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Feral Interactive
Release Date

Lego Star Wars II
March 16, 2007 | Michael Wuerthele

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A nice play feature allows you to swap through the available purchased characters on the fly during gameplay so you donít have to keep coming back to the level quite so many times. Experiment all you want, try that ridiculously high jump! The only penalty for ďdeathĒ is losing studs youíve collected by beating baddies or general abuse of the level. If you do something ridiculously stupid, you may plummet to your death a few times, but after only a mercifully brief period of frustration the game spawns you in a safe location, so you can continue on with play.

The gameís level selection and purchasing interface is keenly visualized with the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as the Mos Eisley Cantina. While initially there is the standard game user interface when you start the game, once the game itself starts, youíll select everything you need to do both inside and outside of the cantina. Inside the cantina are access points to unlocked levels and chapters. The figures youíve purchased populate the cantina, wandering about, doing their business, and occasionally punctuating the cantina ambiance with gunfire. With some appropriate player destructive impulses, thereís studs to be earned by blasting the interior architecture. Two bacta tanks allow you to construct your ideal Star Wars Lego character, and a bartender gives you the ability to purchase power ups, characters, hints, and more! Outside the cantina lies your collectibles. Pieces of ships and vehicles youíve collected during play scattered throughout the original trilogy levels accumulate out here, all built up so you can see how many youíve collected, and more importantly, how many more you have to go. The mysterious gold bricks also accumulate out here in a big golden question mark. What kind of mayhem, mystery, or wealth awaits after the golden punctuation mark is completed? I know, but Iím not telling.

Star Wars story mode is the primary attention grabber of the game. In story mode, you take story-appropriate characters through the level vaguely summarizing the original Star Wars trilogy sequences. Obviously, I donít remember a big quest sequence for R2-D2 and C-3P0 on Princess Leiaís blockade runner during my first thousand viewings of the original trilogy, but maybe itíll appear in the extended-extended edition at some point in the future. Or maybe not. Anyhow, as you progress through Lego Star Wars II, youíll find icons with faces on them such as a Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, or just red or blue shimmering objects. These are signals telling you what kind of figure you need to pass through or manipulate that object. A droid face indicates a droid unit can only pass through, a Stormtrooper face means only an Imperial figure can pass through, and blue or red tints mean light side force users or dark side force users respectively can only manipulate the highlighted items. Specifically, on the Blockade Runner level there are multiple doors with a Stormtrooper face block on them. As R2-D2 or C-3P0, you canít pass through these doors, any more than a Stormtrooper can pass through one with a droid face on them! Legos being what they are, maybe thereís a way to get a non-Imperial figure through an Imperial doorÖ

Level design in Lego Star Wars II is well thought out and entertaining. Legos as the Star Wars universeís material of choice for construction is witty. Even before the official Star Wars Lego kits shipped in the nineties, who didnít have galactic battles with their assorted Lego sets on their bedroom floor? Thereís always something interesting to do or manipulate. Thereís even parts of the level which serve no purpose other than entertainment! There were parts of the first Lego Star Wars game that were cripplingly difficult (Pod Race sequence, Iím talking to YOU), and while there are some challenging levels in Lego Star Wars II, there are none that will make you want to throw your keyboard or controller through your display.


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