The latest game from Travellers Tales and Lego; Lego Lord of the Rings takes players on a journey only Lego could do this well, to save Middle Earth. Following the films it’s up to Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin and the rest of the fellowship to take Sauron’s ring of power back to Mount Doom to destroy it and restore peace to Middle Earth.
The game is brilliantly done in true Lego style, I really admire the way Travellers Tales can take limited material and craft levels from it. The Mines of Moria and Weathertop levels are good examples of this. While I agree there is plenty of information available to TT from the films, I think it’s quite another thing to take that brief screen time on a particular part of the story and adapt it into something playable and enjoyable.
A difference in the game that you will notice straight away is gold bricks have been replaced by grey ones (Mithril Bricks). I was puzzled at first with the lack of explanation during the start of the game as to what the bricks where for. However all is revealed when you find the blacksmith! You are able to use said bricks within the blacksmiths and forge yourself an array of weaponry and items to help you during game play, complete tasks and gain access to parts of levels previously blocked off…Hello hidden mini kits! You’ll also notice a change in how split screen gaming is done, while you get the normal Split Screen deal, you’ll also notice on some missions, like the Black Rider, one of you will play one characters part of the mission in one section of the screen while the other player will play as another character, completing a different part of the story. This is built into a few of the missions and I think it works rather well, though I do get distracted watching what the other player is doing. Once you return to single player gaming, rather than the missions running side by side, you’ll do one then the next.
TT have also included side quests, once you meet a mini figure with a quest, you’ll get a clue to where the item is they’d like you to searching for and be rewarded with a Mithril Brick upon your return. I think this was a rather good move, while I’m happy with the gameplay I get for my money, this added to the enjoyment factor of the game, I felt I got extremely good value for my money. Like with Lego Batman 2 : DC Super Heroes, free roam is available. I only had a tiny annoyance and that was with the mini kit chests you collect which looklike they have been recycled from the Lego Indiana Jones game including the ‘True Adventurer’ title you receive on collecting 100% of Lego studs … But I couldn’t think up a better title anyway.
Throughout the game play I felt you received more studs every time you smashed something, this made me happy with the illusion I might be able to buy new characters quicker … it’s the little things in life you know. Talking of little things, Cate Blanchett as a mini fig was the highlight of my gameplay! Other highlights that I thoroughly enjoyed was original film voices being used and a level that included Frodo wearing the ring and you sneaking around to avoid Boromir and ringwraiths.
There are two versions of Lego: Lord of the Rings available for you to buy, the standard edition at £37.99 and the Collector’s Edition at £39.99 which features a Elrond exclusive Lego figure, and if you purchase the Playstation 3 version you will receive a Character Bonus pack you can download.
Once again Lego and Travellers Tales have pulled out something amazing out of the bag, I think they will continue to do this for many Lego games to come, and I’ll carry on buying them. There’s so many films out there TT can turn into Lego games, I’m excited to see what’s next!
Let me know if you have played any of the games and what you think to them so far.