It's almost as if there was another Force-filled movie on the way, such is the palpable sense of growing excitement surrounding LEGO Star Wars II. It makes the first game - which unexpectedly sold like molten hot cakes - now feel as though it was designed purely as an appetiser to the main course of proper, original trilogy stuff.
LucasArts, realising just how big a game this could be, snatched the rights to the game back from original publisher Eidos, and playing through an early version of the game we reckon it was a sound decision. Concentrating purely on the levels based on Episode IV: A New Hope (or plain old Star Wars to us) it's clear Traveller's Tales has produced a whole new take on the GREATEST FILM EVER, with all the stand-out moments of the flick given the same cheeky treatment that was used to such great effect in the first LEGO Star Wars game.
Watching the cut-scenes is almost as big a thrill as playing the game. The trilogy's seminal opening scene of Princess Leia's Blockade Runner Tantive IV rolling across the screen followed by Darth Vader's city sized Star Destroyer is faithfully recreated, and seeing Vader and his Stormtroopers boarding the Rebel Ship exactly as they do in the film is - well, you don't need us to tell you how cool that is.
But it's the gameplay where the most fun is to be had. Every main character moves in a Recognizable way, so Han Solo's casual arrogance is nailed, as is Threepio's camp dithering; much of the enjoyment will come from discovering just how your favourite characters look and act as two-inch-tall blocks of coloured plastic. Then there's the joy of playing through levels like the Death Star trench run, the escape from the trash compactor, the set-to in the Mos Eisley Cantina and more. To top it all off you'll be able to build your own ship and take it into battle once you've completed the game. We're bricking ourselves in anticipation.
Shaping up to be a fine blend of humour, homage and cracking gameplay, LEGO Star Wars II's September release can't come soon enough for us.