Lego The Hobbit ReviewPS4
key review info
- Game: Lego The Hobbit
- Platform: Playstation 4
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Lego games have increased in number in recent months, as developer Traveller's Tales has had plenty of opportunities to craft new experiences based on different franchises. We've had Lego Marvel Super Heroes based on the famous comic book universe and recently the Lego Movie game, based on the really popular film.
Now, even though it's a bit late in regards to the movie on which it's based, we have Lego The Hobbit, a fresh adventure set in Middle-earth after the proper Lego Lord of the Rings title.
Chronicling the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, Thorin Oakenshield, and their band of dwarves, the new title promises to bring the same great Lego gameplay albeit with a heavy emphasis on the events of the movie and with a few new mechanics to keep things fresh.
Does Lego The Hobbit manage to make a good impression or should we throw it into Mount Doom? Let's find out.
Lego The Hobbit follows the adventures from the first two movies in the series, complete from the flashbacks of the invasion of the Lonely Mountain by the dragon Smaug to the recruitment of Bilbo Baggins and the adventures of the merry gang on the road back to the aforementioned mountain.
Traveller's Tales has cherry-picked some of the best moments from the two movies but, unfortunately, the connection between them isn't that well explained, so you do need to see the films first before jumping into the game, if you want to make sense of its sequences.
In terms of gameplay, Lego The Hobbit manages to keep the basic formula seen in many games before it. You can control a certain number of characters and smash objects in the level to earn bricks, thereby boosting your score.
The new title, however, adds another tier of collectibles, as the dwarves can craft different objects using resources they find in the game's world. As such, you'll need to collect planks, stone, gold, rope, and many other things if you want to build objects needed to progress through the story, such as bridges over rivers, and a lot of other stuff. These resources are bountiful if you try to smash regular things around you, and you can even trade with merchants throughout Middle-earth for things you don't have.
While Lego games have always had a big cast, in The Hobbit things are even bigger, as there are many moments when you can control practically the whole main cast, from Bilbo to Gandalf, Thorin, and the other dwarves: Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori.
Considering that most of these dwarves also have different abilities, like mining ore, hitting huge pillars with hammers, or creating dwarf stacks to reach new places, you'll often find yourself confusingly changing between them while exploring the world. Fortunately, in many of the action sequences, for example, you have access just to a few characters with the most important skills for the task at hand.
The puzzles and the challenges in the game are quite fun, when talking about the main story, and there are a lot more side activities scattered throughout the game's open world. You can travel through it using Gandalf's giant Eagle but, unfortunately, quite a lot of these bonus missions and quests aren't that impressive, mostly relating to getting a certain amount of resources and doing different things with them.
The combat is pretty good, especially since The Hobbit often forces players to team up with their allies to deliver more devastating attacks that make up for the small size of the dwarves. There are some encounters that are a bit too hectic, such as the flashback fight between Thorin and Azog, but most are quite fun.
As with previous games, you can play with a friend via local cooperative mode and things are certainly much more fun, especially since in some cases you need to team up with an ally and they're nowhere to be found in your vicinity.
There are some gameplay problems, mostly regarding to collision detection, and the fact that the characters immediately disintegrate when jumping into water does put a damper on navigating some sections.
In terms of visuals, Lego The Hobbit manages to take advantage of the PS4's power and delivers a great-looking experience with fantastic environments and some pretty nice character models, each with different features.
The soundtrack is also quite good, managing to feature plenty of music similar to the movies. The voice acting is pretty well done, although it seems that the studio wanted to reuse lines from the films in some areas, while bringing in other voice actors for more dialog between the cast.
- Good adaptation of The Hobbit adventures
- Plenty of intense moments
- Imaginative puzzles and mechanics
- Emphasis on items can lead to grinding
- Some collision problems
- Campaign feels disjointed
Lego The Hobbit is a good entry in the franchise made by Traveller's Tales. It manages to cherry-pick the best moments from the first two films and put a great Lego twist on the whole series. While it still has some glitches and the new crafting system will sometimes force you to grind areas for loot, it's still pretty fun.