Last year, we got to see a new side of Star Wars games. With the release of Lego Star Wars, fans of both the toys and the universe got to play through the prequel trilogy in a fun and semi-slapstick fashion. Earlier this year, LucasArts announced the imminent release of the sequel, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.
Traveller's Tales once again does a spectacular job of conveying the story of the movies in a comical way that makes sense for a universe made of Legos. One of the biggest additions to the sequel is the ability to build and ride vehicles. Players can throw together AT-STs and landspeeders and they can also jump onto a variety of animal-vehicles like dewbacks and banthas. One of the fun things I saw during the demo was when vehicles were left alone for too long. Not only can enemies jump on the dewbacks and come after you with them, but Jawas seem to have a habit of stealing landspeeders if you don't pay attention to them while walking around Mos Eisley.
The enemy AI also received a revamp and all characters (AI driven or otherwise) have evade maneuvers that will allow them to jump and dodge out of the way if they are being attacked. The new feature really helps with the game's adaptive difficulty. Basically, the game will adjust how hard or easy it is based on your performance in order to make the entire experience just hard enough to be fun and not frustrating.
One of the big draws of the first game was the sheer number of characters that you could unlock and play as. You could be everyone from young Ani to General Grievious to Palpatine or Sidious. The Original Trilogy is no different. This game adds another 50+ characters to your inventory, and with the ability to port your unlocked characters from the previous game into this one -- the number of playables doubles.
Each character also has his or her own special attacks. For instance, Chewie will rip arms off of opponents (as well as shoot his bowcaster), while Emperor Palpatine will throw Force-Lightning from his C-shaped hands. Other abilities depend on things like whose helmet or hat you have on, what type of cape, whose torso you are using, etc.
But wait, that's not all. Along with the 100+ characters from the Star Wars universe, you can play around in the game's Create-A-Character system and combine any of the various body parts from your unlocked characters. Not only does your new character have the strange combinations of looks, but he/she/it also takes on the various special abilities of the parts you used. For instance, if the character has a lightsaber, most likely it will be a force-user. Or if you want to use Force-Lightning, simply pop on the Emperor's head. The amount of combinations when you include the 50 characters from the first game and the 54 from the sequel numbers in the millions.
Gamers familiar with the first game will remember Dex's Diner as the hub world that was your starting point for each episode. In The Original Trilogy, players will get to explore the classic Cantina location from A New Hope.
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy will bring episodes IV, V and VI to your home on the Nintendo DS, GameCube, GBA, PC, PS2 Xbox and PSP September 12th.