Before I begin there’s something you should know. I have deep, dark secret that may get me banned from the geek community. At the very least, you’ll all fall into a shocked silence that ends with you questioning my geek credibility… I didn’t like Lord of the Rings.
I am, however, a fan of the Lego game franchise! So when they came out with Lord of the Rings I HAD to have it. Despite beginning my game with mild amusement (it is Lego after all), I was surprised how enthralled I became with it. TT Games really outdid themselves this time.
In every Lego game the gameplay is slightly different. This usually comes in the form of different hubs, or places where you select your next level (or the lack of a distinct hub as in Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7), how you purchase unlocked characters and goodies, etc. They’re changes we can expect while the actual way you play the game remains the same. Not so with Lego Lord of the Rings!
TT Games thought outside the box on this one. They evaluated what worked and what didn’t work (lack of level notification in HP 5-7 *cough*), sat back and thought, “what could make this game more awesome than the rest?” I’m just assuming that’s what happened. And more awesome it is! Instead of those annoying chase scenes where you have to navigate away from your enemies, collect studs, and deal with an unruly steering system, Lego LOTR puts the camera IN FRONT of you instead of behind. It may make things a whole lot harder, since it’s tough to see obstacles and studs, but it also makes things a heck of a lot more exciting! The effect of drawing the player into the action is well worth the frustration of falling into unseen holes.
Lego Lord of the Rings offers more hours of gameplay than ever before by introducing….wait for it…a quest system! Now, as you proceed through your regular game and unlock characters for Free Play mode, you can also unlock quests. The quest concept is the same as with RPGs, but for Lego this is a new kind of game play. It takes what can be a monotonous replay of each level and adds a little bit of spice. You’re not just replaying the level on Free Play mode to unlock the secret bonus level/earn a perfect score anymore. Now, it’s almost like you get two games in one!
That being said, TT Games also paid attention to how the LOTR movies flowed when it came to editing. Unlike previous Lego games where the movie is told in a linear form, meaning each level consists of one scene/section of the story with one set of characters, Lego LOTR isn’t afraid to switch things up a bit mid-level by changing to a different scene. This adds a more theatrical element to the game that we haven’t seen before. It’s refreshing and really adds to the immersion.
Even if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan, I recommend checking out Lego Lord of the Rings. For me, TT Games’ construction of this game made the story really interesting… so much so, that I’m considering giving the movies another shot! If you are a Lord of the Rings fan then you’ll appreciate the subtleties in the game even more. If this is where the evolution of the Lego Games franchise is headed then I’m definitely on board!