Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
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.

Comments

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
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (440)

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)


RECENT POSTS

A chat with Jury chair Lee Daniels & the results of the 11th Dubai Film Festival
By Nev Pierce

Paying the rent, rats and selling out: A lesson from Virginia Madsen
By Nev Pierce

Movies And Medinas: Empire Reports From Marrakech International Film Festival
By Phil de Semlyen

Dubai Film Festival: The unlikely appeal of camel beauty pageants…
By Nev Pierce

Mission: Probable - Dubai's attempt to attract Hollywood
By Nev Pierce

The Dubai International Film Festival: Paul Bettany and Russell Crowe turn directors
By Nev Pierce

Night Visions 2014: The Harvest, Let Us Prey and Nuntius
By Owen Williams

Night Visions 2014: Marcos Ortiz and In Darkness We Fall
By Owen Williams

Night Visions 2014: Pablo Larcuen and Hooked Up
By Owen Williams

Night Visions 2014: The Spanish Contingent
By Owen Williams


RECENT COMMENTS

Night Visions 2013: Adjust Your Tracking (or Does Anyone Actually Miss VHS?)
"Or don't..."  Owen Williams
Read comment

Aruba 2013: Juan Francisco Pardo Q&A
"Sadece on altı dakika içinde iyi bir görsel hikaye anlatmak önemli beceri ve bel"  skndrdmr
Read comment

Aruba 2013: Opening Gala
"That really amazing."  ommrudraksha
Read comment

2013 IIFF - The Winners
"Hi Simon, Trying to get in touch with you. Hope this works. I enjoyed your piece on Enter t"  matthewpolly
Read comment

Christoph Waltz will win an Oscar
"although its old now :(, of course he was gonna win it :), one of the many idols of why i wanna be a"  SONYA ALALIBO
Read comment

Brisbane International Film Festival: First Report
"I think it is pretty clear the story revolves around The Blacksmith, in The Man With The Iron Fists,"  owenyunfat
Read comment

TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Place Beyond The Pines
"Thanks for the feedback! I hope I didn't give the impression that Cloud Atlas is a write-off; I just"  Damon_Wise
Read comment

TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Place Beyond The Pines
"Hi Damon With regards to Cloud Atlas, I fear that it will face the same problem a"  ChesterCopperpot
Read comment

TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Place Beyond The Pines
"No worries! I just try to describe things as I see them, and I often forget that, as Empire has grow"  Damon_Wise
Read comment

TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Place Beyond The Pines
"Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your early reviews from the festivals, and of course, I'm not alway"  pythonlove
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Sundance Part Six: In The Loop
13 comments

The Times BFI London Film Festival Preview
9 comments

Basterds Blog
9 comments

Damo's Top Ten Of 2009
9 comments

Sundance 2010: Four Lions blows everyone away!
8 comments

Sundance 2010: The Killer Inside Me causes outrage!
7 comments

Chris Hewitt Of The Year Award!!!!
7 comments

TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Place Beyond The Pines
7 comments

The Wrestler
6 comments

Uncle Boonmee: An Explanation
6 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (298)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (86)
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)

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

8 Things You Can Learn From The BFI's Star Wars Exhibition
The original crawl, a 'grotesque' villain and a very different princess

Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Review Of 2014: The Best TV Moments Of The Year
We celebrate the small screen's biggest scenes

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  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)