LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is a toy-based, movie-licensed action game, but with a better pedigree than that description generally implies. The LEGO video games have a big following because they have been consistently high-quality games, and this one is no exception. However, this one is more violent than previous games. There are massive chaotic battles with scores of weapon-wielding warriors onscreen at once; the sheer intensity of it all may be overwhelming for some younger children. In a way, the violence here mimics the darker, more intense fighting and action sequences of the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon series, on which it is based.
What's it about?
LEGO STAR WARS III: THE CLONE WARS presents the plot-lines of many of the episodes from the first two seasons of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series. The Galactic Republic, led by the mystical Jedi Knights, is defending the galaxy from an insurrection by the evil Separatist Army (most of which is made up of robotic droids). Missions occur on varied planets -- deserts, jungles, very urban cities, etc. And some are spaceship battles that take place among the stars. In between missions, there are two huge motherships (one belonging to each side of the war) that can be explored -- along with the battle-filled space in between those two ships.
Is it any good?
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars has a whole lot of good things going for it, and a few flaws that tend to stand out. On the positive side, it has the same witty sense of humor (especially in the cinematic scenes) as its predecessors, along with the same surprise-filled exploration aspect and incredibly enjoyable character-collecting aspect. The hub world (from which you can enter into different episodic missions) is astoundingly vast, with new areas opening up constantly. And the non-linear mission set-up is a nice change of pace for the LEGO games -- you can jump around the story, always having at least three new mission options open to you. While the massive battle scenes are technologically impressive, it sometimes feels too chaotic. You will frequently lose track of your character. And the mission levels are sometimes incredibly long, requiring a half-hour or more to finish. That wouldn't be a bad thing if you were able to save along the way -- but you're not. On the whole, this is still a great game, though, and should please most fans.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the violence in the game. Does this game contain more violence than a game based on a children's show should? Does the fact that the characters are cartoony toys lessen the impact of the violence?
Parents can talk to kids about synergistic marketing. Do kids want to play this game because they like the LEGO Star Wars toys? Does playing the game make them want to buy LEGO toys?