Genre: Third-person action/adventure
Format: DVD, digital download
Developer: TT Games
Mac Publisher: Feral Interactive
System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.6, 1.4Ghz Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 7GB hard disk space, 128MB video card, DVD ROM, keyboard
Review Computer: iMac 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM and 2.26GHz
Network Feature: No
Processor Compatibility: Intel only
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Availability: Out now
How much you will enjoy Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars really depends on how much you enjoy, or at the very least can tolerate the cartoon series on which its based. Because as fun as these Lego movie adaptations are, and I’ve played a lot of them, gentle reader, they were all, up to this point, at least based on coherent films: Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and the first three Star Wars films.
Let’s get the guts out of the way: the cartoon is loosely adapted into a series of action sequences and puzzles where movie characters are transformed into Lego minifigs. You run around collecting lego blocks and fighting using weapons and special abilities. Jedi can use the force and slice with their lightsabers, other characters can climb, use blasters, unlock doors, and open new areas for exploration. You can destroy furniture for more lego blocks or to construct ladders and machines to help you along your way. If you’ve played one Lego movie game, you’re familiar with the mechanic and also the major shortcoming: since these games originated as platformers, the controls are kinda clunky when they come over to the PC.
The problem is that unlike Harry Potter or Indiana Jones, the Clone Wars is an incoherent mess of a story, and it translates to the game. The first playable area, which comes after a three minute unskippable cutscene, I might add, takes place in the middle of a gladiatorial area that is overrun with enemies who are blasting you while you try to decipher the puzzles you need to finish the level. You’ll need to switch between characters often (since they have different special abilities), but if you’re playing alone, you and you alone are the target.
The rest of the game is more of the same. Long, really long cutscenes (unskippable) combined with confusing level design that might make sense if you’ve seen the film; if not, you’re going to be running for a walkthrough while you try to figure out what object you’re supposed to attack with what character in order to move on.
Look, if you’ve got a kid who likes (or, God forbid, you like) The Clone Wars, then you might like this game. As it is, I found the usually reliable humor and writing of the Lego games, which take pop culture and turn it into kid-friendly adventure games, starting to wear thin. But then living the action of the latter Star Wars entries feels like less of a good time to me and more like a criminal punishment.