Developer: TT Games
Reviewed by: Jordan C.
Lego is not just a toy, it is a way of thinking. It is cubism made physical. It likely has become the phenomenon it is due to its versatility and durability; ie: whatever you can imagine, you can build. In the ‘80s, be it Space, Knight, or City sets, it inevitably became a way to play Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Chips. Then, Lego made the monumental move of getting the Star Wars license and all of a sudden MOCs and customized minifigs weren’t the only way to get Luke and an X-Wing. At this point people pay upwards of $100 for certain coveted Marvel, DC, and Star Wars minifigures!
Everyone knows how well Lego and Star Wars work together in everything from play sets to video games, cartoons to Happy Meals. So, Lego took the formula and developed games and movies for more of their licenses. And that brings us to Lego: The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece adapted by Peter Jackson and then Lego-ized and digitized…sounds awesome already!
Not that Lego is new to the video game market, but their licenses have made them a real player and threat. For all the sword & sorcery RPG games like Zelda and Final Fantasy, Lego: The Lord of the Rings represents a fresh and fun take on a genre that has grown stale. Who doesn’t want to play a minifigure version of Legolas shooting Uruk-Hai into bricks?
This game really takes you through the whole epic journey beginning with the events at Mount Doom that started all this Ring nonsense. After that little prelude you are deposited in The Shire as Frodo and quickly pick up the other Hobbits of the Fellowship. You can play anyone you unlock, and you will have to change characters often to utilize each one’s special skills. A new feature for Lego games is being able to collect and carry an inventory of weapons and other useful items, which really adds to the gameplay. While this is not an out and out RPG, there are obviously many elements of the genre here. The gaming itself very much builds upon game mechanics and puzzles established in the Lego: Star Wars and Lego: Batman franchises. The classic Lego humour is here as well, but this title is a bit darker than their previous games.
If you are already a fan of the Lego games, Lego: The Lord of the Rings is a solid release with a couple new tricks up its sleave. If you are a Lego “licensed property” game virgin, this is a great first as it is the culmination of TT Games’ outstanding work on Lego titles over the last eight years.