Indiana Jones, with his coiled whip and trademark fedora, has become one of the most universal icons ever created by the American film industry. The series has proven so popular that it has sparked a wide degree of merchandise such as costumes, toys, and even reproductions of that classic headgear that no adventurer should be without.
The story behind LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures takes the players through the storylines of the three Indiana Jones films. Each scenario — "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Temple of Doom," and "The Last Crusade" — follow the plot of Indiana’s cinematic adventures, but in keeping with the E10+ rating, some of the more extreme moments have been altered to blunt the drama or to replace it with a more comedic interpretation of events. Remember the moment in "The Lost Ark" where the Nazi spy got his hand burned? In the game, he accidentally burns his rear when he sits on the heated medallion and bolts outside the bar; it makes the off-screen events a good deal weirder, however. They make for a lively and entertaining experience that may not ring true with the hardcore fans of the series, but will be enjoyable to those who have enjoyed the previous LEGO game adaptations.
Given that is a LEGO game, you would not expect it to be a cutting edge graphical experience but, surprisingly enough, it can compete graphically with any number of cutting edge tech games. When your character walks across a reflective surface, for example, you can see their reflection in the stone or ice. This careful attention to detail to the game’s graphics goes the extra mile in any number of ways; whether you’re dealing with an ancient European castle or an Amazon jungle, the look of the game is by far the most enticing part of the whole tile. You wouldn’t think it would be possible to make a plasticine LEGO figure look animated, but it has been done and quite capably, too.
The game may be easy on the eyes, but what about the audio? There really isn’t any voice acting to speak of, since all the characters talk in a series of random mumblings; it’s a silly system for a game which aims at being a laugh, so it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The minds behind the music, however, aren’t fooling around. The musical score is in many ways taken directly from the three films that provided the inspiration for the game itself. The sound effects add to the cinematic feel of the title; while the game is very much a humorous one, it’s easy to see that were was a lot of attention paid to these segments of the game.
The game can be played with the keyboard or a Games for Windows controller, but it seems that the latter would be the best way to get through the game. Many of the levels require precise movements that the keyboard doesn’t make easy, such as walking up a curving staircase or swinging on a rope across a pit of spikes. It’s not just the need to be precise with the WASD keys that’s the problem: it’s the stationary camera which can make a difficult jump all the harder. In the "Temple of Doom" missions, you need to jump and grab a rope from a 2D perspective. It’s sad when an otherwise worthy game is crippled by bad camera and controls that can’t handle what is being asked of them.
These flaws don’t make LEGO: Indiana Jones a bad games, but just one that requires patience and luck from the player rather than just skill. Despite the gameplay problems, the game boasts a grand total of 60 playable characters and the chance to play through all three movies in a way that is both well-composed and amusing to play. If you have liked the LEGO series and furthermore like "Indiana Jones," you’ll find lots to enjoy about this title. Just don’t forget your hat.