What is Lego: The Hobbit?
LEGO The Hobbit is a drop-in, drop-out co-op adventure, that lets up to two players join together to take on a LEGO recreation of Middle Earth, and the events of the first two Hobbit films. Taking in all kinds of familiar locales, from the Hobbit homestead of Bag-End, the picturesque Elven stronghold of Rivendell to the treacherous High Pass over the Misty Mountains, you'll step into the blocky shoes of all your favourite Middle-Earth-eans, from Bilbo and Gandalf, to the many Dwarves of Erebor, all with their own unique abilities. All handled with the usual Lego charm and slapstick humour, this is a game that kids and adults alike will enjoy, whether they've seen the film or not.
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How do you play Lego: The Hobbit?
Despite having a bit more of an emphasis on exploring the open world, collecting items, and completing quests than most Lego games that have come before, Lego: The Hobbit builds on the tried and tested formula. Whether you're completing a quest in Middle Earth, or taking part in one of the smaller scale levels, you'll be teaming up with either a real co-op buddy or computer-controlled companion, working together to explore, solve basic puzzles and beat up bad guys. Each character has their own mix of unique abilities which you'll need to mix and match to proceed, whether its crawling through a small space, lighting a darkened passageway or making a particularly large leap.
How easy is Lego: The Hobbit to pick up and play?
Still a decidedly family-friendly adventure, Lego: The Hobbit is definitely aimed at an older audience than earlier Lego titles. With more depth, more complex quests to complete, and more challenging puzzles to solve, there are even some that involve solving riddles - while the more open world, which lets you freely explore Middle-Earth in search of folks in need, can be a bit daunting to those used to more structured levels. Many prompts for puzzles are now text rather than image based too, upping the reading requirement, so whereas children who couldn't read would be able to blag their way through a Lego game before, they'll find this one harder going.
- "Well, well, well... Would you look at this well? Except you can't, because there is no well, because it wasn't maintained very well at all!"
- "Atop her perch, the stone bird sees. Her children hold the cavern's keys."
Although it's based on a film that's rated 12A, there's little for parents to be concerned about in LEGO The Hobbit. While you can bash baddies with swords, frying pans and fishing rods, any violence in the game is incredibly minor, with enemies merely flashing red when they take damage. Some cutscenes do recreate scenes from the film, such as a troll getting his hand cut off, but it's all handled with typical LEGO humour - after popping out, the hand runs away, and becomes a running joke for the rest of the game. With no sex and no swearing, this is as family friendly as they come.
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360