Developer: TT Games
Mac Publisher: Feral Interactive
System Requirements: OS X 10.7.5, 1.4 GHz Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 8GB disk space, 256MB graphics card
Review Computer: 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, 4GB RAM, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5670
Network Feature: No
Availability: Out now
For review purposes, I’ve played quite a few of the LEGO games. I wonder how many I’d play, however, if it wasn’t my job to play them. Are there fans of LEGO games who’d play them all regardless of subject matter, or do gamers think, “Yeah, I dug that Indiana Jones fellow. I’ll give the LEGO version a try.”
I ask, because we’re now up to LEGO Lord of the Rings, and if I wasn’t getting review units of these games, this is the one I would’ve bought with my own hard earned cash. I’m not so much into super heroes, I’ve never read a Harry Potter book (my bad) or seen a movie, and I gave up on Star Wars when it became a mockery of itself (about 25 minutes into Return of the Jedi). There are others in the series, yes, but they all start to run together if you’re not a huge fan of the subject matter. With The Lord of the Rings, I’m that fan.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings picks up where LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes left off, in that the LEGO minifigs now have dialogue. Unlike with Batman 2, however, the developers took the subject matter a bit more seriously.
Don’t get me wrong…being a LEGO game, this is still family entertainment. But considering how dark The Lord of the Rings is, the jokes are kept in check (although the ones that remain are quite funny; my favorite involving a pizza delivery).
All three movies in The Lord of the Rings are covered here, with the game hitting most of the important parts. I say “movies,” because the game pulls its visuals and character likenesses from Peter Jackson’s films, and plot elements he chose to leave out are not covered here, either. You’ll jump around quite a bit, playing all of the characters you’d want to be after watching the movies, and many of the more memorable scenes and battles are played out quite well in LEGO form, with impressive scope.
The drawback is that there’s nothing really new to discover; the fun is in the familiarity. But the new story in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was more fun to discover.
Still, TT Games does mix things up a bit, forcing you to be creative in solving the numerous puzzles presented. As usual, it’s mostly about using the proper character with his/her particular skillset, but there’s a little more, too. For instance, the game even drops into first-person perspective when required, which not only serves as a nice break from the usual gameplay, but also adds a bit of gravity to the situation (you’ll see what I mean when you get there).
And although LEGO Lord of the Rings does follow the movie, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do outside the main plot. The game has a bit of an open world structure for you to explore, and there are quests you’ll want to acquire even if you’re not a completist.
As with previous LEGO titles, local multiplayer is offered via split-screen (which is handled very well), but there’s still no online multiplayer. Not a deal killer at all, but as this becomes more common (especially cross-platform), I’m hoping TT sees fit to add that to their upcoming games.
In the end, LEGO The Lord of the Rings is fun, but you knew it was going to be. If you’re not into The Lord of the Rings, there’s not a whole lot here to separate it from the others in the LEGO franchise. I still think the best in the series is LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, so look there if you have a need to pick and choose. But if you just want to have a good time with Tolkien’s tales, or if you can’t get enough of that LEGO brick action, LEGO The Lord of the Rings delivers plenty of fun from start to finish.