Firstly, if you've ever played a Lego game in the past then you will feel right at home as this has the same basic layout and way of playing with similar puzzles. The game covers all three films from start to finish in a very accurate way albeit some areas happen quicker than others. All the Lego characters resemble the characters from the movie although visually it can be hard at time to decipher between Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, simply because their small on screen. Graphics are as good as any other LEGO game I've played but the real bonus of this game is all the voices are ported directly from the films which gives a better sense of realism. Cut-scenes are an absolute laugh and give their Lego variation of certain aspect of the saga.. as an example SPOILER ALERT (skip to end of paragraph if you don't want to know): The part where Boromir gets hit by lurtz near the end of the first film instead in the lego version boromir gets hit with a brush and then killed by a banana which certainly got me laughing and i'm a seasoned LEGO player.
Rather than a direct linear path from which you can't deviate, in this there are larger open areas that you can explore and even side quests if you want to help people out like find objects for a guy in the village and as usual there are a whole host of items to find in different hidden places that will require at least a second play-through as you need different characters abilities to access certain areas, it's all fun and levels can be replayed from the menu with ease although a word of caution as with all LEGO games, if you wish to 100% complete the game it will take longer than you first think and you will require patience as some puzzles require extra effort.
PROS: As usual this is an epic laugh and sticks to the LOTR storyline in a perfect way, cut scenes are some of the best I've seen, best looking lego game to date dare i say?
CONS: i have come across the odd glitch here and there but nothing to worry about, you can get confused every now and then regarding what to do next!
VERDICT: This is probably the best LEGO game to date in my personal opinion, i love lord of the rings and coupled to lego this makes for an epic game with lots of laughs along the way. It sticks to the proper storyline and there's lots of replay value in it because of all the items you need to collect.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GAME ... both as a lord of the rings tie-in and as a Lego game on it's own, you'll love it!