A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While there are clear distinctions between good and evil in the Star Wars universe, this particular game can send a somewhat mixed message in that there are a whole series of missions that allow players to take on the role of villains. In these missions, you will have to shoot and destroy many of the heroic characters you've just been playing as.
Positive Role Models
The amount of loyalty and teamwork on display from the heroic characters here is impressive. The good guys constantly put themselves in harm's way in order to help out or rescue a friend. And they often try to capture a villain, rather than destroy him or her outright.
Ease of Play
The ease of play here may depend on which console you're using. We had no trouble on an Xbox 360 version, but a test of the Wii version showed some confusing discrepancies between onscreen instructions and the buttons you really need to press for some actions.
Violence & Scariness
The game's characters are all depicted as plastic Lego toys, which mitigates the severity of the violence, but the fighting here is much more intense than in previous Lego video games. There are massive battle scenes, during which there appear to be hundreds of combatants onscreen. Laser blasts and fiery explosions are everywhere you look. And it gets loud. Lego characters break apart when killed. During one movie sequence, a hero character loses an arm (he replaces it, but it hangs down, floppy and useless). In another, a good guy is shot in the chest and appears to die, but a Jedi character "heals" him by removing the bullet hole (which turns out to be a decal).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
You see a droid on the toilet as a visual joke.
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Products & Purchases
The game is awash in licensed images from both the Star Wars and Lego brands.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.