If you've yet to see that popular Kiwi flick, The Hobbit, and you want to brush up on your Middle-earth knowledge by watching the movies of the book of the sequel of the book - but don't want to spend upwards of nine hours with your hand in a popcorn bowl, then this adventure might suit your needs.
Traveler's Tales brings you Lego The Lord of The Rings: The Video Game, the game of the movies of the book form of the sequel of the book that is now a movie.
Following the progress of Sir Peter Jackson's original trilogy, starting from the series prologue (in which the strength of men overcomes Sauron and then promptly fails at the first offering of free jewellery), Lego LOTR borrows heavily from the movies. It has the soundtrack, the original dialogue, and the epic vistas. Then someone dumped bits of Lego all over it and the result is something that is appreciably good in its cartoonish elements, stunning in its background scenery, but the overall picture sits rather oddly.
There is an open-world environment with fast-travel points, and collecting bits and pieces will expand your inventory as you go, but besides that there's little to separate this from all the Lego titles which came before it - at least technically.
Lego LOTR looks better, sounds better, and gets deeper into the heart of its source material than the Star Wars versions ever did, but not as original.
The bit-bashing and foe-smashing remains the most satisfactory part of the experience, and there are even some cool swordfight sequences that can make you feel like an experienced Ranger.
This is a fun LOTR game. It's a guaranteed good time for families, it has plenty of the movies' charm, and it's a worthy accessory to the world of Tolkien. As a Lego game though, it doesn't stand out enough from its predecessors to be truly remarkable.
Platform: PlayStation 3