CGR Undertow – LEGO THE HOBBIT review for PlayStation 3

Listen, Tolkien was a great writer, there’s
no question about it. But to be honest, I don’t even think he could review this game.
I mean…listen. I like these games, and I enjoy playing these games. But I ran out of
things to say about these games…like, a long time ago. At least five years ago. Probably
more. Actually, definitely more. LEGO games are, just…indistinguishable.
Fun, and well made. Also, indistinguishable. LEGO The Hobbit? Language was never intended
to deal with this. So, uh…we’ve also reviewed the Xbox 360
version of this game. Obviously, as a multiplatform game, they’re basically identical. But that’s
not the problem. The problem is…they’re identical to just about every LEGO game, ever.
Not just each other. And like I said, they’re still fun. When a new LEGO game comes out,
I always look forward to playing it. I just dread when I have to review it. Honestly, what is there to say about LEGO
The Hobbit, that I haven’t said about LEGO Star Wars; Batman; Marvel; Lord of the Rings;
Pirates of the Caribbean; Harry Potter; who knows what else? It’s like reviewing Madden
games at this point. Same game, different roster. In this case, it’s a roster full of hobbits.
And dwarves. LEGO The Hobbit is like an interactive retelling of the first two Hobbit movies.
And of course, if you’ve played any of the big franchise LEGO games in the past…you’ve
got a pretty good idea what to expect here. In terms of the gameplay, LEGO The Hobbit
builds from the same set of instructions as prior games. So you get lots of puzzles, lots of combat,
lots of action. Lots of LEGO. Lots of…deja vu. Of course, where these games actually do achieve
variation…it’s usually in terms of the proportion of those ingredients, as opposed to the ingredients
themselves. Games like LEGO Batman and Marvel are more about the combat, games like LEGO
The Movie and Harry Potter are more about the puzzles. Obviously, given the source material,
this one’s more focused on combat. So, you do take care of puzzles…but you take care
of a lot more orcs. And actually, some of the battle scenes are
pretty epic. In fact, that’s the thing I enjoyed most about
this game. The presentation really captures the scope and vibe of the movies. You get
music and voices pulled right from the movies, which is great. But the environments, in particular.
I mean, this is one of the prettiest LEGO games I’ve played. Now, I personally prefer
how The LEGO Movie Video Game did the environments completely in LEGO…but it’s hard to argue
with results like these. From the massive underground dwarf cities,
to the epic battlefields and the sunny green hillsides of the Shire…this is just a very
beautiful, and very Middle Earth, video game. So you’re getting the same fun—if predictable—LEGO
gameplay, all wrapped up with this gorgeous presentation…but is that all? Is there anything
new? Well, fortunately, yes. LEGO The Hobbit actually keeps the instruction builds from
The LEGO Movie Video Game. And these are kind of like little LEGO minigames. Following the
instructions, you try to pick the right LEGO pieces as fast as you can. The faster you
do it, the more of a bonus you get. And these are fun. They make the games feel
even more LEGO. As far as other changes…well, since it’s
a game about dwarves, there’s a crafting system. In addition to collecting all those LEGO studs,
you can also collect different materials. Things like rocks, wood…even carrots. And
you can use that stuff to craft new stuff. Stuff like keys, which help you progress.
But again, these are really just peripheral additions. The core gameplay is still the same as LEGO
always has been. And really, that’s what it comes down to with
this game. If you like the LEGO games and you’re still not tired of the LEGO games…hey,
this is another great one. It’s got a long campaign, and a bunch of side quests…you
travel all over Middle Earth in this game, and if you’re a fan of the movies or the books,
you’re gonna love that. I mean, it’s more awesome LEGO. On the other hand…it’s more LEGO. It’s LEGO The Hobbit. Can you imagine LEGO Madden? You’d have, like,
past-life regression…playing that game.

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