XXL’s Game Corner: Lego The Hobbit Review: Familiar Journey
Publisher: Warner Bros
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Mac, PC
Release date: Out Now
Lately Warner Bros has been pumping out their Lego video games at a quick pace, and while they’ve all been pretty good that volume has come at a cost. There have been three games based off the popular Lego playsets released in the last six months and even with a change of scenery the formula is starting to show its age. While their latest release Lego The Hobbit still manages to be fun it’s no denying that lego fatigue is beginning to set in.
Released to coincide with the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on home video, Lego The Hobbit covers the first two films in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, in which a company of dwarves partner up with Gandalf and Bilbo in a quest to retake the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. Like 2012’s Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego The Hobbit is set across a sprawling chunk of Middle Earth, beginning in the Shire and winding up at the lakeside town of Esgaroth and Smaug’s treasure-filled lair itself. From Bilbo’s initial encounter with the 13 dwarves to their capture by the spiders of Mirkwood to the barrel-ride escape from the wood elves, every one of the films’ big moments are captured here in all their plastic glory. If there was one knock against the game it’s despite the new characters, new locations and a few new gameplay mechanics it feels way too similar to Lego Lord of the Rings. Still, if you’re all in on Lego games you’ll like the tried and true formula of the minute-to-minute gameplay that developer TT Games is known for. The tactile joy of breaking apart Lego objects is as addictive as ever as you smash apart everything in your path and solve a series of convoluted but never very difficult, puzzles. The two player co-op remains one of the best ways to enjoy the game with another person as there’s so much going on that both parties will be thoroughly entertained. TT Games has always added a humorous spin to whatever property they were paired with and the team has found a perfect match in The Hobbit. The superb voice work and the familiar epic score which were taken straight from the films, marries well with the cut scenes. Because the third film in The Hobbit series hasn’t been released yet, Lego The Hobbit only covers those first two films, leaving players who finish the game with an abrupt cliffhanger. Future DLC will rectify that by adding the final film’s events to the game, but it’s still somewhat of a letdown to reach the 2/3rds mark of the story and have it just cut to credits.
Ending aside, the game offers a ton of stuff to do as you smash blocks and a neat new addition sees destroyed objects dropping actual LEGO pieces that you can collect to use in building other objects later on. You can also mine rocks for these resources via a little mini-game. The world is filled with fantastic creatures and monsters, and TT Games has done a great job adapting the giant eagles, goblin kings, and dragons to the standard Lego models.
The XXL Endgame
On the whole LEGO The Hobbit won’t surprise fans of the Lego series, but the co-op formula is still as entertaining as ever and there’s plenty of content to keep you busy. The game, like the movies it’s based on, ends awkwardly but if you’re a fan of Lego games will find more to love even if there’s nothing unexpected about this journey.—written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating: L (Average)
Lego The Hobbit was reviewed on a retail copy provided by Warner Bros for the PS3.