Once upon a time, LEGO was nothing but a set of blocks that you could use to create something, maybe a house or castle or anything that your mind could come up with. The design has changed over the years, with kits allowing kids (and the young at heart!) to put together more elaborate designs, with instructions detailing exactly how to do just that. Since 1997, the first time that LEGO made its way into the realm of the video game, the concept has continued to adapt, and now there are more than 50 video games based on the original construction system.
The 2014 debut of the LEGO movie thrust the franchise back into the limelight once more, as the critically acclaimed film set audiences around the world laughing. It’s not a surprise therefore that we can expect to see many more blockbusters on the big screen make their way into the cartoon-style, LEGO video game format. One of the next titles to make its way to PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, 3DS, Xbox 360 and, of course, Xbox One, is the new LEGO The Hobbit, due for release on April the 8th in the US, and April the 11th in the EU and other countries.
Whether you love or hate the concept of the LEGO games, playing your way through the storyline of your favorite films with LEGO characters, there’s no denying that the games have improved as time has gone on. Where early LEGO games had many frustrations when it came to camera angles and the like with exploring, particularly when playing with another, newer titles are a more streamlined experience and have received great reviews from critics and gamers alike. The games where the developers have been able to use the real voice overs from the movies are particularly engaging, and we’re glad to report that LEGO The Hobbit is one of those. As you play you’ll be hearing the real dialogue from Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Richard Armitage as Thorin and more.
LEGO The Hobbit will cover the first two films in the trilogy of The Hobbit that have been released to date, An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. The third film will be included after its release as DLC for those that have purchased the game, so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you get your hands on this one early.
As with the majority of LEGO games based on movies, you’ll be able to play as the majority of the main characters; that includes Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey and all of the dwarves. It’s a lot of characters to have access to, but it’ll be easy to jump between them to take advantage of all of the unique skills that each character has to offer, such as Bombur’s trampoline action stomach. Certain sections of each level will undoubtedly be locked down, only accessible with the use of the correct character and the skill that they bring to the game.
LEGO The Hobbit isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to gameplay; if you’ve enjoyed any of the previous LEGO games then you’ll know what to expect here. You’ll be able to collect, and mine for, gems, to build items to help you along your way and to follow the plot of the movies, complete with humorous additions. For the story and the comic value alone this is a title worth playing, so unless you’re well and truly sick of the collecting, problem solving and exploring that the LEGO games offer you’re likely to enjoy this one.
With famous locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings available to explore, such as Bag End, Hobbiton, The Misty Mountains, Mirkwood and Rivendell, there’s plenty to do. On the Xbox One the game promises to look beautiful with high-resolution textures and smooth animations all helping to make the game addictively playable.
There are many LEGO games to choose from for the Xbox 360, so it’s good to see new titles finding their way onto the next generation consoles. This looks set to make its way straight toward the top of the best LEGO video games, so if you’re looking for a bit of fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this could be the game for you.
Have you played any LEGO games before? Will you be getting your hands on LEGO The Hobbit? Have your say in the comments below.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 03/14/2014