1. LEGO: The Lord of the Rings
- What is the game?
LEGO LotR is another game from LEGO alongside 19 other video, 4 mobile and 2
online games. This franchise is well known for creating a spin off from bestseller
films (such as Batman, Harry Potter and Star Wars), simply for earning more
LEGO LotR is available on Xbox, Xbox live, PlayStation, PlayStation3, Nintendo
3DS, Nintendo DS and Wii. It was developed by Traveler’s Tales (which aims for
young audiences and specialises in LEGO games) and published by Warner Bros.
The game was released in 2012.
Though it’s far from ideal, it's one of the best Lord of the Rings game adaptations.
Other games are aiming for more serious and realistic feel instead. There are 35
other video games based on Tolkien's books. The earliest one was published in
1982 and was a text-based adventure - Hobbit. The latest one was published
recently this year - Shadow of Mordor.
- What type of game it is?
It’s an adventure game suitable for younger audiences 7 years old onwards. This
age restriction is not stable, on different game box covers the age is 10 or 12 (and
it’s not just on covers on different platforms, it exists in boxes on the same
platform as well, which is strange). LEGO LotR is a game for casual players.
The game can be played by a single player or two people. It contains cartoon
violence and comic mischief.
- What do you do in the game?
We begin as four scared Hobbits who have no idea what they got themselves into.
After enough of fear and terror in our hearts when sneaking away from one of the
Ring Wraiths we enter Bree. There is a stranger-on-the-corner who calls himself
Aragorn. We somehow believe his story and welcome him into our team (good for
- The look of the game
As every LEGO game, all the characters, weapons and environment details are
built of LEGO blocks. It makes us not take it too seriously. The experience of it is
completely different than during the film marathon, or if the graphics would seem
surrealistic. The violence and slaughter appears, but under the cartoonish, child-friendly
User Interface is simple. On upper corners there are avatars of characters in play
(on Xbox always two even when two-player mode is not activated) and their lives.
In free play mode there is also shown the amount of all the coins gathered in the
middle with mini icon indicating which block we gathered last.
3. It followed the main parts of the book in the linear order. However it shorten
several bits or changed them, as well as few scenes were simply not included in the
game. It was completely unpardonable to just skip the journey on ponies through
Barrow-Wights and being rescued by Tom Bombadil. Other moments of deep
disappointment were when Smeagol was always pale and creepy and stole the ring
directly from Sauron’s finger instead the scene with his cousin’s murder.
It proves to me they didn’t want to stay loyal to Tolkien’s work, instead they
intended only to interest the people watching this film once and saying – “Hey
look! LEGO Lord of the Rings! So cool, let’s buy it.” Fans of the film and
especially the book might be disappointed with the storyline of this game.
I didn’t mind the little funny add-ons but with the lack of other parts it made me to
like this game less.
- Mechanics of the game
I have played it on Xbox 360. I used the analog stick for movement allowing me to
walk or run (depending on how far I tilted it from original place) in all the
directions. The movement wasn’t precise, and sometimes I felt into the lava or off
Two player split-screen wasn’t helpful either – It was very annoying as it was
constantly changing from vertical through diagonal to horizontal, then to the full
screen and after a short time was divided again. With limited camera angles the
challenge of following the right path was a lot more challenging.
In every mission there are at least 2 characters available (though I’m not sure if it
includes handheld consoles) which you can switch anytime pressing Y button or
holding it to choose the exact character from ring-alike interface you want to play
with. In co-op mode you can’t choose the character chosen by other person.
At the moment when story was splitting into two groups, they made an interesting
part, where the Eye of Sauron was observing the certain area, so we couldn’t enter
it until completing another part. It was a good option, as it disallowed the player to
e.g. throw the ring before even fighting between two great fortresses.
Another thing I didn't like about mechanics was that when I played with another
person, and there were at least two epic battles, the first player was doing it, and I
was left in a normal game, occasionally watching what's happening on the other
half of a split screen.
Enemies are separated into two armies under the rule of Sauron and Saruman. We
are fighting against both of them at the same time. Although it would be
impossible to literally fight them both at the same time, the game divides these
events into parts and arranges them chronologically just like in the film. To lead
the unexperienced person to where to go first, it uses Eye of Sauron (as I described
The armies contain mostly of orcs. Sauron’s army additionally contains of nine
Ringwraiths (including Witch King as their leader), enslaved trolls and Easterlings
with their Oliphant tanks. There are also bosses, such as Shelobe and Barlog, who
are serving Sauron as well.
- Enemy mechanics
So called bosses were deadly easy to defeat – all of them worked in set patterns
and additionally, player was told what to do each time by arrows, circles or buttons
None of enemies was dealing damage greater than half or whole heart, nor they
received more than this. In ‘epic’ battles there were enemies as a part of
background (fighting or standing and watching) and sometimes groups of them
were spawning out of nowhere and running towards us. They were rarely attacking
us, mostly their job was to stand behind and wait until we’ll kill them.
- Characters development
Though extremely simplistic, the characters remain recognisable for those familiar
with the film. We unlock more and more characters (72 in total + 10 in DLC) when
completing certain parts of the campaign; some of them we’ll obtain already, while
others we have to buy for a certain price between 25.000 – 500.000 Lego blocks.
Certain characters such as Frodo, Sam, Aragorn and Gandalf have more than one
outfit to choose from.
Certain characters also have different uses; only small characters (dwarfs, hobbits
and Smeagol) can go under hatches, whereas big ones can lift small characters and
throw them, only elves are able to jump higher in places marked in green light and
It appears to be like any other LEGO game, the only difference is design and
At the beginning there are four characters to choose from. Not long after, we count
up to nine of them. Then the team loses a member (traitor, that is) and breaks into 3
groups: Frodo and Sam are hurrying to Mordor despite their certainty of death, two
younger Hobbits are kidnapped because of orc’s stupidity (“they are halflings, so
it’s obvious they have an object our master wants” kind of thinking), and the rest
go into battle.
Summarising, you can play with different members of the Fellowship throughout
the game depending on what mission you are doing in the campaign.
After completing the whole campaign, free play mode is unlocked and you can
choose any character and redo any mission with them (especially to unlock
bonuses located in places inaccessible to main characters).
6. - World
Although it’s big and includes most of original LotR locations, it’s really
disappointing. It destroys the part of the game’s enjoyability, as its creators
definitely were super lazy when making it (I wouldn’t call it creation). The world
lacks of buildings and terrain made entirely of Lego blocks; instead, only the small
objects (such as bushes, tables, some rocks and trees) and at least Sauron’s tower
are made this way.
Another issue it that in free mode there are large empty areas (for example these
between Saruman’s tower and Minas Tirith and definitively behind the Mordor),
adding nothing but additional space for tedious walk and hope we’ll find ourselves
next to the nearest map stone from which we can use teleportation.
What might appear annoying for some people, is the fact that after finishing the
whole story, the game isn’t completed yet. Instead, there is only 33% (more or
less) completed. To achieve whole 100% you need to unlock all weapons and
characters, find and complete all the minigames and complete all the missions
again, but with different characters (for treasure boxes etc.) – it means a lot of
Note: The world is unchanged after throwing the ring into the Mount Doom. The
purpose for it it’s probably to allow player redo the missions and play as orcs.
Otherwise there wouldn’t be these hidden treasures both in missions and in specific
locations and players would be discouraged to continue on playing this game.
- Music and soundtrack
Includes dialogue taken from the film e.g.- you can hear Cate Blanchett speak
(who plays Galadriel in the film)
It stays true to film’s sound and music. The soundtrack for the game is taken
directly from the film, this allows the player to identify with the characters because
they are more likely to be familiar with the film before they played the game.
7. “Of all the LEGO games, Lord of the Rings makes the clearest effort to trade on
the power of the brand it features. Every strand of music and every line of dialogue
is pulled straight from Peter Jackson's successful film adaptions, both to the
game's benefit and detriment. There's always been a certain charm to seeing
simple, creative ways to translate a comic book or feature film into the LEGO
universe. That charm is mostly lost here though due to how directly the game apes
the movies. Playing through it is more or less like getting treated to a cliff notes
version of the trilogy. It certainly has a magical allure to it, but that magic feels
borrowed rather than created.”
- Media and merchandise
LEGO sets are obviously the main merchandise allowing fans to construct every
important building/location appearing in Middle Earth.
And some people take it on completely different levels.
There are also shirts, cups, key chains and other small gifts which are an essential
basis for every popular series.
Other merchandise not connected to LEGO, though for LotR itself are elven
jewellery and accessories, swords, figurines, costumes etc.
Media is widely spread around this game, the whole LEGO games as well as Lord
of the Rings itself, as I mentioned several times before. It is simply because these
both popular things are joined together in this particular game (and the Hobbit,
which is a separate one).
Like in most games (whether well-made or bad), there are glitches occurring.
During my gameplay I have seen at least 3 strange glitches. Two of them I
discovered in Rivendell location in the same place. While falling into the water we
have an option to jump off into the place on land when we were before falling – it
literally makes us jump to this place, even when that is a huge cliff, for example.
I tried to do this again, but this time I felt under the water; under the whole map.
My character literally was walking on nothing being surrounded in sky background
and above I saw every hill and building. It luckily changed into normal when I
entered another location. One more time when it was repeated (though in different
location), the character fell off, but kept falling into darkness and died.
The last glitch was occurring in few areas, mostly mountainous, where the
character had falling animation, but was still touching other objects.
8. There was also a bug, when I tried to climb on oliphant, the character got stuck
inside it. It took quite a long time to free him.
Inserted video/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxuGSFYm1ls
The trailer shows few scenes occurring in the game and shows the game as it is,
without any exaggerations nor false improvements.
Inserted video/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlA8Xvjkt4A
From the cutscenes the whole film can be made.
- Other’s opinions/reviews
“Lego TLOTR is, despite its many flaws, still broadly enjoyable. It has charm, it
has its moments and the series holds an undeniable attraction for kids both actual
and inner. It’s a Lego game, in other words. But it’s bloated, too, full of half-formed,
shoddily executed ideas and frustrating glitches. And after years of glacial
iteration, surely we have the right to hope new additions will be, if not truly
precious, at least a little more refined.”
“Finally, someone has done a Lord of the Rings game right. Finally, someone has
created a game that captures the epic sweep of Peter Jackson’s movies, the battles,
the struggles, the fellowship, the adventure. Someone has created a game that
takes on the great figures and huge events of Tolkien’s story, but that doesn't
abandon the little people or the details either.
Of course, it’s a bit unexpected that this most faithful of adaptations is constructed
around chunky Lego mini-figures and virtual plastic bricks, and that it’s one rolled
out with a wink and a chuckle rather than hushed reference and spellbound awe,
but then that’s always been the Lego way. ”
Opinions in Metacritic tell that the game average score is 80/100 based on 49
critics’ reviews (Telegraph rated it 100 the most and both Guardian and Edge
Magazine rated it 60 the least) and 8.5/10 based on users’ ratings.
9. - Evaluate what you found?
I found that majority of people oppose my opinions and seem to love this game and
its every aspect. Most of the ratings and opinions I have found are good, and tell
that it is a very well done adaptation of beloved trilogy. I have seen a bad LotR
example (LOTR volume 1) so there is something true about this statement.
- Look at what you saw and played and evaluate it
I did enjoy the game to a certain level. The main things which made me not like
this game much were graphics (normal settings instead of Lego) and the fact they
didn't include these parts of the story I liked. Another thing was two player mode
in which it was hard to navigate in this confusing and rotating split-screen mode.
First question was basic, to know how many girls and boys filled my survey. The
amount is unequal because I mostly asked people from my class, which are mainly
10. This question was crucial to the whole survey, as I was about the game I reviewed.
The numbers are nearly the same, meaning that a bit less than a half of them has
played Lego LotR at least once.
Third question was about other games from this popular franchise. The most
playable ones seem to be: Marvel Super Heroes and Indiana Jones. What is
surprising, nearly all of the only-Lego games (that is non based on any other
popular film/game/comic franchise) weren't played by respondents, with an
exception of Lego Rock Band. It means that probably they weren't enjoyable at all,
or no one is interested in Lego games, unless they show block version of
something well known.
11. There respondents had an open question to say what Lord of the Rings games had
they played. I didn't wrote all the titles like in the previous question, because there
is way too much LotR games (30+), and it would just take space. 8 (including the
one who read the question wrongly and answered Lego Avengers, which doesn't
make sense) of them didn't play LotR games at all. 4 of them played at least one
game based on the world of Tolkien and the other one seems to be a big fan of the
franchise (playing at least 6 games).
This question surprisingly was answered by 7 people, but only 5 answered yes on
the question no. 2. This means that either they filled the survey randomly or they
made a mistake in the question above. Majority of them - 50% - have played the
game on Xbox, rest played on other consoles except Nintendo 3DS. It is
explainable, as on 3DS it would be less fun playing alone (or have to buy the
second game and console).
12. This question as well was answered by more people than those who claimed they
did play the game. No aspects were rated as horrible, though there were two bad
opinions about mechanics and enemies in the game. the best rated parts were:
storyline and soundtrack (which was taken directly of the film). Graphic design
was another well rated aspect.
Two out of 3 people said they would change nothing about the game. The rest's
opinions varied, although each of them wanted it to be more interesting. One of
them wanted to manipulate a storyline, another wanted the variety to enemies and
mechanics. This would be a good idea, because all of the enemies (even bosses)
had a routine, simply they were boring and not very challenging. The last person
would enjoy if there would be more to do outside of quests - the free maps are
large but nothing happens on them, they are empty.
13. The last question was about the fellowship - which majority of people should know
who they are. Frodo, Sam and Legolas were all picked 3 times each as the most
favourite characters. The second favourite characters among all were Gandalf,
Boromir and Sam again. The least favourite were Frodo and Pippin, but even
people chosed Boromir as the worst one. It is explainable, because he betrayed
team and was the reason for them to split up, because of him two young hobbits
were kidnapped by orcs.