In the late 2000s, all four Indiana Jones movies were adapted into Lego video games. What elements did the games get right or wrong?
After the Lego Star Wars series became massively popular,Lucas Arts and TT Gamesdecided to turn George Lucas other blockbuster franchise, Indiana Jones, into a Lego game. The first one, Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, recreates the initial trilogy from Raiders to TheLast Crusade, while the second one, Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, released a year later, brings Kingdom of the Crystal Skull into the mix.
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These games arent perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but despite a few missteps, theyre a lot of fun for Indy fans. They get a lot right about the classic action-adventure movies theyre based on.
One of the most integral parts of the Indiana Jones movies is John Williams score. Like Harrison Fords performance, Steven Spielbergs direction, and George Lucas storytelling, Williams music is part of what makes these movies special.
Indy just wouldnt feel the same without that music, so its great that, like the Lego Star Wars games, Lego licensed all of Williams tracks for the Lego Indiana Jones games.
The first Lego Indiana Jones game hit shelves in the summer of 2008, coinciding with the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. After the game turned into a huge hit and Crystal Skulls release left the publisher with one unadapted Indy movie, Traveller's Tales got to work on a sequel.
The only problem with this is that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is by far the worst movie, so giving it more attention than the previous three movies combined felt like a disservice.
When Steven Spielberg set out to make the Indiana Jones movies, he planned to give America its own version of the James Bond franchise. A big part of this was sending Indy all over the globe to exotic locations like Cairo and Venice.
In the Lego Indiana Jones games, these exotic locations are brought to life beautifully with vibrant colors and plenty of hidden nooks to explore in the jungle and desert landscapes.
Granted, the Lego Indiana Jones games are supposed to be for kids and theyre not going to have the intensity or diverse action of a game like Uncharted or Far Cry. That said, alot of the action in these games is really repetitive, which is a disservice to the movies.
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Players are faced with the same challenge again and again until the level just ends, like punching legions of Nazis on top of moving trucks. Its a lot of fun, but without raising the stakes, it eventually grows tiresome.
After playing through Lego games once, players can return to each level in Free Play mode to find all the hidden treasures and Easter eggs with the freedom to switch characters. But this is only fun in the Lego games with replayable levels.
A prime example of a game with replayable levels is Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. Indy fans can have endless fun re-enacting the iconic action sequences from Spielbergs initial trilogy.
In The Original Adventures, the hub is Marshall College, the university where Indy teaches archeology. Theres a map for each movie where players can choose a level to play. Its very simple and self-explanatory.
By contrast, the open-world hub in The Adventure Continues is all over the place. Its too big for its own good, and there are vast stretches of digital land where theres nothing to do. Considering how tight Indy's cinematic adventures tend to be, this hub does not fit the series.
The U.S.P. of the Lego Indiana Jones games or any Indiana Jones game, for that matter is that Indy is a playable character. Hes one of the most recognizable icons in cinema history and a beloved action hero, so translating him into playable form shouldnt be taken lightly.
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From the endless ways to utilize his whip to the way the odds are constantly stacked against him, Indy is characterized perfectly in the Lego games.
Like many Lego games, the Lego Indiana Jones games are filled with puzzles to diversify the gameplay. And like many Lego games, these puzzles become tedious after a while.
Characters with books can open doors by pressing the right tiles with the right hieroglyphs. This Simon-level puzzle is used again and again throughout the games. Puzzles do have a place in anIndiana Jonesgame as Indy uses his brain quite often in the movies. They are just rarely tedious in the latter.
A couple of level-padding detours aside, Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is mostly faithful to the classic trilogy. The familiar stories are followed almost to a T.
The only issue is that the Last Crusade gameplay skips the opening flashback, but that becomes available as a bonus level after the game is complete.
While The Original Adventures mostly stays faithful to the movies, The Adventure Continues tweaks the plots to justify repackaging three movies that were already adapted into Lego game form.
The game takes some massive liberties with rehashing the airtight storytelling of the original trilogy, taking wild detours in relatively minor plot points like Indy and Marion leaving Nepal.
NEXT:Lego Jurassic World: 5 Things It Got Right About The Movies (& 5 Things It Got Wrong)
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