A cartoony action-adventure video game set in the Tolkien universe
Lego Lord of the Rings is an adventure game made for the PC as well as console gaming systems. Traveler's Tales is the game's developer. The company produced a total of four Lego games during 2011, the year that Lego Lord of the Rings was released. The game has an open-world style with plenty of space to explore. There's also a plethora of other aspects to the game; they require the player to complete side quests and uncover secrets that are separate from the primary mission. Gameplay takes place on Middle Earth; players must make efficient use of every character's unique skills to complete each level. The computer acts as the player's teammates, and these artificial buddies are quite critical to solving the majority of this game's puzzles.
Lord of the Rings movie fans will love the fact that the game has real speech recordings directly taken from important segments of the film. This game actually follows the movie script and situations very closely. Although the people are made out of legos, the music is fantastic, graphics are crisp and it actually feels like you're playing within a real Lord of the Rings setting. As in most Traveler's Tales games, the dialogue and events are scripted with a heavy dose of humor. This makes the game all the more fun to play. People who appreciate Easter eggs and hidden gems will enjoy spending time unlocking various special features between the major levels. The game proves quite addictive thanks to a non-stop challenge to collect lego studs placed throughout the levels.
One of the more surprising aspects of this game is the fact that the lego characters actually blend well with their surrounding environment. They definitely stand out from their backgrounds, but this is accomplished in a visually pleasing manner. The little lego men don't look too out of place. Middle Earth looks nice, especially the vistas. Lego Lord of the Rings gets a solid "A" for its aesthetic presentation.
However, the game's controls are well below average. Players take on opponents in battle by pressing the same attack button over and over again. Simply put, combat is a rather disappointing button masher. Smaller battles lead up to showdowns with the bosses, yet they are extremely easy to conquer. The artificial intelligence behind every single boss is poorly designed. Kids might enjoy these battles, but experienced gamers certainly will not.
Still, the game is worth playing simply for the fantasy element alone. Middle Earth is vast, detailed and definitely worth exploring. The game has incredible depth and a variety of levels that will entertain gamers for hours. Although Lego Lord of the Rings qualifies as open-world, it isn't fully open. A good chunk of the game is played on a linear journey, and that is acceptable. Every adventure needs a bit of structure and Lego Lord of the Rings blends the linear element with the open-world component rather well.