You're doubtless just dying to know, so we'll put you out of your misery right now. Yes, the gophers are in LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. How could the videogame version of the most recent filmic Jones outing, The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, not include the furry little critters, arguably the most divisive moment in last year's highly divisive movie. But what else is new in another game featuring a LEGO-ised archaeology professor and playful skits on the much-loved (well, that's about 75 per cent true) movies, the second in as many years? And, you'd be entitled to think, why on Earth should I shell out for another LEGO Indiana Jones game?
Well, it's almost all new, with new scenes from the first three movies and a whole new campaign taking on the The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. We know you've been aching for the more muted '50s-set Indy in LEGO form, so here it is. And, just as on the silver screen, some of the Crystal Skull parts can be counted among the weakest in the game. Through no fault of their own, we hasten to add, but simply because the source material wasn't quite up to snuff in the first place. So one of the earliest levels focuses on Indy and Mac in that cavernous warehouse, and you know what warehouses mean. Boxes, boxes, crates and boxes. Great, a level set entirely in an Argos stockroom.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 is skating on doubly thin ice here, because not only is this early level a dour and uninspiring opener, it also swings the searchlight onto the game's major flaw. Being set among boxes, this area is full of edges and straight lines. Consequently there's plenty of opportunity for jumping off ledges and across gaps. There's one part, towards the end of the initial section, where you must leap across the gaps in a high walkway to reach a Molotov-tossing Soviet. Unfortunately you still can't adjust the camera to any useful degree, a factor not helped by Jones and sidekick Mac's comedy LEGO waddle. Therefore we were blown up several times simply because it was difficult not to misjudge when to jump. A little bit more freedom would certainly help smooth this kink out.
Leap Of Blind Faith
As ever, there's much merriment to be had from the cut-scenes and each hub level is enormous. You can swim lakes and fly planes, and generally lose yourself for some time, even ignoring the main levels if you want. You can explore cooperatively in greater depth too. Cleverly, the screen splits when you stray too far apart, letting you get on with your wandering.
If it seems we've spent a long time talking about LEGO Indy 2's flaws, it's because the game is so similar to the first, save for different levels. The quality is still relatively high overall and there's an excellent level editor, even if the dodgy camera and samey design stand out. It remains a fun, affectionate homage to an awesome series of films - gophers and all.