Review: Lego Star Wars 3 – the Clone Wars (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

When I heard about the release of Lego Star Wars 3, I was excited because I have been a huge fan of this franchise and its siblings in the arena – Indiana Jones, Batman and Harry Potter – until now.

Where should I begin with the wrongness of it all? The most obvious difference between this Lego game and previous is the design. Almost instantly you notice the characters and environments are just too good – Lego is charming because it looks like Lego, not because it looks like all the other similar games. The Clone Wars version is too polished, it’s overdesigned and the playable characters sport too much detail. An odd criticism, but fans of the series will know what I’m talking about.

Then there is the gameplay. From the first level it’s inconsistent and hard to follow. An arena full of Republic robots – and there are hundreds of them – attack you in an unending procession, milling about firing randomly, without what seems to be any purpose. All this while you try and figure out what it is you’re supposed to do. That’s a theme throughout the game, play a level and more than once you’ll be looking about and thinking “well now what?” and cursing in frustration.

Other interactions are equally frustrating; jumping into ships can be a haphazard affair of climbing all over the unit until you find the sweet spot where you can hop in. Fighting is similar; in giant battles a light saber slam move will explode multiple enemies, however when you are one-on-one the move doesn’t work. Just to add to the inconsistency of it all, you can swing wildly at the robots, miss them by an obvious margin and they fall apart. It’s crazy. Sure, after a while you get used to it, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

On the positive side, It’s bright and colourful and it progresses the story through the Clone Wars plotlines as per the cartoon series, a must for fans of the Star Wars universe or small children who aren’t as discerning about the quality of the game.

If you can persevere with it there will be days to weeks of solid gameplay – but ultimately this latest edition will make me think twice when a new game debuts in the franchise.

Pros: Loads of options, long gameplay, good for fans, kids will like it.
Cons: Less charming, erratic controls, unclear task management.

2 Shack out of 5