PS4 Review: Lego The Hobbit

An Expected Journey

The Lego formula has remained the same for what seems forever now, the only change being that in the past few games the scale has become bigger thanks to open worlds like New York and Middle-Earth. Is it time for the design to change or does the tradition still provide a great experience?
This is our second trip to Middle-Earth and while we will see many areas we’ve already seen, we are treated to some new ones as well as you would expect. The game follows the events of the first two Hobbit films, with the third being added at a later date via DLC. It’s a strange choice by TT Games who are used to delivering full experiences on disc; I would have expected them to bring the game out after or around the time of There and Back Again, not before.

In terms of gameplay, its business as usual…15 levels, plenty of side quests, studs and bricks to collect. A new crafting mode has been added which makes you smash everything for resources and then to build a specific item at a workbench, which then proceeds to a “guess the missing part” mini-game that came in from Lego The Movie Videogame. It sounds like a good idea, but during the story you’ll be forced to wait for specific items like trees and bushes to respawn so you can grind up the resources you need, it’s time consuming and ultimately not that fun.
The levels themselves are a good representation of the first two films with the classic Lego humour in tow, there are some questionable design choices during the levels that made them unnecessarily complicated, but other than that they are a well worthy trip. What’s even better is that you are treated to the narration of the story from Saruman himself, the legendary Christopher Lee.

I was playing the PS4 version and it ran smoothly with very small load times, it looked crisp and while it doesn’t push the system that much visually, it’s well animated and detailed. Music and voice acting is taken directly from the films for the authentic feel, which is always a nice touch. But it really depends on how much you liked or disliked the films, personally I rather enjoyed them but some found them long winded and dragged out, some are still writhing about a small book like The Hobbit being dragged into 3 films, but you can’t please everyone.

The Verdict

Lego The Hobbit isn’t quite as memorable as the first trip to Middle-Earth courtesy of Lego Lord of the Rings, but it’s a welcome return nonetheless. It’s fun from start to finish, despite some grievances over the crafting system, other than that I’d recommend it to any Lego or Tolkien fan.