While Lego The Lord of the Rings doesn’t drastically change the Lego game formula, the shift to the Lord of the Rings franchise brings with it a couple of differences.
The first difference, which I found hilarious, was the game’s use of dialogue taken from the movies. While the lines were lifted wholesale, they were arranged in a humorous fashion and applied to Lego’s typical over the top animation. In this version, Pippin doesn’t just make a ton of noise by knocking a skeleton into the well, but is instead dragged into the well himself, giving Lego Gandalf an adorable headache and requiring the fellowship to collect Lego bricks and rebuild the well.
The second was the addition of some slight RPG elements. Holding Y would bring up a weapon wheel, which allowed me to switch between Gandalf’s staff and his sword. While I only had two weapons, I was told that players could pick up other weapons and bring them with me as they defeated enemies and played through the game.
Outside of those things, the game didn’t diverge from the previously-established Lego game standards. There were a ton of playable characters in the demo alone including Gimli, Legolas, Frodo, Sam, and Merry (apparently there will be 80 in the full version). I was still supposed to collect bricks and smash random structures for Lego studs. I was also able to toss Gimli at brick walls to break through them and find more stuff to collect.
After I’d collected the necessary pieces to rebuild the well and rescue Pippin, Orcs stormed into the room and I beat them up using the game’s one-button combat. Unfortunately, after smashing a few of them with energy balls from Gandalf’s staff and close range attacks from his sword (all mapped to X), I had to run to another demo.
Food for Thought:
1. While I didn’t get to play it myself, I saw one player playing the segment in which the Balrog grabs Gandalf and they fall off the bridge. While I wasn’t able to see how the scene ended, it was pretty cool, even in Lego form.
2. As is the case with every Lego game, the game has drop-in/drop-out co-op.