I didn't know why this was so popular until I saw one of the videos. Looks like I'll be buying this on Sept 12th (Europe release is Sept 28th).IGNLEGO Star Wars II: Episode IV Revisited
We haven't seen it all yet. Here's how the latest build stacks up.
by Jeremy Dunham
August 8, 2006 - I'm actually a bit surprised that I can still find something to talk about regarding LucasArts' forthcoming LEGO Star Wars II. Having seen the game just prior to E3, at E3, right after E3 and during a company event held afterwards, I honestly didn't think that I'd be able to elaborate on Episode IV any more than I already have. But I suppose that's the beauty of sitting down and actually playing through a "content complete" version of the game in preparation for its September release -- I get to discover things I didn't even know were there before.
Take, for instance, the fact that the stages are much, much bigger than those of the first game. Sure we've been told before that this installment would be bigger, but LucasArts really wasn't kidding -- LEGO II is absolutely huge. The first level alone is roughly 30 to 40 minutes in length and that's independent of any extra "bonus" freeplay explorations you can do later. Speaking of the first chapter, it begins with the gun battle on the Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner. As Princess Leia and Captain Antilles, players will have to make their way from one end of the ship to another so that they can get the plans to R2 before he blasts off towards Tatooine. Along the way, expect to see all sorts of familiar sights: from the stormtrooper invasion at the beginning of the film to Darth Vader's one-handed choke and the inevitable droid escape... it's all here. And better yet, it's here with humor.
Chapters 2 and 3 follow Luke's pursuit of the Droids after they've been re-kidnapped by Jawas (yes, that's new) and his eventual meeting with Obi-Wan while battling the Sand People. After that, it's Han and Chewie time, as the pair fights their way to the Millennium Falcon from the Cantina battle with Greedo. What's truly appealing about all of these sections is that Traveller's Tales has done a good job of mixing things up from one style to another. Vehicular construction, block-push puzzle-solving, and straight-up blaster battles are interspersed with regularity to keep things fresh. What's more, these next two chapters are even bigger than the first one with absolutely enormous stages to investigate and traverse.
Another new tidbit is that there are a number of new collectibles to track down and uncover. Not only are the Model Kit pieces from the first game back in full force, but now there are power bricks, gold bricks, and other hidden goodies spread out amongst the stages as well. There's an absolute Poodoo-ton of items to be hoarded here, and players can even find little bonus areas that double their stud values, provide new wearable accessories, and uncover additional comedy cutscenes. Just like its LEGO prequel, The Original Trilogy oozes content and personality.
Lucky for us, we obtained just about every imaginable version for playtest purposes. PS2, Xbox 360, Xbox, PSP -- you name it. Of all the builds, the 360 and PS2 versions seems to be the farthest along and other than the visuals appear to be identical in every way (though we still have a long way to go). The only thing I'm still unsure of is how the "Adaptive AI" will work out by the time I reach the end of the game. So far, it's been difficult to tell if it's been getting harder or easier, which makes me wonder if this feature really works or if it just hasn't been implemented yet.
To see portions of the game for yourself, click on our video page below tomrrow to check our intern Micah trying his best to be a warrior of the force. Then, be sure to visit us again next week for another update.