LEGO The Hobbit on the PS3 will see players set out with brave Bilbo Baggins and a merry band of Dwarves in an adventure inspired by the films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Play as your favourite characters including Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin, each with their own special – and often hilarious – abilities. Explore locations such as Bag End and Rivendell – faithfully recreated in LEGO style – and collect items to build new structures to outwit the orcs, trolls and goblins that lurk around every corner.
In a licensed movie game on a console there lived a LEGO The Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty licensed movie game, filled with the ends of CEOs who want to make money, nor yet a dry, bare effort with nothing in it to sink one's teeth into: it was a hobbit game, and that means comfort.
It had perfectly round and rotund LEGO figures cavorting around the first two Hobbit movie adaptations by Peter Jackson, coming to a stop near the exact middle. The game opened on to a tube-shaped hall of chambers and environments: a very comfortable action game, with puzzles based on destroying and building with LEGO pieces, and snickering, jokey cut scenes that riff on the movies, provided with polished mechanics from earlier LEGO games, and lots and lots of pegs and bricks to bash for the game's currency. The game wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of adventures in the Dwarven halls, The Shire, to the Misty Mountains and under hill, and out from an inspired LEGO puzzle building battle with Gollum. Many little round adventures opened out of the second movie, first in vast Mirkwood forest fights with spiders and then on to another town on the lake and in the mountain with fire-breathing Smaug himself.
No going superior serious for LEGO The Hobbit: dwarves, orcs, elves, creepy crawlies (lots of these) are juxtaposed with laundry machines, giant sharks, heart boxers, rhythm games, all in the same game, and indeed on the same LEGO tradition. The best parts were all on the side of following instructions to build sets, or cooperating with the many dwarf characters to craft and solve puzzles, for these were the only things to set it apart from other LEGO games, though not deep-set differences looking over a garden of individuality, it is enough to say it slopes down to a distinct game.
This Hobbit game was a very well-to-do idea, and it's due to LEGO. LEGO had lived in the neighborhood of licensed movies for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because the games were rich with humor and color, but also because the adventures adhered to the idea of the video game spinoff of the movie as something of a joke and didn't take themselves too seriously or do anything unexpected. You could tell what a LEGO game would do on any one game mechanic without the bother of asking him. This is a story of how a LEGO game turned a rather serious adaptation into something more the tone of the original lighthearted adventure for children. LEGO may have lost the neighbors’ respect for doing it before the final movie, thus ending on a cliff-hanger with the promise of a downloadable expansion to wrap it up, but it gained -- well, you will see how it's like potato chips and french fries compared to the hearty soul food of the book, but nevertheless more pleasant to digest than a pretentious call to video game dignity.
The mother of our particular LEGO The Hobbit is a Dynasty Warriors-style game. I suppose these mammoth battlefield action games need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big Games, as they call competitors like Assassin's Creed or Shadow of Mordor. They are (or were) little action games, with about half the depth of a good combo system, and larger, more vast areas to explore. Warrior-style action games have no pretension toward beardy RPG style depth. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday hacking and slashing which helps them to build pleasant levels around barreling through large swaths of enemies. They are inclined to be fat in the lengthening of their campaigns, and can get a little dreary if play sessions stretch on too long.
Nevertheless, LEGO The Hobbit dresses in bright colors (chiefly humor and whimsy) and wears no pretensions, because its amusing qualities grow naturally in the cockles of your heart. The fact remains that the Silly Licensed Game is not as respected as the Serious Adaptation, though this one is undoubtedly richer (and better with a friend).