Movie News

Merrick Says The LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS Game Is Precious, And Not Triksy Or False!!

Published at: Nov. 26, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a huge fan of the LEGO games and have played through many of them in their entirety -  notably the STAR WARS titles, and the first INDIANA JONES games.  I attempted the HARRY POTTER versions, although I never found completely found my footing with those.  I flat-out loved the LEGO BATMAN franchise - which represents the Gold Standard of LEGO console games as far as I’m concerned.  I’m smitten with their inventiveness, their style, their sense of humor.  They’re clever...JUST challenging enough without becoming unwieldy...and sometimes they’re juts plain cute.  The LB games also provided a stunning entree into video games for my almost six year old, whose penchant for  SUCCESSFUL gaming has caught even a number of accomplished gamers off guard.  It’ll be interesting to see what this unexpected talent develops into as we move forward.  


All things considered, I was giddy to learn of the release of LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS.  In a paradox I still can not figure out, the game is fueled by a majority of the film trilogy’s critical plot points...but still manages to feel breezy and, at times, almost too short.  Many of Tolkien’s beloved characters are playable here - once my above-mentioned son figured out how to play as LEGO Sauron, the jig was pretty much up and much smiting did occur.  LEGO Gollum also captured our hearts...

 

 

...his batshit crazy personality perfectly captured here by flailing movements which occasionally evoked a demented monkey.  Or an AICN staffer.  

 

In the same way the game sometimes feels a touch abbreviated, it often doesn’t feel as complex or gargantuan as something like, say LEGO BATMAN 2 - an interesting move for an adaptation one of the grandest and most sprawling epics in literary and film history.  My very strong hunch, and I have no evidence whatsoever to support this, is that LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS is very much designed to be an entry-level game - whereas something like the BATMAN titles (the second one in particular) skew towards slightly more developed audiences (the ratings on their cases are identical, by the way).  And, when/if viewed in this light, LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS works very well indeed.  It offers fast-paced, wholly accessible, reverently-adapted spectacle which should serve as a lovely entry point into a potentially overwhelming Tolkienverse...while also acting as an effective appetite whetter for that little Peter Jackson HOBBIT movie we’ll be getting in a few weeks.  
 

 

 

Kudos to the decision to make LLOTR as accessible and imminently, undauntingly playable as it is.  A quality which might frustrate gamers looking for a bit more meat on the bones of their games, but should work-out wonderfully for casual-to-moderate gamers, as well as those making their first tentative steps towards experiencing the wonders of Middle Earth...and beyond.   

 

 

A very solid gift idea for the Holidays - or to commemorate HOBBITmania in general - LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS is  now available for various platforms (XBOX 360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, DS) HERE!  

 

The game's official site is HERE.  

 

 

[XBOX 360 version reviewed]

 

 

 

___________

Glen Oliver

"Merrick" 

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Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 26, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    this shit baffles me

    by Stephen

    why on earth is there a market for this? I have no understanding.

  • I mean seriously...these games have great appeal. I think even a retard could see that.

  • The best thing about the previous Lego games was the humor, and much of that was the fact that the characters were all silent and had to pantomime their speeches and stuff. And of course the fact that they could play around with the events from their respective franchises. But this game is 100% voices taken straight from the movie, how can they play around with events without changing dialogue?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    agree with the flogging of Booger_t....

    by Ultron ver 2.0

    Lego games are incredibly fun to play. Take off your COD goggles and expand your horizons.

  • 1) The lego games all feature characters that are on anyone's top ten list of most popular fictional characters of all time - Star Wars, Indy, Batman, LotR, Harry Potter, etc. And the games are incredibly faithful to their sources, down to some of the smallest details. 2) Legos themselves are damn popular, so even if you've somehow never heard of any of those above-mentioned characters, you've probably built a little plastic red, blue, and yellow house at some point in your life. 3) The games are damn fun; easy enough for newbie and young gamers to love, yet challenging enough for even some hard-core players to get into. 4) and this is most important: these are great games for parents and kids to play together, especially as they appeal to the kids that are still at an age where they would play a video game with their parents, before becoming old enough where they wouldn't dream of it (which is fine, because at that age they become little bastards that parents want nothing to do with anyway until they graduate and move the hell out).

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST

    thanks assholes

    by Stephen

    I was actually curious. I've never played one. what are they like puzzles? do you build shit with blocks?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    The humour is very much in this

    by prime666

    Im just starting The Two Towers section of the game. Loving it. There is little bits of added dialogue and a lot of sight gags which work very well. Also lots of little mini quests. It was oddly gratifying when I dropped a beehive onto the head of a Nazgul. Highly recommended game

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks!

    by decypher44

    Just got it for my son. He has enjoyed almost all of the Lego games. He'll love this!

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    The Booger_t replies

    by Superponte

    made my day. Thank you talkbackers! Booger: They are silly, and fun games. That's the appeal. No more, no less.

  • Even I think the first few guys were a little harsh. I play games, I've played the lego games, and as someone who does the understanding, I have to admit that I don't personally find these games very fun at all. Much, much too simplistic. I admit that yes, the fun of playing as the characters, the lego humor, the clever ideas within are all wonderful, but the actual gameplay, from the ones that I tried, are not fun at all. Though the last one I played was at least 2-3 years ago, when they were first starting to get popular. I believe I tried a lego star wars and a lego batman. Both were cute, both were boring. And they both received review scores that made me want to play them so....I'm not on board with these games. Nothing wrong with that Booger.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Well he did say it was "shit", too - so he was ripping it

    by Mel

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Wow. So Many Typos and Caps Problems In My Post

    by Crow3711

    Shameful.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I got the vibe from Booger that he's baffled how this is popular...

    by Ultron ver 2.0

    ...not how does it work. "Why is there a market for this?" Sounds Dbag'ish to me and completely justifies the lollery in the replies.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I want a lego Gollum

    by DarthBlart

  • And since every "joke" in the lotr trilogy was awful and not funny, this game more than makes up for that.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    crow3711, Not as shameful as Booger_t's post.

    by nametaken

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    I spent my saturday playing this game

    by D.Vader

    Its so damned awesome and addictive as hell.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    But unlike Merrick, I thought the game was suitably epic.

    by D.Vader

    I spent all day playing and only got as far as the pass of Caradhras, having played the Prologue, the Shire, the Black Rider, the Road to Bree, Weathertop, the Trollshaws, Rivendell... All that gameplay and I wasn't even halfway through the FOTR movie at that point. I could only imagine how long the other movies were too. Maybe I'm wrong?

  • I too thought something would be lost having the characters voiced by their movie counterparts, but it actually works wonders. The LEGO humor is still there in body language and in visual humor. For instance, when Arwen summons the waters at the Ford of Bruinen, one of the Ringwraiths escaping from the flood has a surfboard with him. And when the game starts recreating the Moth scene at Orthanc from FOTR, following the moth as it flies around toward Gandalf at the top of the tower, I was startled to see Saruman appear out of nowhere to bat the moth away with his staff. Pretty funny.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    It's a cool game, but not as good as Lego Harry Potter.

    by Mahaloth

    Though I do love Lord of the Rings. I assume we'll get a lego Hobbit in the next few years.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by prime666

    With you 100%

  • wowwwww

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    No....there are two of us.

    by Flyswatta

    I've actually tried to play one of the Star Wars titles. Had to stop after about 30 minutes...just too simple. I can honestly see the appeal to the 4-10 year old set, but for adults who periodically fire up the console I don't get it. They obviously appeal to a lot of people as they keep making titles, though.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    it must be like comic book bible

    by Stephen

    I had a comic book bible as a kid. I remember liking Samson. Parents want their kids to like Lord of the Rings but they dont dare show them that scary PG13 film! Problem is, now I dont give a shit about Samson or the bible. But I love Star Wars (which would have been PG13 if it came out today) also, I hate my parents.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    @d.vader

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    i too spent my saturday night trying to shoot flies in my poop filled bathroom with a rubber band gun that i won at an italian food festival in my town last year.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Cannot wait to play this game.

    by BilboRing

    I will wait of course for it to drop in price. I am currently playing Lego Pirates of the Carribean, which I really like a lot. My favorites that I have played so far are Star Wars (Complete Saga) followed by Pirates. I enjoyed but did not love Lego Batman. And Lego Indiana Jones was just boring. I also have Lego Harry Potter at home (Years 1-4) but will not play them until I finish reading the series so nothing is spoiled. Never saw the movies either.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Lego = genius...except...

    by Darth Macchio

    ...when you step on them. Why is the pain of stepping on a lego so not commensurate with the size of the brick? Even wearing shoes I can feel it when I step on a lego. And what happens to the lego? Nothing! Nothing at all. I want to have my head replaced by lego - sure, it would be weird at parties and holidays, and forget wearing a hat that wasn't custom made (with that single weird giant snap button on it) but think of the boxing career you could have if your head was all but indestructible? A couple big ticket prize fights and you're on lego easy street baby.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Lego Point Blank...

    by Baryonyx

    ...is my favorite Lego game: nothing beats being the Lego Lee Marvin as he hunts down the Lego John Vernon.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I like the EA ones for TTT and ROTK

    by pikazerox

    Some of the best movie license games around.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Without Defending Either Side, Exactly . . .

    by seteger

    . . . I can see why an adult gamer could not care less about the Lego games. They ARE pretty simplistic, and constantly breaking objects to get studs gets monotonous as hell. Having said that, I own every Lego video game Traveler's Tales has made. Lego LotR is a fun, fun game--if you ARE halfway interested in the games, this is well worth getting. Me, I have two young sons, so we get to play together, which makes the games' simplicity key. 99% of my fun is enjoying playing the game with two young nerds-in-training, and this is their first real look at the Lord of the Rings characters and stories. Before I had kids, I tried Lego Star Wars and found it cute but boring. By the way, I actually found all the quoted lines from the films extra funny, with the contrasting Lego cuteness and silly pratfalls. Also, the games have improved over time. They look much better, first of all. Also, the open world exploration is great, and Lego Batman 2 and now The Lord of the Rings have it. And there are WAY more unlockable characters and items, too, to satisfy the OCD collector in us all. Any chance of Lego Marvel or Lego TMNT (the next Lego franchise/ product tie-in coming in 2013)?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Lego my Lego's!

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 4:13 p.m. CST

    My 7 year old loves the Lego games, but...

    by Deceased Fan

    I'll probably wait on LOTR until he has seen the movies. He has played Harry Potter Years 1 through 4 Because he is only seen the movies up to that point. I was this close to buying it on Black Friday for cheap on the DS, but I don't want his introduction to the Lord of the Rings being in game form.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Darth Macchio LMFAO!!!

    by Deceased Fan

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Took me about halfway through the article,

    by Brigon

    before I realised that I'm reading information on video games on AICN. Maybe you guys will start reporting on cool news such as Tom Hardy playing Sam Fisher for the Splinter Cell movie, or that the Metal Gear Solid movie has been announced. I was assuming you had all been ignoring that news completely due to it relating to video games.

  • So, touche, or some shit.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    This is paid advertisement, folks. Not a story.

    by Ricardo

  • except maybe when the perineum tears in childbirth.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST

    My Young Kids Love 'em

    by cosmic_dolphin

    But they've not seen LOTR yet, I'm not sure they would sit through it so the game is a bit redundant for now. I've had a go on a couple of the Star Wars and the Batman titles and watched them play Harry Potter but TBH I was bored quite quickly. Ironically they play them more than they play with real Lego bricks. I remember I used to spend hours with my bricks making a detailed version of the bike from ' Streethawk' and a 6ft long dragster when I was their age. I really don't do much gaming these days, which is kinda sad considering the practice I put into 'completing' Tetris, memorising the routes to clear Pacman and clocking Defender. I also did well in a national Kick-Off championship. Now I find games too long winded ..bah !

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Agreed, this DOES feel like a paid ad

    by D.Vader

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST

    This is different from the LEGO SW games I played

    by D.Vader

    Granted, I didn't play the later ones, so maybe this point is moot, but this game IS an open-world exploration type of game. Don't wanna go to the next level? Don't really have to, you could move past it in the open world Middle Earth map if you want. Or you can continue to explore the outskirts of Bree, seeing Weathertop off in the distance. Its pretty cool like that.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    What is a LB game?

    by GulDucati

    You mentioned LB games, what is that?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Booger T

    by Fart Magnus

    Nah - I'm with you mate. Every time I see another one of these retarded games appear I shake my head in bemusement. Don't understand it and never will. What's next? Harry Potter in stick men game? SW in macaroni? It's just stupid and dumb! Glad to know I wan't the only person that found this all a bit confusing.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah and RIP Larry Hagman

    by Fart Magnus

    The people that run this site are beyond disrespectful.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Simplistic and boring gameplay?

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    So on par with 98% of the big budget games that get released these days. And those games don't have Legos.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST

    booger_t and the MGs

    by shane peterson

    .

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    love this game

    by ghost_matt

    You can fight Sauron as Isildur, you can fight Saruman and the balrog as Gandalf, you get to play as Treebeard and take part in the attack on Isengard and smash everything up, you get to ride out of Helm's Deep with Theoden with that great Howard Shore music playing over it. Is it simplistic? Yes. But it's a very fun game.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST

    And the humor is there.

    by ghost_matt

    Frodo accidentally dropping the ring into his hot cup of tea instead of throwing it into the fireplace; Saruman taking out the moth with his staff; Mr. Butterbur telling the black riders that the hobbits are hiding in the bathroom, they all go in, then Aragorn comes around a corner and locks the door and runs away... It's funny.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    A lot of fun, and a great addition to

    by Lord Elric

    Lord Of The Rings Online. Which is that huge, true to the book game that many look for.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    is it just me, or are 2 out of 3 news headlines on AICN these days advertisements?

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The characters in these games are too block-like

    by David Duchovny

    They don't look realistic at all. Bad graphics.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    How about those Hobbit production diaries?

    by SK229

    It baffles me that a link wasn't posted. Hell it baffles me how little coverage there's been lately seeing as how it comes out in two and a half weeks. Between that and a few other things, I'm getting ready to cut the cord on this site... I've said that probably 12 times since The Phantom Menace trailer brought me here nearly a decade and a half ago, but this is the first time I think I've felt genuine anger towards the arrogance and borderline contempt for the audience that I think is on display at AICN. I HATE the Kid, feel that Quint is starting to sound like too much of an insider (in a Mori, kind of way... those who never liked Mori will know what I mean), and then seeing how Harry treated Massa about Sinister after liking and hyping up some of the worst pieces of shit I've ever seen... just damn. In particular, though, with Sinister... like if there was ever an instance nobody would give them shit here for overselling or hyping something or feeling 'bought', we'd all give a pass on that one, especially with how well liked Massa is/was. On top of that the movie was well reviewed! But yeah, just too many instances now where I feel like I just don't want to support this site anymore. I don't know, maybe it's me. I'm just getting to the point where it feels like they're purposefully putting up shitty content or none at all and I'd like to take a year long break, come back next December and see if this site still looks exactly the same. Or if it's here at all. Either way, I'll fucking laugh. If they actually do make changes, then maybe I'll become a regular again. I'm not a hater and who doesn't love a comeback?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I also don't see the appeal of a LEGO video game

    by lv_426

    I always had tons of fun building all kinds of crazy LEGO things with my friends back when I was just a wee little shit. Part of the fun was pooling together all our LEGO pieces to build a city or town, or one time a big ship that was abandoned save for a bunch of LEGO people heads lying about the deck. We then had to figure out what did this to the poor little plastic bastards, as well as where the bodies went. It was like creating our own little universes and stories and mythos to go along with it. Anyways, I guess I just don't have the desire to play a LEGO Lord of the Rings or LEGO Star Trek or whatever. Especially in video game form. I can see why people would want to build the physical LEGO sets with the Star Wars or Lord of the Rings branding on them, but playing a video game where I control a LEGO(las) just seems odd. I'd rather play a Lord of the Rings game that was set in Middle Earth, not the LEGOLAND version of it.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    What we really need is a LEGO LEGO video game

    by lv_426

    Where you control a LEGO person who is playing a LEGO video game from inside their LEGO house.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Black Ops II zombies mode is pretty fun

    by lv_426

    Maybe there will be a LEGO version of it in the not too distant future?

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Do not buy the Wii version. WiiU, PS3, XBOX....

    by Bob

    The Wii version is probably the worst looking port of a Lego game i've ever seen. The Wii U (and any other) version looks completely different. The graphics are scaled down so low on the Wii version, I swear I was watching a VCD of the game. Thankfully the Wii version was a Redbox rental. I picked up the PS3 version, and it looks like I'm playing a different game. It's a lot of fun too. I recommend it. Lots of fun.

  • Just sticking Lego characters into generic CG environments seems kind of lazy. I'm sure the games are fun, but fully Lego environments would make it a real Lego game.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    LV_426, try playing a LEGO game

    by D.Vader

    Then maybe you'll see the appeal.

  • Nothing wrong with people liking them though. Besides, I have enough games to still finish before I buy anything new. I need to prepare for Aliens: Colonial Marines which is just around the corner, Feb. 2013.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Take LEGO out of the equation, LV

    by D.Vader

    And its still an enjoyable game. The appeal of playing with LEGOS is entirely different from the appeal of a LEGO game. Its about the humor and the look, not about the "building". LEGO as a brand means an entirely different thing when it comes to video games. So if you can't see the appeal bc of your experience with the toys, try playing it anyway. That's my point, because then you'll see the appeal comes from a different place (though really a lot of it DOES come from seeing beloved characters in those lovably simplistic LEGO forms). ALIENS: Colonial Marines, I hope, will not be a disappointment.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Because it's awesome

    by Lummox JR

    I'm not sure why AICN is reviewing games now, but whatever. I will say that one of the greatest gaming moments I've experienced in a long time was charging out of the keep of Helm's Deep on Snowmane, mowing down Uruk-hai like a madman. Heck of a fun game.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    @sk229, to be honest AICN hasn't been the same for a decade

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Since studios got sick of the spoilers and insider knowledge and scoops, and bullied & bribed AICN into submission. The site exposed its belly like a puppy, not even a whimper. Still some good stuff here, but it's few and far between. Visiting AICN has become a habit, for old times.

  • Nov. 26, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    I go to io9, collider, bleeding cool, etc, for news these days

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    I mean, there are videos for Gilliam's Zero Theorem, behind-the-scenes stuff for Elysium, Rick McCallum didn't survive LucasFilm's move to Disney... so much out there, and not a peep on AICN. It's disappointing. I think the guys here are old and tired, and the Kidd is like a Star Wars prequel trying to breathe fresh air into the place.

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Why go to all those sites, hardboiled wonderland?

    by magic_ninja

    Just go to Badass Digest where Devin has been ripping off those websites for months.

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    you know what would be cool?

    by Stephen

    A lego game where you have to accomplish certain tasks by acquiring enough lego blocks to build things (such as boat to cross a river) to continue on your tasks. Then you could dismantle the boat to build an airplane, etc. probably pretty hard to program whether or not something is seaworthy, etc, so that would fuck up their cheap-to-produce business model, but it would be very cool. They could also have a free build mode where you have access to whatever pieces you want and build something virtually. Then you can submit it online and buy the actual lego bricks if you want to build it physically.

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    booger_t: what would be cool

    by Johnny_Q_Peabody

    They do have some tasks in some games that require collecting blocks, but no free form building like you're talking about. The games are more like playing with mini-figures in a (mostly) already built set. The games are a lot of fun, particularly if you have kids to play them with. A good mix of action, puzzles, and humor. Your idea is interesting, but, as you say, it might difficult to implement, particularly within the flow of a game.

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Lego backgrounds instead...agreed!

    by Darth Macchio

    I haven't played these games so cannot account for that aspect but they look designed from top to bottom with silly fun in mind and I think that's a good thing. And not just for kids...freakin adults constantly take themselves WAY to seriously as it is...(recognize that maturity and responsibility are not the same thing) But I agree with the notion that the entire game 'world' should also be made out of Legos. From a coding design point, in a way, they're sorta cheating but having the entire game environment built out of Legos would be much kewler to me. And I like the idea of having to utilize Lego blocks in game for building resources.

  • I would pay for a resuscitation of Space Police no matter the medium

  • I can understand the complaints about things being too simplistic, sure. Lego Batman 2, however, was a nice step in the maturation process for the game series. Sounds like LegOTR is a step back. Still fun, i'm sure though!

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    themark: Lego Batman 1

    by Johnny_Q_Peabody

    Lego Batman 1 is awesome. It's not the same kind of awesome as 2, but it's still great. If it had two player split screen, it might be my favorite Lego game. YMMV, of course.

  • Nov. 27, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    @Johnny_q_peabody

    by TheMark

    I'll have to give it another shot then. I really loved 2, but felt that the first one was a little too similar to the more simplistic/earlier titles in the series. That being said, I LOVE Batman and am always happy to be proved wrong!