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by Warner Home Video Games
Release Date: 11/15/2013

Description

At the end of the day what we wanted out of 'Lego The Hobbit' on the PlayStation 4 was quickly delivered to us. We can't help but suggest it to fans of the LEGO franchise or 'Hobbit' franchise.

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Posted:
2015-03-17

Dave_Finnigan

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

'LEGO The Hobbit' on the PlayStation 4 is an action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tale and published by Warner Bros. Interactive.

The 'LEGO' series of video games has brought immense joy to just about every single person that has come across them, young or old. The franchise, which was developed by Traveller's Tales and MGM Interactive, got its start almost a decade ago back on the Xbox 360. Now numerous cinematic franchises are being adapted and the most recent of them is 'The Hobbit'. Published by Warner Bros, 'Lego The Hobbit' is meant to give the breathtaking story new life to a whole generation of gamers. Its release coincided essentially with the cinematic schedule and because of this our level of immersion was as high as it has ever been for a LEGO video game. We got our hands on the PS4 version of 'Lego The Hobbit' in order to give it its fair shake. We were anything but disappointed.

A game meant for its hardware.

The LEGO series has never been one to push the limits of the hardware that houses it. Always content to be quirky and engaging (and there's nothing wrong with that), the games never were confused with titles that tried to push the boundaries. For the PS4 it seems like the team at LEGO wanted to make a difference with 'The Hobbit'. It's the first game in the long line of releases that actually utilizes its hardware to the max. The visuals in this release look almost entirely different form the last gen release and audiences are rewarded for this fact.

What are you getting from this game?

When 'Lego The Hobbit' released the cinematic franchise had only released 2/3rds of the planned trilogy. As such the story stops where the second movie finishes off, but that doesn't mean you get shortchanged. Instead the team at Traveller's Tales packed in a whomping Hobbit-load of action and adventure for its loyal consumers, both young and old.

The story follows the tale that Peter Jackson adapted from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The main character in the game is an affable Hobbit by the name of Bilbo. Bilbo is conscripted into a great adventure by the wise old wizard, Gandalf. Soon his home is overflowing with colorful and comical dwarves and this eventually leads to the group setting off for the Lonely Mountain. There is nothing incredibly new here for old time fans of the story but it is still nice to see rendered in yet another universe.

Seeing as the game only covers the first two films you won't get to see some of the most epic pieces of the adventure, but you will still see so many iconic moments that you won't have a problem anyways. Along your journey you will run into mysterious Elves, giant comical trolls, and even a dragon by the name of Smaug. There are barrel scenes, epic battles with the Goblin King, and so much more ahead of you.

The tried and true formula of the LEGO games has always been to place you into the world and have you bash your way through it with a friend by your side. That gameplay element is still largely in tact, even though you are now in Middle Earth. You get to play as Bilbo, Gandalf, or any of the dwarves that tag along in your employ. Each character has their own special weapons and traits and you will need to switch to them in certain situations in order to further the story. For example, in our battle with the Goblin King we had to switch over to Kili in order to use his archery skills to attack a certain enemy. Then we were free to jump back into the shoes of Bilbo, wielding his sword, or Dwalin with his large axes.

Though the gameplay is fundamentally the same as the older entries, there are still some new tweaks. Instead of having a central hub where you unlock new characters, you instead unlock them at the end of each level. This may bum some people out but we found that we didn't mind very much.

The most important change in the series is the addition of the crafting system. Instead of traditional collectibles you will instead be on the look out for special materials. If you get the right materials you can use them in a crafting recipe to create a new item for your players. Collecting these materials is simple and intuitive. Bust down LEGO construction and you will get your normal studs while also occasionally getting a piece of crafting material. This gives you an extra incentive to destroy EVERYTHING. You can create cosmetic items (think special capes) or new weapons that have special abilities or amped up statistics. These crafted weapons aren't usable in the Story Mode but they are usable during your Free Play adventures.

Aside from crafting we also found that 'Lego The Hobbit' had the most in depth questing mode. We had to do certain objectives and quests in order to unlock certain materials. The feel was loosely like 'Skyrim' and it made us feel like we were getting a deeper-than-normal experience for a LEGO game. These quests gave us new mini games, dance parties, new items, and even special features while pushing through the story mode. We loved this element and it will definitely be appreciated by the older audiences that play the LEGO games.

The story itself is told through charming and quirky cut scenes, as is traditional for the LEGO franchise. The sound design is licensed and sounds wonderful. We couldn't help but get an ear to ear grin whenever those Middle Earth style notes would swell through our speakers. That isn't to say the experience was completely perfect, though. All LEGO games struggle with platforming and this wasn't any different. The slightly isometric view still gave us pause in certain situations and we hated that the game ended on a cliff hanger.

At the end of the day what we wanted out of 'Lego The Hobbit' on the PlayStation 4 was quickly delivered to us. We can't help but suggest it to fans of the LEGO franchise or 'Hobbit' franchise.

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