With six sizable hubs to mentally map, navigation becomes a trial rather than a joy. I've found that my son - another huge fan of the series - asks me to take over the joypad far more than usual, as he loses track of where the game wants him to go. It's the first LEGO game where we've felt that attaining 100 per cent completion might be more trouble than it's worth.

It's especially annoying since it's an otherwise-excellent evolution, full of beneficial changes both small and large. Whips, throws and guns can now be aimed by holding down the fire button, eliminating the hit-and-miss targeting which marred previous games.

Vehicles, absent from the first LEGO Indy, are included here with a slightly improved handling model. Nimble and fast, they're actually a lot of fun to swing around the levels that are designed for driving action. They're less successful in some of the later checkpoint races, where scenery snags are fist-clenchingly common, and a more intricate physics model means that some rides tend to topple over at the slightest provocation. That's just for the cars though. With submarines, boats, planes - even camels and elephants - to thrash around the large maps, variety and speed are enough to overcome the still-slightly-wonky handling.

The camera has had a more successful makeover, too, thanks to a long-overdue split-screen element. Wander away from your companion and the screen neatly slices in half at an angle. Move closer and the scenery knits back together once you're in the same frame.

It allows for truly co-operative play, with each player free to pursue different goals to mutual benefit, although the level design never really takes full advantage of this newfound liberation. You'll still be tackling problems close together, but simply knowing that you won't be tugged off-screen by accident makes for a much less fractious experience.

However, our old foe v-sync tearing does make an unwelcome return - though a menu toggle sorts him out. Less easy to forgive are some sporadic gameplay freezes and several noticeable glitches, mostly concerning objective-based characters and vehicles failing to spawn. Tut tut.

Thankfully, outside of the campaign there's a robust attempt at incorporating the key LEGO concept of building into the game. You still hold down a button to build objects in-game, but the LEGO Builder offers a flexible way to construct your own gameworlds, or edit the existing ones, brick by brick.

2
Indy can now trap people in his whip and drag them around. Mutt should probably call ChildLine.

It's easier to use than LittleBigPlanet's rather opaque creative tools, but still perhaps too fiddly for younger fans to grasp its full potential. Using a simple rotary menu system, and broad Sim City-style placement tools, there's a lot of flexibility to be unearthed. Items can be linked to buttons and switches, level goals can be defined, traps and enemies strategically placed.

For those with the patience, it's a powerful little level designer. It's just a shame there's no way of sharing your creations online - the best you can do is put them in a playlist under the Build Your Own Adventure banner and challenge your friends in the flesh.

There's a lot of good, then, but also a lot of not-so-good battling away under the cheery exterior of LEGO Indy 2. It's absolutely enormous for a game many assumed would be a lazy rehash (a full weekend of almost non-stop play gave me just over 50 per cent completion, and not even half the Achievements) but that size often overwhelms the fantastically adept learning curve of previous LEGO titles.

This is a game franchise in transition, and while it's raced ahead in the implementation of new ideas and necessary improvements, it sometimes does so without waiting to see if younger players are keeping up. There's simply too much that is vaguely explained, and too much aimless wandering looking for the next vital objective, and that can't help but drag down the score for a game that, as last time, comes close to being something genuinely special.

In many ways it's the superior game, but many kids will struggle to feel the benefit thanks to the stodgy pacing and slack signposting. Hopefully Harry Potter's turn in the knobbly plastic spotlight in 2010 will iron out the kinks, and deliver the epic LEGO game at which this latest Indy tantalisingly hints.

7 /10

About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Senior Contributor, Eurogamer.net

Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.