on an aeroplane. However, whereas this sequence only took a couple of minutes on film, the game expands it into a set of platformer levels where you and your co-op player (either a human or a computer) will solve a few relatively simple puzzles as you play through the story.
As you play, you'll also collect small Lego pieces that will increase your score and this total score will go down a little every time Indy dies. However, you can never actually lose the game, as the next Indy reincarnation will appear on the very spot in which the previous one died after only a couple of seconds. The fact that you cannot actually die makes the game far more enjoyable than it would be with the usual modern system of checkpoints and eternal reloading of saved games.
Other cast members
In addition to Indiana Jones himself, you'll be seeing other familiar characters accompanying him, including Indy's father Henry Jones Sr., Marion Ravenwood and Willie Scott. These characters will all have their special skills: Indy is good with the whip and with jumping, his father has a lot of book-knowledge but isn't an enthusiastic athlete, while other characters have skills such as mechanics, shovelling, swordsplay and even high-pitched screaming. In order to solve certain puzzles, all these skills are required, but you may not have the correct character with you on the first time you solve a level – you might have to return later when you have the correct partner with you.