Previews

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Go block to the future as Lego Star Wars unsheathes its Trilogy lightsaber

LSW2 is geared towards hardcore movie fans and a younger audience.Tongue-in-cheek humour is everywhere - Stormtroopers stumble around confused after a quick Obi-Wan hand-flick twists their helmets back to front, while a loud comical 'pop' noise accompanies arms being ripped out of sockets by an angry Wookie. Even the cutscenes send up their source material - the Empire's plan to destroy Leia's homeworld is held up by sleeping Imperial Soldiers!

Puzzles pepper the sporadic combat sections, but these can always be solved by choosing the best team member for the job. Stuck in an apparent dead-end, we use Obi-Wan's force powers to dislodge a stairwell and rebuild it as a platform to an overhead door switch. A quick press of Y and we take control of C3PO, climb up and activate the doorway - allowing us to escape from the advancing Stormtroopers.

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As the game progresses, the composition of your team changes, depending on the story arc, but each character's main abilities will stay the same. Jedi's powers allow them to lift, throw and destroy inanimate objects. In addition to this, the Sith can also manipulate some animated objects. Blaster characters, such as Han Solo and Chewbacca, can use grapple hooks to reach higher platforms, while the Droids can open doors and operate machinery. Even Leia's got a character-specific face slap which is brilliantly funny to pull off.

As it stands, the game effortlessly carries off the hilarious ethic of building one of the most recognisable cinematic adventures in tiny plastic block form. The most laughs are to be had in Free Play mode though, in which you can replay completed levels with any of the characters you've managed to unlock or buy throughout the game - and mix and match the different pieces of each to create your own custom character. It was strange fighting our way to the Millennium Falcon with a transvestite Boba Fett, decked out in Leia's golden bikini and the Emperor's black cloak. That our adventurous colleague decided to run through the level as a Wampa only added to the madness. Swapping heads and costumes between characters can create hilarious results. It's almost a new game in itself, and however strange your character looks, they accurately appear in all the cutscenes too!

Unlocking hidden or bonus characters through trading the Lego Studs dotted around playable levels, is also being touted as more than a standard 'collect them all' sub-game as certain areas of each level can only be accessed by using a specific character. While the only character trading instances we experienced seemed fairly basic, it gives the game extra replay value, even though it may make levels seem bigger than they are.

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LucasArts promise even bigger levels and more exploration than in the prequel, as the game is split evenly between the three original films. For all its nostalgic trappings, the big question is whether fans of the first game will part with £50 to do the Trench run again.

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