Digital Salad Plays … Lego Lord Of The Rings

Lord Of The Rings – I’m a big fan, as I’m sure are most people. Without wanting to sound like too much of a hipster, I read the books before the films as well. So I like my LOTR! I also like Lego, and spent many many hours as a kid playing with the addictive psychedelically coloured bricks. So, what better than Lego Lord Of The Rings for the Xbox 360?

468px-Lego-lord-of-the-rings-naThe main reason I picked this up is because I love co-op games. I’m lucky that CakeBoxFox, my flatmate, does too. The thing is is that we’ve always found the range of local co-op games lacking on the Xbox 360/PS3 generation. We’ve played Dynasty Warriors to death, and still really enjoy them. But what else besides that?

Well, we did Dungeon Seige 3 – that wasn’t too bad but all too short. We also gave the Cursed Crusade a go but gave up after a while, it wasn’t bad but just a little repetitive (and that’s coming from us as Dynasty Warriors fans!).

We had some good fun with DS3, but what else is there out there to co-op?!
We had some good fun with DS3, but what else is there out there to co-op?

We’d been looking for a new co-op game to play and Fox suggested the Lego video games. I’d always been aware of them, but never really looked into them. I knew that good things were said about them, but they were the Lego ‘imitations’ of mainstream ideas – I assumed they’d be bad imitations. My assumptions were all wrong, and probably a lot of gamers think that about the Lego games without looking into them first.

This is the Digital Salad round-up of Lego Lord Of The Rings, proudly shouting out that I think its actually a pretty decent game.

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The Lego brand definitely doesn’t make it a poor imitation. Its amazed me how well this game is actually made. It definitely seems like a lot more effort, and certainly a lot of love, has been put into this game compared to other throw-away LOTR games. There’s dozens of LOTR out there, I’ve played almost all of them at least once, and I can honestly say that this is one of the best.

The game benefits greatly from being allowed to use the original film voice acting, without which it would’ve greatly suffered. You get to re-live your favourite film moments, but with an adorable and amusing Lego twist to it that always stays true to the original media. A great example is that, being a game designed primarily for kids, you couldn’t have Gandalf & Co smoking pipe-weed; so they replaced smoking in scenes with mugs of hot chocolate. It’s actually a lovely change that stays true to the original theme remarkably well.

They're taking the Hobbits to Isenguard
They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard

The mainstay of the game is puzzles, and it pulls these off really well. Certain jumps can only be made by Legolas’s elf legs, whilst you can throw Gimli at breakable targets to release a pathway to the next section (Gimli tossing is an important mechanic and is great fun as well). Each character has a purpose, although you’ll find yourself relying on Sam, Gimli and Legolas far more than the others. Its not too bad, everyone has their abilities, but I wished some got used a little bit more.

The co-op though is the main reason we bought it, and its great. Its a great game to sit down and play, whether you’re a kid still playing with Lego or an adult with a Lego-loving inner child. My only gripe with the game is the split-screen which, unlike traditional static vertical split-screen, rotates the split depending on your location. It can be mind bendingly confusing at times, especially in battle. That said, it does make sense, it’s just taking a long time for my head to adjust to it after so many years of the traditional static split-screen split.

There’s not much else I can say. Even if you’ve never really played puzzles games before you’ll probably enjoy this little gem, don’t dismiss it! If you like LOTR its certainly worth a go, its without a doubt one of the best LOTR games out there.

That’s all for now on what I’ve been playing, but I hope to be publishing a new feature soon which I’m keeping under wraps at the moment – so stay tuned!

 

Digital Salad – https://lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

 

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