Upon playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes, I made a decision that it was the best Lego game I would ever play. I decided that all other games in the series, would forevermore be deemed sub-par because it was just such a joy. I fought to resist the charm of The Lego Movie Videogame, but fell under it’s spell. While it was not quite as huge as previous Lego titles, it more than made up for it with it’s bombastic set pieces and clever new additions to the tried and tested Lego game formula.
Well, I’ve decided to move the goal posts a little here and declare that Lego The Hobbit is my NEW favourite Lego game to date. At least until the inevitable Lego Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game gets released. This review is actually covering two fairly different versions of the game – the PS4 release which is the ol’ familiar console experience and the PS Vita version, which is more bite sized and portable.
Sadly, the PS Vita version is nerfed in favour of simple quick missions, unlike Lego Lord of the Rings which was basically a direct port of it’s home console counterpart. Visually the game is completely different, looking like an old school isometric RPG instead of the more zoomed-in and personal Lego games we’ve come to know and love. The missions are still a lot of fun and I do appreciate a different experience on a different platform, but this is definitely the lesser of the two products.
Lego The Hobbit on PS4 however is an absolute revelation. The game adds crafting mechanics, where collecting materials allows players to build specific items and unique creations. Much like The Lego Movie Videogame, you are now tasked with actually being involved in the construction of certain Lego items. This is typically done by selecting a missing piece from a build. There is a time limit and in two player, it can be frustrating as both players rush to select the appropriate piece but it’s still a nice addition that adds some more interactivity to this Lego world.
The game takes place over the course of the first two Hobbit movies, with the third movie to be added at a later stage via DLC. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, the unwitting burglar for a band of feisty dwarves, who set forth on a quest to save their homeland and defeat the evil dragon, Smaug. The game contains all the levels you’d expect. You will perform riddles in the dark with Gollum, fight the pale orc in the depths of Moria and take Smaug on with Bard and co.
What the game does really well. is offer up some fantastic humour. One scene in the first Hobbit movie see’s the dwarves invade Bilbo’s home. They begin to throw his cutlery around while cleaning the dishes. You actually get to play this scene out in the game via a fun little quick time event. Although much of the dialogue is lifted directly from the movies, it’s the corresponding visuals that make the scenes so funny. Seeing an Orc on a cellphone in Middle-Earth is just comical and there are several incidents that serve to break the fourth wall.
Lego The Hobbit has a huge amount of content as per most Lego titles. It definitely houses more replay value than The Lego Movie Videogame and might even serve up a comparable amount to Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Lego The Hobbit is best enjoyed in two player and once again Traveller’s Tales focus is on the couch co-op side of things. The Vita version, sadly, contains absolutely no multiplayer features.
Lego The Hobbit expands upon the staples of the Lego game series and adds enough to feel somewhat fresh. It’s not gonna sway those who don’t care much for the little Lego world, but fans of previous Lego titles, Tolkien lovers and kids of all ages will surely enjoy the charms found in this outing. Although there is a disparity between the two versions, they both deliver a fun experience in their own way. If you have to decide which version to purchase though, I would recommend the home console version because it’s just a more polished experience all around.
Lego Game of Thrones and Lego The Walking Dead must be right around the corner… Right? RIGHT?!!?