TT Games has been taking the LEGO games to new heights in recent years. After taking on some of the biggest film franchises the world has seen, Lord of the Rings is the next natural candidate to get the LEGO treatment, and the studio is once again looking to give players the humorous experience they’ve come to expect, while providing something new for long-time fans.
Starting with LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, TT Games began adapting the game design to a more modern feel, putting players in a fully-explorable hub-world which connected the game’s main levels seamlessly. This approach was expanded upon in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 4-8, and eventually TT Games went all-out and created an open-world experience with the recent release of LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Critic and fan reception has been generally positive, and once again, the company is looking to continue the success of their beloved franchise in LEGO Lord of the Rings by giving us the entire land of Middle-Earth to explore.
Beginning the game in Hobbiton, players will follow the events of the story exactly as they happen in the films. Each new area will have its own contained level much like in past LEGO titles, though once the story level is completed, the entire area is opened up to be fully explored. Ultimately, all of Middle-Earth will be available as a giant open-world experience, offering puzzles to solve, enemies to defeat, and areas that can only be reached once certain weapons and abilities have been unlocked.
Along with the new open-world format, players also have a currency system rather than simply collecting studs to purchase new characters and cheats. Throughout your journey, you will find LEGO bricks that are made of Mithril. Once collected, this material can then be traded toward new items and weapons, and even armor. One example that TT Games was kind enough to share was the purchase of a special pair of boots that will allow players to jump higher, thereby reaching new areas that were previously inaccessible.
Such a change to the tried-and-true LEGO format is definitely welcome, though it has been a long time coming. So far, the game looks promising, though concerns about the open-world are still being raised. While LEGO Harry Potter: Years 4-8 provided an engaging world full of puzzles and magic and funny interactions, LEGO Batman 2′s Gotham City was a flawed experience. The game was very good overall, but exploration and puzzle solving in the city came down to repeating many of the same challenges over and over again, or flying around with Superman to pick up gold bricks that were just lying around the city. Hopefully TT Games has taken these criticisms into consideration and worked out all the kinks.
Exploring Middle-Earth as any of the vast number of characters sure to be seen in LEGO Lord of the Rings sounds like an amazing experience. LEGO Lord of the Rings is set for release on October 30 of this year.