As posted on Game Console.
Classification: PG – parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.
Platform: PC, 3DS, DS, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360
Though you may think the Lego games are going stale, it really is a series that just keeps on growing stronger. The six Star Wars films have already been covered in the previous two games. So "what is left?" I hear you ask. Why more Star Wars? Why not another franchise? But there is more galaxy exploration to be had; you might have forgotten about the animated spin-off film, and television series The Clone Wars.
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars consists of episodes. In past Lego games, you had to enter doorways for each episode. Now it’s a lot more streamlined, as level selection is simply facilitated by accessing your spaceship’s terminal. You can access the episodes, each with their own story arc, and you can choose them in any order. One story arc is about facing off against General Grievous, while another is about sorting out the Asajj Ventress. Speaking of Ventress, the Lego-styled characters and cut scenes are as cute and funny as always, though they probably make more sense if you’re familiar with The Clone Wars’ lore.
Levels vary from simple platforming through to steering spaceship, or operating ground-based vehicles. The levels often blend into each other, requiring you to land a spaceship, destroy a few battle droids, activate a switch, and take off again – all without loading screens.
The game’s combat is, again, rather simple, combined with jumping, and individual character abilities. Lightsabers are not as exciting as you would think, but there are the odd instances where a context move comes into play. Mostly, you’ll just sit back and, say, watch Yoda rip open a tank, or watch another Jedi bending the environment with the Force, but it does look very cinematic.
Lego Harry Potter had more physics puzzles, where as in The Clone Wars I mostly ran into puzzles requiring you to lift up a plug and stick it into a nearby socket. However, using the Force is still mighty fun. You can lift up droids and Lego bits, carting them across the screen. My favourite Force moment involves throwing R2D2 into a chasm below, hearing his trademark robotic squeal. Cue the authentic Star Wars sound effects and music, and you have the full experience.
My one gripe with the game is that sometimes your goals are not clear. Many times I would find myself stuck in an area not sure how to proceed. The help text (if there was any) was, at best, minimal. There was not much else to do but give up and quit, my save progress lost in the process. I can only imagine the frustration of young children.
Co-op works fantastically and, of course, is the way the game was meant to be played. Not confined to the same screen like some of the older Lego games, you have a dynamic camera that creates a splitscreen as you move further apart from your buddy. Or you can choose a fixed horizontal or vertical splitscreen.
Co-op multiplayer was a given; what surprised me was the inclusion of a multiplayer versus mode. The same type of gameplay is also scattered throughout the Story missions. You need to take down your opponent’s defences while building up your own. With bases and resources, it is almost like an RTS. Defence systems cost Lego bits, and to get around the large maps you will need to get your mitts (or C-shaped Lego hands) on land vehicles. Having some serious firepower will not hurt either.
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is a great addition to the Lego franchise. Chock-a-block full of collectables, I can see myself repeatedly returning to this game. The new ground-based warfare is a welcome change, and the game as a whole is just good clean fun. The reputation of the Lego games continues to thrive for the time being.
Lasting Appeal: 8/10