Once again, the Lego franchise takes a crack at telling the story of the latest Peter Jackson movie in its own quirky way. Lego: The Hobbit recounts the events of the first movie starring the Shireling Bilbo Baggins and his band of dwarven party members. Cutscenes replay the popular scenes from The Unexpected Journey, complete with the building block scenery and dozens of playable characters in the typical Lego title fashion. Plus, several new gameplay features make this adventure unique compared to any other Lego game before it.
I had a chance to delve into a gameplay demo set in Goblin Town, home of the Goblin King and thousands of his plastic minions. LTH conveys the story by playing out the scenes Lego style, with a touch of humor and a bucket of adorable. You can swap between any of the major characters from the movie, including the 13 dwarves, Gandalf, and, of course, Bilbo. Only here, you aren't limited to your character's individual abilities; you'll need to use the buddy system that allows multiple dwarves to perform special heavy-hitting attacks and shoulder-stacking balancing acts to reach high platforms, or solve puzzles that one character wouldn't be able to handle alone.
As I smashed, rolled, and bashed my way through the goblin hordes, I naturally broke every Lego construct in sight to pick up the series' collectible stud pieces--only to find loot and crafting materials amids all the scattered studs. Dwarves can carry different weapon types in addition to their special items, allowing you to pick up new items. With crafting, you'll collect special Lego pieces to build items that unlock level pathways.
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