Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the BFI London Film Festival
Empire Blogs
Infinite Lives

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game Preview

Posted on Monday November 5, 2012, 09:19 by Ali Plumb in Infinite Lives
Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game Preview

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game is the latest in a long line of Lego video games based on movie properties. Though they’ve only been making them since 2005, developers Traveller’s Tales have brick-ified Indiana Jones (twice), Batman (also twice), Star Wars (three times) and many, many others, creating family-friendly 3D platformers with their own unique look, feel and sense of humour, all centred around everyone’s favourite plastic building blocks.

The team are so trusted, it’s almost inconceivable that TT wouldn’t do the films justice. The bigger question this time around is whether they can rejuvenate a series of games that’s so set in its ways it’s practically become its own genre.

Encouragingly, TT’s previous Lego game, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, was a huge leap forward for the franchise, creating a more open world for Lego fans to explore, fix and smash up. But the second plastic coming of the caped crusader was limited to Gotham, whereas a LOTR game would have to take the fellowship from sleepy Hobbiton to the altogether more lava-filled Mordor… how on Middle-earth could they satisfy fans with their reinterpretation of all three vast films, as well as bringing their own Lego personality to the table?

The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is by hiring some hardcore Tolkien aficionados and not doing anything by halves. As the ultimate proof that cutting corners is definitely not on TT’s agenda, the game follows all three movies in their entirety, recreating almost every scene along the way using the voices lifted directly from the original films. That’s right, you’re going to hear Sir Ian’s voice bellowing, “You shall not pass!” at a brick Balrog, making this toy/film/gaming crossover arguably the closest anyone’s ever going to get to actually being in Lord Of The Rings outside of creating their own underground house in the side of a hill.

Playing the game at a special preview event, TT developer Phil Ring – no really, that’s his actual name – showed me how Jackson and Tolkien’s world aligned with Lego’s. Walking around Bree, Aragorn and the four hobbits can explore the town, solve physics puzzles and steal one of Peter Jackson’s carrots as he sits chomping them in the middle of the square. Later, Ring tells me, the Battle Of Helm's Deep will see Jackson recreating another cameo appearance as one of the Rohirrim, slinging one of his Oscars at an orc instead of a javelin.

This Oscar lobbing serves as a good example of the Lego humour working around the otherwise unfiddleable withable dialogue from the films – in the Weathertop level Ring shows me, Merry and Pippin are seen suddenly wearing nurses’ outfits as they pick up a stretcher to carry the now injured Frodo. Soon after, Arwen arrives surrounded by a beam of angelic light, her Lego hair shining as she swishes it about like she’s in a L’Oreal advert. Catching Arwen’s eye from the off, Aragorn then throws Frodo belly-first onto her horse and makes his best Lego flirty face – you know, just like the movies.

lego lord of the rings gandalf

Then there’s the technical stuff. The graphics are marginally better than previous games, but not significantly so, and despite new, more cinematic, floating camera angles, the movement feels intuitive. To keep the world friendly and explorable, there’s no obligation to do the next plot level immediately after the previous one – Arwen and Frodo can have a wander if they like, despite his injuries – and there are hours and hours and hours of fun to be had just poking about, smashing stuff and unearthing appendices-inspired secrets.

Fetch quests from towns will also encourage you to go dig more into LLOTR – that stands for Lego Lord Of The Rings, by the by – and special Mithril bricks will allow you to create more powerful versions of armour, weaponry and  trickets like the ‘Disco Vial’ that makes enemies burst into dance. Not that this is a Skyrim-for-kiddly-winks wannabe, but it does contain RPG elements, including a fast travel map system, inventories and an appropriately, ahem, Tolkeinesque setting.

The most pleasing thing about the whole game is its length. King assures me that even if you know how to do absolutely everything, LLOTR would still take 22 hours to complete. By his reckoning, a first-time non-completist playthrough would take a solid 40 hours, making it the biggest and most fulfilling Lego video game yet. This is helped in part by certain levels having snuck away sections that can only be accessed by characters with a particular set of skills – Sam can start fires that burn down inconvenient bushes, and Frodo can hack at orcs with Sting – and with 80 characters out there, there are plenty of people to play as and even more to bash into a shower of bricks.

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game is out on November 23, and below you can see a teaser trailer that shows off a little bit of the humour in the game. Pre-order now to make sure your December is the most Tolkien-filled month of all time – after buying the new special 3D Hobbit issue of Empire, of course.

Login or register to comment.


1 MD3
Posted on Tuesday November 6, 2012, 19:45
I am ridiculously excited by the hope that I may have this game wrapped and with my name on it under the Christmas tree - I may have to fight off my 9 year old son but it's his mum who is the biggest fan. I have loved all the Lego games on the Wii and can't wait - perhaps because I am into middle age and enjoy the formulaic nature of the previous games, it's kind of comforting to put my 2 favourite things together - Lego and LOTR; a match made in heaven

Log in below, or register to post comments
Remember Me:


Empire States (444)

Under The Radar (335)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (36)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game Preview
By Ali Plumb

The Return Of Max Payne
By Ali Plumb

Empire's Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Survival Guide
By Ali Plumb

In Search Of The Ultimate Xbox Controller
By James Dyer

Hands on with El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
By Ali Plumb

Japanese gaming hero Suda 51 on his latest, Shadows Of The Damned
By Ali Plumb

Hands On: Razer Onza
By James Dyer

Empire Sits Down With The Portal 2 Writers, Gets Worryingly Excited
By Ali Plumb

Movie Karaoke, Anyone? Yoostar 2 Can Turn You Into Arnold Schwarzenegger... Kind Of
By Ali Plumb

Have You Seen The Awe-Inspiring Dead Island Trailer Yet?
By Ali Plumb


Empire at E3: Natal Is Dead, Long Live Kinect
"hello friends you can get free minecraft codes generator through this site minecraft free "  prem0516
Read comment

Would it Work: A Legend of Zelda Movie?
"It would be hard to make the movie to what fans, such as myself, would expect, which means expectati"  Alixis93
Read comment

E3 2013: David Cage On Beyond: Two Souls
"Very excited about this game. played their previous PS3 game "Heavy Rain" which was unique"  Okester
Read comment

E3 2013: Electronic Arts
""As the event began properly, a bombastic war-themed trailer proved to be a genius parody of th"  Film2012
Read comment

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game Preview
"I am ridiculously excited by the hope that I may have this game wrapped and with my name on it under"  MD3
Read comment

Would it Work: A Legend of Zelda Movie?
"hay look at this these guys are making a Legend of Zelda movie!!! https://www.fac"  link2point0
Read comment

Would it Work: A Legend of Zelda Movie?
"My god, I've been planning this of so long. YES it will work. And I plan to get my ideas where they "  Thinking_fanatic
Read comment

Would it Work: A Legend of Zelda Movie?
"im 50/50 on it because it has a good storyline but it depends on the game its going to copy or if th"  No_1ups
Read comment

The Return Of Max Payne
"I absolutely love the first two Max Payne games (and recently downloaded the first one - for free - "  Draven Cage
Read comment

Would it Work: A Legend of Zelda Movie?
"Maybe write a book first of a really good screen play and see how that goes."  welshcelt
Read comment


Have You Seen The Awe-Inspiring Dead Island Trailer Yet?

Red Dead Redemption Goes To The Movies

The New Xbox: Slim, Sleek And Silent

Empire at E3: The Return of Goldeneye

Empire Sits Down With The Portal 2 Writers, Gets Worryingly Excited

Empire at E3: The Nintendo Round-up

In Search Of The Ultimate Xbox Controller

Empire's Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Survival Guide

The Return Of Max Payne

Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game Preview

Damon Wise (299)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (87)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (21)
Owen Williams (21)
Simon Braund (6)
Nev Pierce (5)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
David Parkinson (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

Licence Denied: The Bond Themes You Didn't Get To Hear
A dozen of 007's greatest misses

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)