Check these Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy screens out, delivered to us by brave Bothan spies. What a pretty little collection they are. From Lando Calrissian kicking some Stormtrooper arse (they fall to pieces when they die), to massive great AT-ATs stomping all over downed Snowspeeders, The Empire Strikes Back section of the new Lego game looks very good indeed. And we have even been bowled over by the Jedi screens as well, proof that the game doesn't have to follow the movie (even though the Ewoks are conspicuous by their absence).
New info about the use of ships and creatures is starting to come to light too. We knew the ships would be 'off rails' this time around, and we knew you could build your own craft then store them in an intergalactic garage, but this is shaping up to be much more GTA-esque than before. If your ship becomes damaged, it won't be a case of "stay on target, stay on target...", because you can just bail out. And once you've ditched your 'ride', you can leap into a spare one mid-mission - or just take someone else's if you see one you like - without interrupting the flow of the game. So, if you find your Landspeeder running low on juice, just nab yourself a Dewback or wandering Bantha - easy. Just watch out for the Sand People, though.
New character traits and attacks are being leaked all the time too. As well as the likes of Chewie's limb-rip and Leia's slap attack, other members of the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi cast are flexing their pecs. Lando will have a deft little roundhouse kick (it impresses the ladies of Cloud City, apparently), while Boba Fett comes equipped with a nasty looking pulse blaster, and Ben gets more than one chance to whip out his trusty lightsaber. We even hear Salacious Crumb will be included with his nasty 'eye-chewing' move too, so let's hope C-3PO will have a good enough counter-attack.
Beyond this, though, what's impressed us most is the sheer scale of the game. A considerable amount of the action in Empire comes from Han trying to outrun the Imperials on his tail, and when you look at the scale of his Millennium Falcon compared to the massive Star Destroyer, it's clear just how much effort Traveller's Tales has put into recreating everything down to a tee (in Lego).
Of course, how you play with the creative blocks Traveller's Tales is providing is entirely up to you. There's a story arc to follow, but how you go about saving the galaxy is your call - we found out recently that there's nothing to stop you trying to convert Darth Maul to the Light Side then have him take a TIE Fighter and ram it into the Death Star. Likewise, you can have Luke turn to the Dark Side and really screw up that whole 'continuity' thing, although we're not sure how the game will pan out if he's suddenly shooting down his own team. Can't wait to find out, though!
Although Return of the Jedi is widely regarded as the weakest film in the original trilogy, because of the way Traveller's Tales has developed the game it could, oddly, make the most enjoyable game to play. Jedi was the most comic of the three films too, so it should lend itself perfectly to the game. We've already seen clips of Han stumbling about dressed as a Stormtrooper and Leia being forced to do a sexy 'hologram dance' before anyone will listen to her demands, so the likes of Jabba, the Ewoks and the Rancor are ripe for the picking. Just check out the big brute - he almost deserves a cuddle.
We also learned this month that, depending on how well you play, the game will change accordingly and adapt to your style. If you're struggling it'll lay off a bit, but if you're lightsabering enemies all over the shop, by the time you get to Return of the Jedi the game will have learned you mean business and will turn up the heat big-time. If you thought you could complete it without ever setting eyes on an Ewok, think again, because by that late stage in the game, you'll need all the help you can get.