LEGO The Lord of the Rings is based on The Lord of the Rings films which are in turn based on the book trilogy The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King and gives the LEGO treatment to this epic tale of adventure in a the fantasy world of Middle Earth and its strange inhabitants.
Super Gamer Dude
Since the original LEGO Star Wars was released to critical acclaim and commercial success, Traveller's Tales has slowly been slowly making games out of practically every license that LEGO has the rights to, from Harry Potter to Batman. As time has gone on, they have struggled to keep the style of games fresh, even though the games continue to sell very well. Their latest title brings a new franchise into the fold with LEGO Lord of the Rings, and they have tried once again to redesign their games, but does LEGO Lord of the Rings manage to succeed?
The game borrows heavily from Traveller's Tales most recent title, LEGO Batman 2, incorporating both the somewhat open world and the fact that the characters talk instead of just emote using noises like older LEGO games. LEGO Lord of the Rings puts its own twist on the voices, simply pulling the voices directly from the Lord of the Rings films and placing them in the game. This effect works far better than I could have ever expected by using the contrast between the exaggerated LEGO animations and the real-life voices for comedic effect.
When it comes to the world LEGO Lord of the Rings takes place in, every setting feels like you would expect it to if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, while managing to add that comedic tinge to the world that Traveller's Tales is so well known for.
The semi-open world that the game makes use of is certainly functional, but isn't really all that interesting. the side missions manage to push the number of things to do in the game beyond the level that I am willing to deal with in something that is so simple to start with. I certainly appreciate the developer's constant attempts to improve LEGO games, but I worry that at some point they are losing what truly makes these games unique and interesting.
If you have played any PC version of a LEGO game recently, you pretty much know what to expect when it comes to LEGO Lord of the Rings. The port is certainly serviceable, and the game looks great in higher resolutions, but it also lacks many graphical settings that you would expect from any PC game on the market today. In addition, the default keyboard controls are difficult to use, more or less requiring a controller to play the game properly.
If you have kids that love the LEGO games and Lord of the Rings, this game is a no brainer for co-operative play. If you're just a single guy that likes Lord of the Rings and LEGO, this game becomes much harder to recommend. The game itself is funny and quite entertaining, but the game feels like it was designed in its entirety for two people to play together. If you can suffer through those parts, there's something to be had here as long as you know exactly what it is that you are getting yourself into.