Traveller’s Tales is back again with yet another LEGO based title, though this time they’re tackling the realms of Middle Earth with LEGO The Hobbit.
So how does the latest entry fare when stacked up against previous efforts? Not too badly, not too badly at all.
As you would expect, the game revolves around the events of The Hobbit trilogy of films, or two thirds of it at least…
Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the movies, there’s enough here to keep any veteran LEGO gamer entertained. LEGO The Hobbit guides you through the first two films, putting you in the hairy toes of Hobbits, the whipping capes of Wizards and the haggard beards of Dwarves, along with the rest of them. Whilst the movies are typically quite serious, LEGO The Hobbit manages to inject some classic LEGO trademark humour to lighten the mood. The story is told through the gameplay as well as the cutscenes that feature the actual voices of the actual characters as the audio has been taken from the movies and inserted into the game. It makes it much easier to understand the story if you aren’t too familiar with the source material.
There’s a few new additions to the gameplay, crafting being the top billed feature. It’s not especially difficult and in all honesty, it’s a bit tedious. At certain times during your adventure you’ll have to craft items to get past certain points, the first time you come across a crafting point, it seems like a pretty cool addition, after that it just becomes a bit of a chore.
There’s a fair amount to do and see after you’ve finished the main game. You can grab a buddy and go back through the story in co-op mode which is a much better way to enjoy LEGO The Hobbit as sometimes the AI can be a brick shy of retarded. As well as co-op there’s the side quests scattered around the open-world area of Middle Earth that you are free to explore. These serve no use other than to fill the gap, but they are a welcome addition for those who love to collect everything that they can, and it is essential if you’re going for all the Trophies.
Graphically the game holds it’s own. Though it is a LEGO game and they’ve never been lauded for their outstanding visual prowess, the game does perform admirably with characters moving as you would expect little LEGO people to move, the environments are full of life and detail making it just that little bit better.
Though it’s a solid game, it’s not without its shortcomings. Traveller’s Tales have been crafting these LEGO games for almost ten years now, you’d have thought that in that time they would have nailed down the camera issues. Each LEGO game has had issues with the camera, LEGO The Hobbit is no different. I can attribute 90% of my in-game deaths due to the dodgy camera and its inability to move in the way I needed it too, leading to some frustrating deaths during the platforming sections.
As well as the camera issues, there’s the characters, not the lack of and not the abundance of, but more their appearance. So many of them look alike that it makes switching between characters a pain in the neck, though this is more a personal issue than one that affects the overall game experience.
One issue that is worth bringing up is the fact that the game is only two of the three movies. How will we play the last chapter in the trilogy? Will it be released as DLC or will we be subjected to a full priced release, akin to LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues.
It’s the same game we’ve been playing for the past decade, just with a different lick of paint and a few new features every other release. Sounds like another long-running franchise… Except in the case of the LEGO titles, it’s not a bad thing. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The gameplay is tight, the graphics are glossy and the replay value is high. What more could one want?
How was your trip around Middle Earth? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Or did it leave you wanting more? Let us know down in the comments section below.
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