Currently Playing: LEGO: The Hobbit

LEGO: The Hobbit Splash

After getting through the gorefest of Doom and the humorous travails of Paper Mario, I decided to go with something a little different yet again — a co-op playthrough of LEGO: The Hobbit on PS4.

I don’t own many digital downloads on PS4, but during a sale last year, I grabbed Hobbit with a gift card.  A gift card, actually, that was given as a freebie by Sony to me, seemingly at random.  I was happy to get it, and did so with the intention to play with my significant other.

Co-op campaigns are a bit of rare beast nowadays, although couch co-op in general is getting a little attention with systems like the Switch suited well for multiple players.  I have previously reviewed The Witness, which I played in a “co-op” style by solving the puzzles together.

LEGO: The Hobbit Gandalf and Bilbo

Nintendo typically leads the way on co-op games, with Yoshi, Mario, etc allowing multiple players to participate in the main offline “campaign” those games offer.  I have had some previous exposure to the LEGO-style games on Wii with the Star Wars collection, but never played through an entire game.

So, we ventured forth with The Hobbit, which follows its move and book namesake in the story.  I’d say the story is more slanted to the theatrical releases over the book, and I was surprised that many of the actual voice actors are indeed their big screen counterparts.

I was also struck by the graphics.  Sure, everything is in lego blocks (which leads to some surprisingly interesting translations of design) but the environment was still lush and crisp, and has not clashed with the lego amalgams it supports.

LEGO: The Hobbit Split Screen Mine

The gameplay so far has centered around exploring the area, switching between the various dwarves, and smashing through every destructible object in the search for lego bits.

There is an odd satisfaction is smashing through the lego structures and seeing the lego bits accumulate at the top of the screen.  It is frustrating however, when using one of the wizards or other ranged character that has  bit of a delayed or awkward attack.  Give me the swords and the hammers every time.

Another component to all the smashing is seeking out secrets to get various hidden items or even more lego currency.  Throughout a level or zone, there will be a ton of secrets, although many appear inaccessible as they require a certain character ability that isn’t available in the initial run.

LEGO: The Hobbit Hobbiton

This element brings in two more bits of frustration: 1) the abilities usage seems to be poorly implemented and 2) all secrets require a second playthrough.

The abilities range from ranged attacks, to mining, fishing, and stacking of dwarves to reach high places.  While the additional gameplay element is appreciated, its introduced and then seemingly a chore every time its required to move ahead in the story.  Perhaps it will clear up further down the line, but so far its always a small hassle to stack up the characters to reach higher areas every so often.

As for the secrets, they are normally fairly obvious, but obvious in the sense that you do not possess the ability to access them.  This might add some replayability, as part of the fun in unlocking all the characters, but each time you pass by a secret, its a tad sad because my motivation is to advance the story and I’ll forget about the secret.  Again, not really a huge problem, but perhaps more of a pacing problem.

lego_hobbit_splitscreen

On a more positive note, the humor and presentation are done well.  The hijinks and shenanigans of the dwarven crew are fun and light-hearted, which snaps perfectly into the lego block aesthetic.

Further the game play is simple and straightforward, with minimal penalty for death and no real failure state.  Given my partners newness to the PS4 controller, it works well in keeping up the pace and not feeling like game over screens lurk around every corner.

All in all the game seems fine in most respects so far, with the few shortcomings I mentioned mitigated in part by the strengths.  I’m hoping for some more combat sections in the future chapters.

LEGO: The Hobbit Dwarf King

Have you played LEGO: The Hobbit?  Have you played any of the LEGO series? Comment below!

9 thoughts on “Currently Playing: LEGO: The Hobbit

  1. Pingback: Review: Lego The Hobbit | Particlebit

  2. I have not played this Lego game, but I have played the Lego Star Wars and Batman games on the PlayStation 2, along with some of the Lego Indiana Jones game on the Wii. I recognise a lot of the features described in the game applying to the Lego games I am familiar with. I enjoyed the co-operative nature of the Lego games (which seem to prioritise two players, rather than one, as the game cannot be completed without the help of another character, which can be controlled by either a computer or player). I remember the level designs used scenes from films, except seemingly built from Lego. I never had a problem with the special abilities in the older games and I enjoyed working out which characters had the most appropriate special ability. I can understand how it can be annoying to find an inaccessible area during the story mode, but I liked finding the secret locations in the free play mode. I also used to enjoy finding the secret items, but collecting as many chips as possible was irritating. I do not remember any voice acting though, the games I am familiar with were silent, with the characters explaining the story with slapstick.
    This game is very different to the gory Doom, mainly because of it’s light hearted nature and the fact the player cannot fail. Why did you choose this Lego game particularly? Does each dwarf have a separate special ability? How far are you through it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I chose it mostly because it was on deep discount on PSN a while ago. I have now completed it and was a bit disappointed that the ending is not complete (it leaves on a cliffhanger and no DLC was released to follow up).

      Like

  3. I enjoy the LEGO games quite a bit but I skipped out on The Hobbit, mostly because it sounded like they were going to release DLC to flesh out the entire story. I think I did eventually get it though on a sale, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a huge fan of the Lego games (except Lego City Undercover, which is great so far), but I think my wife would love this. She is a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, and the gameplay is simple enough for both of us to enjoy together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does the low stress gameplay part well. I think I might’ve enjoyed the Lord of the Rings game (which is separate from The Hobbit game) more, given that I’ve now completed this game, and the ending was left incomplete with the DLC canceled.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve played a few of the Lego games. The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy on the Gamecube, way back when. The first Batman one on PC when that came out, and most recently Lego Marvel Superheroes with my niece on the Wii U. They all follow the same basic formula, you get unlimited lives, you solve puzzles using specific characters, and get to enjoy funny cut scenes along the way. They’re just plain fun titles little kids can enjoy, but grown ups can as well. I’d imagine the Hobbit one isn’t too much different in terms of mechanics.

    Liked by 1 person

Add to the Discussion:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s