LEGO Indiana Jones

Key events

X360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 12

Digital FoundryX360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 12

Quake Wars, GRID, LEGO Indy Jones, Overlord, Euro 2008.

It's that time again. Eurogamer's ongoing coverage of the latest developments in cross-platform gaming continues apace, as five brand new releases are put to the sword. The aim here is simple: to supplement existing review coverage with additional commentary based on any technical and gameplay differences we might happen to find. An exhaustive range of HD screenshots supplement the piece, derived from HD video of each game. Where 1080p is supported (either natively or via scaling), additional galleries are included - so that'll be just one this time, in the form of LEGO Indiana Jones.

As readers of the epoch-making Grand Theft Auto IV Ultra Face-Off will know, we've recently added video to our comparison analyses; the difference being that it's video that actually works, based on an ultra-quality workflow. Each game is captured at lossless 24-bit precision from the HDMI ports of the respective consoles using the now obligatory Digital Foundry TrueHD capture kit, ensuring that literally every piece of video information sent from the source at our mercy, to do with as we will.

From there, we're free to extract shots from the streams and create videos (maintaining the lossless workflow) before exporting them to ultra-high quality h.264, nicely streamable courtesy of Eurogamer TV. The action is slowed down to 50 or 25 percent for two reasons. Firstly, slower movement allows for precision video playback. Secondly, it's the only way to make sure that the entire 60fps stream is viewable. Plus of course, actually seeing the differences is a hell of a lot easier.

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Some combination of Activision, LucasArts, Traveller's Tales and Microsoft have plonked a demo of LEGO Indiana Jones on Xbox Live Marketplace.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

The words "game design" tend to get bandied about rather a lot, but usually when people talk about game design what they actually mean is level design. While there's certainly an art to crafting a level in such a way that players are challenged, encouraged and thrilled in an agreeable ratio, the skill that goes into creating the overall experience outside of the actual gameplay is less understood. I'm talking about overall structure, pace and reward - that arcane art of understanding the audience, delivering the right encouragement at just the right time and still managing to offer up delights and surprises along the way.

These are qualities that the LEGO Star Wars games have in abundance. Yes, they're cute and funny and amusing to play, but in terms of general construction they're also some of the best-designed kid's games since...well, since forever. They're that good. The drop-in multiplayer. The ability to go back and replay any level at any time. The myriad quirky details buried in every corner. You only have to watch children playing the games, excitedly discovering all the little nooks and crannies, to realise that Traveller's Tales went to extraordinary lengths to create a game that was accessible to the youngest newcomer and yet still offered fresh thrills and rewards once their skill had matured. That, you see, is true game design at work.

All of which acts as both a blessing and a curse for LEGO Indiana Jones. It has a tried and trusted gameplay system to build on (no pun intended, honest) but it also has a lot of expectation to live up to. The good news is that the gameplay is both comfortingly familiar and suitably evolved. The Indiana Jones movies are rather light on aliens, robots and magic space monks so the template of using certain character types to access specific areas has had to change, and it's a change for the better. Indy's all-human cast now enjoys a more democratic gameplay design, with the most common abilities available to all - provided you can find the right tool for the job. You can now pick up a shovel, or a spanner, or even a weapon and keep it with you as you explore. Pistols, machineguns and bazookas can be swiped from enemies and tucked away for later. Swords and spears can be wielded in combat, or thrown to cut important ropes or chains. There are still some elements that are restricted - the handful of women can jump higher than blokes and you still need an enemy uniform to open certain areas - but for the most part progress is now dictated by items rather than characters.

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LEGO Indiana Jones

Can you dig it?

Back when the first LEGO Star Wars game came out, it felt like a breath of fresh air. It was unpretentious, unapologetically silly and packed with the sort of well-rounded platforming gameplay that, Mario aside, seems to have died out in the current generation of consoles. The sequel followed, applying the same approach to the classic Star Wars movies, and then The Complete Trilogy smushed both games together with a generous side order of new bonus content.

Belloq from Indiana Jones

Talks LEGO, snakes and the price of fame.

It's been 27 years since the first Indiana Jones film hit cinemas. Yes, you are that old. Ever wonder what the original cast members are up to these days? Well, Harrison Ford has been cracking his whip and knocking back cod liver oil to reprise his role for the new movie, of course. John Rhys-Davies starred in the Lord of the Rings films, Karen Allen makes jumpers for a living and Denholm Elliott is dead.

No LEGO Indy demo for UK Indy DVDs

Lucasfilm says there's one for Region 1.

Paramount and Lucasfilm are reportedly set to include a LEGO Indiana Jones demo with upcoming special edition Region 1 DVD releases of the Indiana Jones films.

Lara and friends on GfW label

MS promises big 2008 on PC.

Although their existence won't come as a surprise to anyone, Microsoft has announced the names of a few upcoming games that have found their way into the Games for Windows line-up.

Warner Bros. buys TT Games

LEGO titles unharmed.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is shelling out piles of money to acquire developer Traveller's Tales and its parent company TT Games, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Lego Indy Jones announced

Lego Indy Jones announced

We called the game Indiana.

Following widespread success with Lego Star Wars, Traveller's Tales is hard at work on Lego Indiana Jones, due out on consoles in 2008. We wouldn't be surprised to see it on PC and handhelds, either - the official website currently lists platforms as "TBA".

Announced at Comic-Con in San Diego, the new title will parody Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It doesn't sound like it will touch on the new Indiana Jones film, probably because making fun of old people is wrong.

Publisher LucasArts told Comic-Con that the Lego Indy game would boast the same quirky sense of humour, largely thanks to having the same team as the Star Wars games behind it, while TT director Tom Stone also sounds keen. "Indy also presents us with wonderful and memorable cinematic moments," he said. "The boulder scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark [done] in Lego is hilarious!"

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