LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars is an action adventure for single players, the newest in the family friendly LEGO Star Wars series now successfully appearing on the 3DS system.
LEGO Star Wars 3 The Clone Wars is a continuation of what has turned out to be a surprisingly addictive series of games. The game was developed by Traveler's Tales and released in March of 2011 and marks the fifth installment of the Lego Star Wars series since the games originated in 2005. The Clone Wars has excellent graphics on the 3DS, which are much improved from previous titles on other consoles. Unfortunately, some things haven't translated to the 3DS very well. The puzzles, admittedly designed with children in mind, are even easier than previous games, and the combat start to feel very repetitive. It received mediocre critical reviews from most organizations.
This game certainly makes good use of the 3DS when it comes to graphics. The game is well-lit and has smooth animation sequences (despite being LEGOs). Most critics rated the audio favorably, as well. If you've watched the Star Wars animated series of the Clone Wars, most of the levels will look extremely familiar to you. That's because the settings for missions are taken directly from the show. This area of the game, in essence, is a decent success.
To put it simply, the puzzle aspect of this game wasn't a success at all. Although the puzzles in the LEGO games have always been very simple, LEGO Star Wars 3 takes the ease of solving a step too far by virtually telling you exactly how to do it by using a highlighting feature on the character whose ability needs to be used in that scenario.
Something that has made the other LEGO titles fun, engaging and somewhat addictive has been the level of variation that could be found among the levels and objectives. In the transition to the handheld device, a good amount of that seems to have been lost. The levels, while entertaining, start to feel very similar after playing for a while. The combat is especially difficult to be entertained by after the first few fights, but the stream of enemies never stops. There just seems to be something missing from this game that the others had, and although it doesn't make the game unplayable, it certainly takes some of the fun away.
Reviews for LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars mostly ran mixed to positive. The aggregate scoring organization Metacritic gave rates it 76/100, with notable critics IGN and Gamespot both giving it a 6/10. Console versions were reviewed somewhat more favorably, partially due to the availability of a cooperative mode, but mostly were just put together much better overall.
In totality, if you're thinking of buying this game for yourself and you're over the age of 12, I recommend against it. If you're getting it for a young family member or as part of a collection, go for it. If you're just a fan of the series and want to experience the game, get it on a console. This game simply doesn't quite meet the bar set by the earlier games in the LEGO Star Wars series.