Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi has already hit cinemas, GOG celebrated the third day of their Winter Sale as Star Wars Day and now two more LEGO games were added to their DRM-free library: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.
It was only a matter of time before more LEGO titles became available, although it has been 2 years since the first Warner Bros Interactive wave with LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, and LEGO Batman: The Videogame joined the brick building videogame catalogue, with only this year GOG having released the sequel LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes. Of course there are still some titles missing (like the Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park games), but it’s great that LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars are finally here (even if The Force Awakens is missing…).
I still remember playing LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the Xbox 360 and having a blast, as the inimitable LEGO humor makes fun of some of the most iconic movie scenes of the Star Wars movies, but still retaining that sense of gung-ho adventure space opera attitude they’re known for. There were originally two games, with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith being part of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game and Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi being included in LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Of course it makes sense to play them chronologically and in one package, and that’s what LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is all about, delivering a journey through all movies.
The gameplay is obviously the same as in every LEGO game, only with the unique Star Wars twist: destroying blocks and enemies with lasers, lightsabers or the various space and ground craft, collecting bricks to unlock characters (with some questionable dress-up options), levels, and challenges, while solving puzzles with each individual’s unique abilities which also make use of Jedi powers, and of course building stuff with all the pieces lying around to progress. Capturing the original movie trilogies’ atmosphere beautifully with the John Williams soundtrack and iconic “pew-pew”, “whooosh” sound design has been done in many other Star Wars games, but achieving this without voice acting is still unique, and the games are as fun today as when they were released in 2005 and 2006, especially in local co-op.
Despite having had my reservations about the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, my first impressions when watching it on Netflix in November were quite good and now being through with the second season it’s fair to say that it’s a great show with lots of sci-fi action and not too much talk the prequel movie series of George Lucas suffered from, so the game shouldn’t be any different in delivering fun in spades but with a few surprises in gameplay.
LEGO Star Wars III: Clone Wars takes the concept of epic battles and puts an almost RTS-like spin on the well-known action-adventure formula, as it’s now possible to build bases and vehicles, while sending the clone armies to defeat the opposition on the ground. Another new feature is the simultaneous control of teams in separate locations to complete different objectives. While the switching characters mechanic was part of the puzzles in single- and multiplayer of former LEGO titles, there seems to be more an emphasis on bigger teams. Speaking of bigger, the bosses also look more intimidating than what has come before. Of course the rest of the gameplay remains the same fun as usual, with co-op multiplayer still the way to go, while the wordless humor should put a smile on the faces of connoisseurs of the series.
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