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Lego The Lord of the Rings review

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The latest Lego creation isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as say, Lego Indiana Jones, but it’s just as entertaining, writes John Walshe.

Following the massive success of their Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and Pirates Of The Carribbean games, Peter Jackson’s sumptuous Lord Of The Rings trilogy is the latest to get the full-on Lego video game treatment. While it’s not as overtly humorous as its predecessors (there was something truly hilarious about finding Stormtroopers enjoying a jacuzzi), Lego The Lord Of The Rings remains great fun.

Tolkien’s novels and Jackson’s films are held in such esteem that any fiddling with the source material would invariably have led to a massive outcry, so it’s to the developers’ credit that they have remained faithful to the feel and visuals of both the print and celluloid versions, while still retaining that distinctive sense of entertainment that made previous Lego-ised games so popular.

The game takes a more linear approach than previous titles, with players making their way, either singly or doubly (via the excellent drop-in/drop-out co-op mode), through Frodo Baggins’ epic journey from The Shire to the fiery pits of Mount Doom.

Along the way, you get to recreate some stand-out scenes from the films, from fighting the Ringwraiths on Weathertop to Gandalf’s battle with the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. You can opt to complete all manner of side-quests as you go, earning valuable upgrades as a result: Mithril boxing gloves, for example, will give you the strength to pull the orange handles that appear at various points in the game.

The amount of playable characters is incredible, each with their own particular skills: Sam is extremely handy for lighting fires and growing plants to help you cross chasms, while Legolas’ bow and Gimli’s raw strength are vital at various points in the game. All the main protagonists are instantly recognisable, from Elrond to the Uruk-Hai , with Gollum being probably the creepiest Lego character ever.

Graphically, it’s gorgeous, from leafy Rivendell to the snow-capped mountains, while there is more dialogue than in any other Lego game (most of it taken directly from the films). All the Lego cuteness in the world would count for nothing without solid gameplay, however, and this is a winning mixture of exploration, puzzle solving and combat, that will keep players coming back time and again.

John Walshe

Platform: PS3, X360, Wii
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Age Rating: 7
Score: 4/5

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