Oh jeez, another LEGO video game? I’ll admit, as much as I enjoy these games, I don’t find myself getting very excited about them anymore. That’s not to say I don’t still enjoy them. I do, very much so. But if you’ve played any of the previous LEGO games, you know what to expect here. And if you’ve taken the time to see one through to completion, it’s less likely that you’ll be able to handle the tediousness this time around. That’s been my experience, anyway.
From the time the game was announced, I had a bit of a hate on for it, as the timing just isn’t right. We all know the final movie in The Hobbit trilogy is set to be released at the end of 2014, so why release a game the same year that only includes 2/3 of the story? There will no doubt be a LEGO The Hobbit: The Complete Trilogy edition released down the road, which is nothing more than a cash grab. So yes, I’ve been harbouring some ill feelings towards this game for a while. But in the end, it’s a super fun game that’s loaded with charm, and is a blast to play co-op with my 6 year-old daughter. So, there’s that.
As perviously mentioned, LEGO The Hobbit re-tells the story of the first two movies in the trilogy. Like LEGO The Lord of the Rings, it uses bits of dialogue taken from the films instead of the grunts and groans of earlier LEGO games. This time around, cut-scenes felt quite short and dialogue was severely shortened to the point of just barely making sense. Some scenes were told differently than in the films to better suit the two player LEGO gameplay. Even when you play solo, there’s always a second character that you can switch to, so you’re not stuck with the limited abilities of a lone character. A good example of this, is when Bilbo meets Gollum in goblin town. The goblin that fell with Bilbo and is quickly killed by Gollum in the film, is merely stunned by the fall and assists Bilbo through this portion of the game.
Even though it only tells the story of the first two films, it’s still a lengthy game. And what it lacks in completion, it makes up for in side quests, although these are majorly tedious and obviously filler. The bulk of them are fetch and escort quests, which take at most a few minutes to complete. Similar to LEGO LotR, LEGO The Hobbit has you collecting objects through-out the story levels which characters in Middle-earth are after. Most of them cannot be obtained on your first play-through, so you’re looking at playing the entire game at least twice if you’re going for 100% completion.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings introduced the blacksmith, where you could use the mithril bricks you collected in Middle-earth to fashion weapons, clothing, and objects. LEGO The Hobbit takes this a step further, and introduces mining and material collection. Mining is especially fitting, given that the story follows a band of dwarves who are miners by trade. Through-out the story and Middle-earth, you come across LEGO sets which require materials to build. If you have the required materials, you thrown them into the mix and begin a building mini-game. The fashioned kit is then used to complete and objective. A nice touch from both the franchise standpoint, and also tying more of the building aspect into this LEGO game.
As far as LEGO games go, LEGO The Hobbit is top notch, with tons of content to keep you busy for hours upon hours. But the quality of that content is lacking, and the main story is incomplete. I didn’t see this as a waste of time or money, however, as it provided an excellent co-op experience with my daughter. If you have a little one to play this with, I’d say it’s worth picking up. Otherwise, you may want to wait for the price to drop.
All images used in this review were captured via PS4’s Share Button.