Reviews

Bionicle Heroes

Lego Star Wars without Star Wars anyone? No?

Bionicle Heroes will inevitably be compared to Lego Star Wars 2, and then almost immediately forgotten in light of its older sibling. And it's only got itself to blame. Bionicle Heroes has ripped out the core ingredients of LSW2, incorporated them into its own (and admittedly different) gaming mechanic and, in the odd area, improved on them - but let the side down in others.

Aimed squarely at kids, the story is of two factions of roboty-Lego beings fighting it out for the control of the island. You take control of a Toa Inika, a good robot fighting the nasty Piraka. After roughly 30 seconds of play though, you'll realise we're using the word 'control' is used in an extremely liberal context indeed.

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In dealing with the decision to take a more action-based approach, Traveller's Tales have put a fixed camera angle behind your character and slightly to the right, Resi 4-style. However, your chap takes up a third of the screen, severely handicapping your visibility while your control over the movement of the camera itself is shakier than Shakin' Stevens enjoying a milkshake.

STRAFE HAVEN
Never mind that, though - the real bombshell is the revelation that you are unable to strafe. Aimed at younger gamers or not, in a third-person shooter this is simply unforgivable. How Traveller's Tales have overlooked this is beyond belief, and almost destroys game from the get-go, as fights simply turn into a case of hoping to be able to endure more damage than your opponents can. On the plus side, it looks good and the screen is often full of colour, as enemy laser bolts fly at you and you blow everything up, including flowers that can be force-pushed out of the ground.

Yes, that's right, those crazy flowers and force powers have somehow made an appearance. Force powers are made possible by collecting different masks, which also give you different weapons to use and upgrade. There are masses of collectibles and characters to collect and... does this ring any bells?

Aside from the change in camera angle and game license, Bionicle Heroes is essentially a less charming LSW2 - with fewer puzzles and more action. So, if Star Wars isn't your bag and you're a Lego playing war fanatic, this might be just up your alley. The rest of us will stick to Lego Star Wars 2, though.

The verdict

Ideal for youngsters old enough to shoot things but too young for blood and guts. Fun, but flawed

  • Lego carnage on a large scale
  • Loads of collectibles
  • A bonkers camera
6.2
Format
PlayStation 2
Developer
Argonaut
Publisher
EA Games
Genre
Platformer

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