While The Lego Movie and the accompanying video game were pretty good on their own, Lego is known to have many other Lego-themed games based on other franchises that puts familiar stories and characters in a Lego-themed video game, and they usually turn quite alright. This particular title continues that trend, and it does have most of what’s expected from a Lego game.
LEGO: The Hobbit is yet another addition to the LEGO video game franchise developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that has taken on various licensed properties in the past like 2 LEGO Harry Potter games and many iterations of LEGO Star Wars, among many others. As with a lot of these games that adopt a title with lots of adventuring in it, the world is constructed to be a grand one with the Lego theme going on. The characters are depicted in classic Lego man style, and a lot of the objects in the environment have that characteristic Lego brick look.
This game follows the plot of the first two movie adaptations, An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, but then gives it a whimsical twist to befit the Lego brand. If you’ve watched the movies before, then you should know what’s going to happen next, but you now get to be a part of the adventure in Lego form. It’s a bit of a wonder why they made this game before the third movie came out other than they wanted to make a game on The Hobbit now, but it still lets you follow the storyline well enough.
It’s pretty much the same kind of gameplay like with other Lego games, letting you explore levels and take out enemies along the way as you get from point A to B. But while LEGO The Lord of the Rings had a lot of characters in it, this one has much less to go with, most likely due to The Hobbit’s plot. There are also less enemies to fight this time around, but more objects to smash and open up.
The exploration in this game is ends up being a mix of the good and the bad. While there is a whole lot of content to go through, the level design looks cluttered with a lot of content crammed in small levels. It would have been made better if there was more to see and do, but there isn’t much life to them. Most of the quests you go through are fetch quests, and there aren’t a lot of other characters to interact with to get a sense of life in this Middle Earth.
Aside from minigames and other little things you can do, there is the combat that is rudimentary at best as it feels clunky and sluggish. While you do get to go up against mobs of enemies that reflected the confrontations in the book and movies, the controls and dynamics made for flurries of mashing for most of the time. It’s not terrible, but it’s not exemplary either, so combat seems like a hurdle you must get over in order to continue adventuring.
While it’s supposed to seem whimsical as Lego games usually are, it has not been translated too well here in this case. The Hobbit is a bit too serious, but seeing those Lego men be warriors and adventurers in the J.R.R. Tolkien style doesn’t work so well. What made LEGO: The Lord of the Rings work is the scope and variety, while this game has less of that. It seems that while they had the story poured into the Lego mold and it came out alright, it feels a bit too forced in a lot of places.
Despite that, LEGO: The Hobbit still works for those who want to take part in the Tolkien adventure. It does feel stale in a lot of places, especially when compared to other Lego games. But if you are a Lego game fan, then it still has most of what you may be looking for.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 6.5/10