Lego games, they are all fun to play and have so much to do in terms of collecting. Lord of the Rings is no different, being a huge fan of the books and films I really wanted this to be good and it didn't fail to meet my expectations. The game at first seems huge as the main world hub is your journey from the Shire all the way to Mordor and at first it can be very overwhelming. As you travel around you find out you can fast travel to different locations you have already bypassed through and you can access all the levels you have completed from anywhere on the Map. The World Map really is a useful tool as it will show all the levels as well as characters that can be bought and collectables, something other Lego games didn't do (or at least the ones I played) which made everything easy to find.
I have to say I completed the game collecting all 1000 achievement points very quickly (within a week) with no problems whatsoever. I am not sure if this is a bad point or not because I remember being frustrated in previous Lego games trying to find one last brick or mini kit. This maybe because in the free play mode you are able to switch between any player you have unlocked/bought and not just the selection the game randomly selects for you which means you can reply the game twice and get everything instead of having to reply levels again and again learning which characters are needed.
The graphics are stunning for a Lego game, middle earth looks perfect and at times you will be amazed at just how good it looks, Rivendell for example looks fabulous with all the waterfalls. The game follows the story pretty closely to the films; you will enter each of the levels as you progress to Mordor which is a nice touch. Some levels require you to swap between characters that maybe in two separate locations at once, if you are playing in Co-Op this can be done at the same time using a split screen. Later in the game when Frodo and Sam separate from the Fellowship you will need to switch between both journeys and may not be able to continue with one until you have locked a location with the other.
In true Lego fashion the game is packed with humor however this time around the Lego characters will speak as they have used voices from the film. Some clips however have not been done very well and it's clear that the sound clips have been poorly transferred from film to game which is a little upsetting. The music is also taken directly from the film, I loved the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings and having it played while I travel through middle earth was a very welcoming sound indeed.
As previous Lego games you can activate a ghost stud trail which you can change to the next chapter or use for side quests, this makes it easy to get around what is a massive world map. Mini Kits, Red Bricks (which activate cheat codes) and white bricks (which replace gold) are back however the White Bricks are actually Mithril blocks that you can use at the blacksmith in Bree to create items and weapons that are used in side quests or just in the free play mode. Some are useless and you will never use them but some like the Disco Phial are fun to use for a laugh. There are a lot of characters to unlock and purchase but there is no need to use them all as multiple characters will have the same actions and with the Mithril equipment even Frodo can use an Axe like Gimli or a bow like Legolos which can make some characters a little redundant.
Before finishing my review I must touch upon glitches as this game like many of the Lego games is riddled with them. In Rivendell I managed to find myself falling through the floor and ending up underneath, during one of the levels I managed to pick up 12 out of 10 mini kits, climbing orthanc tower was a nightmare due to the way the camera turns automatically and how tough it is to jump sideways onto a rope. The worst issue of the game comes with changing characters, you press Y to swap between characters and hold down Y to open up the character list in free play however for example I am climbing Orthanc and I need to use certain character to get to the top so I would need to swap characters, sometimes when I hold down the Y button it just swaps me to the second character on the ground instead of bringing up the menu and when I swap back my previous character has now jumped off where I was and is now on the ground. This can be very frustrating indeed. My other issue is not having Online Co-Op, I don't understand why this has been missed when it's in previous games.
These issue put aside the game is still extremely fun to play and even though I have done all there is to do I have chosen to keep this game as I know I will want to play it again. By far my favorite Lego game of them all, I look forward to Lego Marvel.
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