Videogame: Lego The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world receives a magical Lego makeover just in time for the release of the first of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.
TT Games, publisher of the various movie-themed Lego games releases, takes on the trilogy in a single volume that will please fans of the movies and books alike.
TT Games earned a name for itself turning major movie franchises into Lego games, most notably by Lego-ifying the six movies and then series such as and . The hallmark of those games - apart from rendering such beloved characters in Lego blocks - has been a truly quirky sense of humour.
But where in the previous games none of the characters talked, and slapstick humour was used to get the laughs across, marks the first time in which Lego characters speak.
Surprisingly, the game developer was able to secure permission to use audio from the three Peter Jackson movies, which should delight fans of the movie trilogy. This is both a blessing and a curse for the game: it lets fans geek out, but mostly prevents the developer from inserting that quirky sense of humour.
For those unfamiliar with Lego games, characters such as Gandalf and Frodo are transformed into charming Lego people travelling around a world made from the instantly recognisable blocks. The game stays faithful to the spirit of the source material and does a fair job of concisely retelling the story in one game.
The game does an excellent job of recreating the major battles and, even when the screen is full of AI enemies and animated objects, there's no issues with the frame rate.
Gamers can look forward to more than 80 characters and a high replay factor; once stages have been completed, going back with different party members will enable the player to discover Lego pieces that unlock hidden treasures and cookies.
The Lego games are always fun, but are getting a bit tired as the game play is exactly the same. Overall, this is a charming game that will appeal to a broad audience and age groups. But if you have played several of the other Lego games you're going to find yourself travelling down a very familiar road.