Review: LEGO The Hobbit

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LEgoStoryLEGO The Hobbit tells the story of the first two Hobbit movies. The story sees Bilbo Baggins team up with a group of Dwarves as they try to claim back their homeland from the evil Smaug. The only argument that I have is that they could’ve waited until the third movie was released in order to release a completed package. As it stands, the game ends quite suddenly and feels like an incomplete story. The developers have done quite well in bringing a bit of humor to quite a dry story.

Lego Presentation
I played LEGO The Hobbit on the PlayStation 4 and was pleasantly surprised with the game’s visuals. The recreation of Middle-earth is full of colour and personality. The game looks much better than the previous LEGO Lord of the Rings games. The developers have hit a good balance of LEGO-like graphics and semi-realistic graphics. As expected, the character models and animation are incredibly solid and also do well to capture the essence of Middle-earth.

The voice acting is pulled directly from the film sequences. It creates a faithful representation but can also fall quite flat in terms of a unified experience. It felt to not fit in with the overall presentation at times.

Lego Gameplay
Coming from The LEGO Movie Videogame, LEGO The Hobbit is quite a disappointment. It reverts straight back to the formula of the LEGO games that you’re used to. It’s the rinse and repeat formula of repetitive combat mixed with unlocking new characters. Its only saving grace is when playing the game with another person. The LEGO games were made for co-op play and it’s always their redeeming gameplay feature. It’s one of the only games that let you sit down with another person and hash it out with a bit of old-school local multiplayer.

One of the biggest issues with the game are the boss fights which are comprised of QTE events and frantic platforming sections which can still be frustrating due to the camera angles.

LEGO The Hobbit retains the blueprint formula that was introduced in The LEGO Movie Videogame. This was a new gameplay mechanic that required you to find a bunch of missing parts in order to build something new to advance to the next section. This does well in breaking up the repetitive gameplay, but it is now quickly becoming something that is overused and being relied on to break up pacing. Another new addition are buddy attacks. You’re able to get together with another character to unleash a more powerful attack that can be used to take down larger enemies. It’s a good addition, I just wish that more new gameplay mechanics were introduced.

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