LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
You can't help but admire what Traveller's Tales has achieved with the LEGO series of games. The company could have done what just about everyone else has done with child-friendly IP - pumped out a range of games with no sophistication (kids won't get it!), no wit (kids will laugh at anything!) and crap gameplay (kids don't know good games from bad ones!). Instead, the LEGO titles are gaming equivalents of Pixar movies - funny, vibrant, intelligent, accessible and excellent entertainment for all that also show kids some respect.
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is an enhanced version of what has come before in many ways. Gameplay-wise, Dan Whitehead's original review covers off everything. Graphically speaking, there's a similar improvement in that it's a better-looking game compared to its LEGO Star Wars predecessor. That said, while the art direction is faultless, the engine DNA does not appear to have changed that significantly. It's still 720p with 2x multi-sampling anti-aliasing on Xbox 360, with none at all on PS3 (with 960x1080 resolution kicking in here for 1080i/1080p support). In real terms, the difference is not that dramatic, although LEGO's clean lines are not quite so accurately represented on PS3.
In terms of the raw fundamentals - content and gameplay - the two games are basically like-for-like:
The video's slowed down to 25 percent to ward away excessive macroblocking, but also serves to 'showcase' the one technical annoyance there is with this game - at times, the screen-tear is absolutely abominable, especially noticeable on fast left-right pans (check out the whip-swing shots). LEGO Star Wars had the same issue, of course, but this time, Traveller's Tales has given us the v-lock option seen in the PC versions of the LEGO games.
What sounds like a great idea doesn't work out quite so well - you're not getting 60fps with the occasional dropped frame like Call of Duty 4. Instead, Traveller's Tales has locked the game at 30fps. Yes, the screen-tear is gone, but with it an intrinsic part of the appeal of the LEGO games that goes all the way back to their PS2 genesis. The unmistakable feel of 60fps in terms of response from the controls, the level of immersion, the feeling that you're taking part in some grand CG-generated movie... that's what LEGO is about, and while the most irritating visual artefact of the game is gone, so too is a key element of the game's magic.
So 60fps it is, with all the wobbliness that entails. The sheer amount of it defies analysis, but the issue affects both versions equally, meaning that only the cleaner anti-aliasing of the 360 game gives it any kind of advantage. That being the case, it's an extremely worthy purchase on both systems.
Will you support the Digital Foundry team?
Digital Foundry specialises in technical analysis of gaming hardware and software, using state-of-the-art capture systems and bespoke software to show you how well games and hardware run, visualising precisely what they're capable of. In order to show you what 4K gaming actually looks like we needed to build our own platform to supply high quality 4K video for offline viewing. So we did.
Our videos are multi-gigabyte files and we've chosen a high quality provider to ensure fast downloads. However, that bandwidth isn't free and so we charge a small monthly subscription fee of €5. We think it's a small price to pay for unlimited access to top-tier quality encodes of our content. Thank you.Support Digital Foundry