LEGO The Hobbit is based on the first 2 movies of the Hobbit trilogy, so if you’ve seen those movies, you’ll be at home with all the familiar faces and situations. The game captured my attention from the start with the unforgettable music from the movies, leading me deep into Bilbo’s bunker, also known as Bag End.
Faithful to the same formula that made many of previous LEGO games a success, the development team doesn’t take many risks. There are a lot of side quests to keep you playing for hours on end, rhythm mini-games, a lot of smashing to collect resources, and new characters to unlock, although you’ll see many blending into each other. Each character has unique abilities so some situations can only be handled by specific characters. Problem is that some times there are so many characters on your party, each with several objects or weapons available, that you may end up spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out who can do what.
It’s great to travel the land and find familiar places, but visually, The Hobbit is at some points a mixed bag, with some very good use of light and depth of field and great character models, but some of the environments are poor, even on PS4, the platform used for this review. In fact there are almost no enhancements made to make this version substantially different from the others, and not only that, there are occasional objects popping up on screen. Optimization for the platform definitely doesn’t seem to be the strength of LEGO games. However, this time I didn’t notice any of the usual bugs from previous games. So I didn’t got stuck on the geometry and the game didn’t froze, not even once.
Somehow, this LEGO game was not as funny to me as previous games. There were some amusing situations of course, but overall, I didn’t end up being so entertained by the clumsy characters and their silly faces. The game also lacks some kind of introduction to the story, and drops the player right into the action, assuming that you already saw the movies. It feels like a missed opportunity to introduce some characters and create funny moments from the start.
While the main plot will lead you through a short game, the abundance of extra content scattered all over Middle-earth, and the 2 player mode will encourage you to keep exploring what the game has to offer, giving you a lot more hours of gameplay. The Hobbit continues do deliver a family friendly experience from the LEGO series and keeps introducing fantastic universes to gamers.