Welcome back to another 5&1 Review. This time, I’ll be taking a look at the latest entry in the Lego series: Lego Lord of the Rings.
Lego Lord of the Rings
What is the game: Lego Lord of the Rings is the latest Lego title, this time taking J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy and making it into Lego form. The game doesn’t touch on The Hobbit, but does show quite a bit of Middle Earth and many characters that fans of the series know and love.
How does it work: It’s the pretty standard Lego formula for the most part. You and an AI partner (or friend if you have someone near you) roams around various missions themed from main events in the Lord of the Rings universe, such as the Battle of Minas Tirith or Helms Deep. Between missions, you’ll roam around and do tasks in cities or environments without enemies, like Rivendale or The Shire.
Levels normally contain character tokens to find that you can purchase later, along with treasures that are needed for fetch quests. Like normal, mission levels have a set amount of studs to collect to get the True Adventurer award for a level and some extra studs. They also contain some easy puzzles to solve to allow for progression in levels.
I mention the fetch quests because, while they’re a good idea, they can become a bit cumbersome. Each city has some characters looking for various items, such as weapons, drinks or music. By giving them the items they want, you can unlock the Red Bricks that open up cheats, such as a stud multiplier or regenerating hearts. However, it’s easy to forget where people are that want something, and what they specifically want, meaning you may backtrack quite a bit if you try to complete things before getting every single treasure to give people.
Like in other Lego titles, you can’t get everything on the first playthrough. You’ll have to go back through with other characters not native to the level in freeplay mode to get all characters and trophies. The big problem you’ll run into early on is not having anyone that has Sauron’s power to break evil blocks. It also becomes problematic once the group splits up when you need a dwarf in one area and he’s nowhere close, meaning another playthrough is needed.
One thing I want to make a note of that is never really explained is the fast travel system. On the Vita version, you have to hit select to pull a map up to select where you want to go back to via fast travel. Sure, you can walk your way back to the Shire from Mt. Doom, but have fun with that long trek. I think it would have been better to make every mission selectable from this map, but at least you can get back to the main areas.
The other glitchy thing I noticed is the characters willingness to swing their weapon. I found hobbits especially had a problem using their swords once they got them, choosing to sporadically swing when you hit the attack button, not consistently swing. Normally, I just switch to one of the better offensive characters with one of the triggers than try to kill enemies with hobbits. Also, as a quick sidenote, characters don’t share health bars, letting you cycle to fresh characters to keep the battle going without a death.
Who should buy it: Fans of previous Lego titles. The formula is still the same, just a bit bigger area to wander through. Lord of the Rings fans may also want to give this a look just to see what happens when the series gets the Lego treatment.
When should you get it: No rush here. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, why not use this to tide you over until The Hobbit hits DVD. Otherwise, just pick it up when you hit a lull in your other games or just want an easier title.
Where is it available: All major retailers, along with the PlayStation Network for the Vita version and Steam for the PC version.