Lego Star Wars
lets you go through the major battles and scenes of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, but in a manner that is more light-hearted and more attractive to the younglings than your typical Star Wars
game. With each release of a “Star Wars” movie (since Episode I
that is), Lego has released a series of models that coincide with characters and vehicles from that movie. In this game, you will get to play as or interact with pretty much all of these models in their “natural” environment. The game is broken up into 17 chapters. Episode I
has six chapters, Attack of the Clones
has five, and Revenge of the Sith
has six. There is also an unlockable 18th chapter that will probably be one of the last things you will be able to do in the game since it involves practically mastering all of the other levels.
As you progress through the first three episodes of the “Star Wars” saga, you unlock and play as about 50 different characters. These characters can be broken up into two major groups: Force users (Jedi and Sith) or ranged fighters (like Padme and most droids). But there are also a wide variety of characters that transcend types or belong into a class all their own. The Jedi and Sith are essentially the same; they both wield lightsabers, and with a button press, they can alter or move objects in the level (provided that object is glowing). In fact, the only real difference is that Sith are the only characters that can affect “Dark Objects” like black pots or certain doors. Though the Force users each have their own look when executing their various attacks, for the most part, they all feel the same. Occasionally you run into characters that are more powerful than the other Jedi (like Yoda for example), but there isn’t really enough difference between a lot of them to make one Jedi more useful than another.
The ranged fighters, while not being able to use lightsabers or the Force, can shoot their blasters or (typically) grapple to different levels of the area. These characters seem to have a wider variety and gamers will probably find a lot more reasons to choose one over the rest (depending on your style, that is). Characters like Jango Fett have the added bonus of being able to hover, while droids like the Super Battle Droid or Destroyer Droid are tougher, yet slower.
Characters that don’t fit nicely into either of these groups include Jar Jar Binks (who is a high-jumper for the harder-to-reach items), General Grievous (who can’t use the Force but does have four lightsabers at his disposal), and the dynamic duo R2-D2 and C-3PO (for opening doors and walkways).
You unlock these characters in one of two ways, and both involve completing a chapter in Story mode. During a level, you have at least two characters under your control (one for you and one for the second player). Throughout the level, others may join your party or you can take over any of them at any time simply by facing them and pressing the necessary button. Once you complete the level, any new characters from your party are now unlocked. That’s how you gain access to the “good guys.” You can buy any new bad guys you beat in the level in the hub-world of Dex’s Diner.
Though the other mode, Free Play, doesn’t net you any new people, this is where you get to revisit the level with all of the characters you need to nab all of those hard-to-reach mini-kits, as well as gather enough studs (basically coins) to fill your Jedi Meter. Collecting all of the mini-kits in a level builds one of 17 Lego Star Wars toys. You will get everything from the Bongo to Count Dooku’s ship to the Wookiee CAT. These models are on display outside of Dex’s place. Filling up the Jedi Meter nets you another piece on a much larger SW model. You also use the studs to buy characters and various other goodies from Dex.
Though Lego Star Wars spans the three prequels, it doesn’t really go in-depth with the movies’ stories. If someone isn’t familiar with the movies, I can see them getting confused. But then again, if a person isn’t familiar with the classic space opera at this point, they probably won’t be interested in Lego Star Wars.