back to article Review: Lego Lord of the Rings game

Being half Scottish, many of my summers were spent camping in the glens. After the daily grind of hitting each other with sticks, getting bitten by midges and eating fried spam, my sister would fill our evenings by reciting The Lord of the Rings – from memory! Being a more committed geek than me, by the age of 14 she had somehow …


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  1. Jad


    My son got it for the Wii this Christmas, and I have to say I've not seen the bugs of the PC port, although it lags a little when there is loads of action (as is the want of the Wii) it seems to do it less than Lego Harry Potter (5-7), or Lego Starwars 3, or even for the matter Lego Pirates of the Caribbean ... not that I play too many of these games (or indeed have a higher % done than my son on all of them) :)

    I like the fact that to complete the "quests" you can't just buy your way there with cash, you have to use up the mithril bricks you gain from completing levels, getting "true adventurer" or find lying around the plain ...

    I don't like having to sit through huge, unskippable, cut-scenes, especially since I've seen them already, and know how the story goes ...

    1. Avatar of They
      Thumb Up

      Re: LOTR FTW!

      I am 100% on it, the bugs are there in spades

      Try jumping up the argonath with gollum, he always gets stuck after the short person tunnel and then his fish wall climb, I have had him drop out the bottom of the world many times or get stuck in the rock.

      Also in the prologue jump up the lava fall as gollum, he flies out of the screen in a loop.

      There is also various bugs in the black gate where the troll freezes, so you can't kill and then can't progress.

      A bug with the levels that have forests, some times the rocks don't spawn so you can't throw them.

      There is a bug in taming gollum when gandalf climbs to fight the balrog, if you put the coloured blocks together wrong they lock and you can't release them, this means you can't get the treasure for doing it spot on. only recourse is to restart. (same thing happened with harry potter 1-4)

      I had the oliphaunt knee caps running on their own in the pelennor fields because the game decided not to load up the oliphaunt as well. (or it loaded up the oliphaunt and not the knee caps, so you couldn't progress)

      The Mount doom ascent in freeplay can't be completed without frustration because Gollum can't walk, he hops off the mountain.

      Anything related to the characterposession jump thingy, when going in single player from tall to short person it jumps, so you are half way up a mountain path, trying to change from legolas to gimli and it jumps you to other player who is at the bottom. Makes isenguard, helms deep, mount doom and half the mirthil bricks very hard to get. A couple were impossible without using the second controller at the same time. A play tester would have realised this.

      It is riddled with bugs even on the wii. Not as bad as the two harry potter games though, they were unplayable and uncompleteable.

      I would suggest Tt need to really concentrate on play testing and not churning out games but they won't listen, Harry potter had 62 out of 60 students in peril or 58 out to 60 because it didn't count two, and random floating triangles when detectors were turned on as well as landscape bug fixes and horrendous AI scripting and bad level design so I can't complete the second one. Batman 2 was just boring.

      Getting past cutscenes, on the wii you press plus and C this skips them when you want.

      You can get Tom bambadil, he is 125000 and has yellow boots and a spade if i remember correctly, as well as radagast and a host of other characters you will only see a brief moment in the films and who were never named, most of the orks being amongst them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: LOTR FTW!

        Indeed on the bugs.

        My son got the Wii version for Christmas and he found:

        1) During the battle with the Balrog, changing to any other character (surely this should be disabled) basically stuffs you.

        2) In the scary darkness, if you approach from a funny angle, your character gets pushed further in and is then stuck forever (continually grunting as it tries to get out). It's a bit weird.

    2. NightFox

      Re: LOTR FTW!

      I'm a big fan of the Lego games, it's an old and trusted formula that works well so I've got no problem with them re-skinning it with a new franchise. The only thing I think is a bit of a disappointment though is the historic distinct lack of patches for the whole Lego series- I think all of the Lego games to date have had very well known major glitches (like end-of-level Boss characters not being triggered, or levels that invariably crash unless you do very specific workarounds), but these never seem to get fixed. I know you could throw that accusation at many games, but the Lego ones do seem to have a particularly bad track record for post-release game-stopping bug fixes.

  2. Dcope

    Good game

    Got this for the boy for xmas with his ps3, played it with him and the cutsceans have just the right amount of comedy and he loves it, made him want to watch the films which luck would have it CH4 have shown and are on the tivo box, watching in 1 hour chunks as hes only 7.

    Also 65 quid for that joypad!! erk.

    1. Magnus Ramage

      Re: Good game

      Agree about the joypad. Even more so when its brand-name is the SteelSeries FREE. That's certainly not free as in beer or as in speech - perhaps it's free as in easy? Or free as in not-free-at-all?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Good game

        It would appear it means "Free [to take with you and use with a tablet/phone, or Mac/PC]", judging from SteelSeries' website... it quite a compact looking thing.

        There have been a fair few comments on other threads about the need for a product like this if smartphones are to continue denting dedicated portable gaming machines, but the price seems a bit steep. People who like bodging their own solutions are already using a Sony PS3 controller with 3rd party software for Android / PC gaming.

        I've only heard of SteelSeries before in relation to their gaming mice... they seem fairly well thought of by reviewers, but gaming mice aren't things I know much about.

  3. lawndart


    The road goes ever on and on,

    Down from the door where it began.

    Now far ahead the road has gone,

    And I must follow if I can,

    Pursuing it with rigid feet,

    Until it joins some larger tile,

    Were many studs and blocks do meet,

    And whither then? I go with style.

    Other characters?

    Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

    1. Martin

      re: Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

      I bloody hope not....

      He's the Jar-Jar Binks of LOTR. I was delighted when they decided to drop him from the story.

      1. Erroneous Howard

        Re: re: Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

        You don't meet him in the story, but can unlock him as a character to use in free play.

      2. Prof Denzil Dexter

        Re: re: Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

        Noooo. i loved him in the books, and his songs in the audiobook are great.

        i missed him from the films

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Chris 3

        Re: re: Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

        Actually, when I first read the books as a kid, I found him an interesting and very scary element of the plot. This guy turns up who *appears* to be a good-un, but I kept expecting him to snatch the ring and turn out to be Mr Evil as they wined and dined them and sent them to be bed with the advice that they shouldn't be bothered by any nightly noises.

  4. Whitter
    Thumb Up


    How often do I read a revie and go from "not much interested" to "want"?

    Rare indeed: I haven't played a computer gam ein years and amn't to fussed by JRRT, but none-the-less, its a birthday wishlist item now!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a fun game, just maybe a little bit buggy. Just bought it for my son on the Wii, managed to pick it up for £18

  6. faulty_m

    Is that

    Vader in one of those photos?

    1. Qwelak

      Now that's an idea

      I think thats meant to be a Nazgul, now that's an idea

      The Witch King of Angmar Vs The Dark Lord of the Sith

      That would be a rumble worth watching

      1. Benchops

        Re: Now that's an idea

        What about Count Dooku vs Saruman? Oh wait, has anyone seen them in the same room at the same time?..

  7. jai

    -1% ??

    -1% is that like infinitely good as a result of a divide by zero error?

    But then, you said there were bugs, so surely that warrants taking off a couple of percent points?

  8. Sporkinum

    looked at it last night

    My HTPC's hard drive had died, so I had to replace the drive and rebuild the machine last night. I re-built it with a cheap ($15) Windows 8 license. It runs Media Center, XBMC, Firefox, and Steam. After getting everything running on it, had steam load the cheap ($7 from Amazon) Lego LOTR. Just went as far as Bree and saw the Peter Jackson Lego sitting on a fence eating a carrot. The Lego games aren't very challenging, but I love the animation and the gags. I wasn't even offended when they fooled you with steam from tea instead of Gandalf's pipe smoke.

  9. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    "However, she never managed The Silmarillion."

    I'm not surprised your sister didn't manage to memorise The Silmarillion. Everyone bought it (Private Eye called it "The Sellamillion"), but I've yet to meet anyone who managed to read to the end.

    Why did I have to log in again to post this?

    1. The Serpent

      Re: "However, she never managed The Silmarillion."

      Have done so many a time, even though it can be bloody hard work making your way through all the woe - most of the stories within it verge in to Pyrrhic victory territory in my opinion . Back in the day I could have given you a good verbal tour of it all though, these days I've filled my head with far less entertaining stuff so I can't tell my Hurin from my Turin, nor my Huor from my Tuor.

      On occasions it is still useful to be able to use the creation of the world stuff to explain things like why Gandalf doesn't seem to age (or indeed Tom Bombadil, if the books are being discussed) or why the elves are obsessed with getting on ships and sailing west.

    2. Norman Hartnell

      Re: "However, she never managed The Silmarillion."

      I've read it many times too. It's superb, but I can appreciate it would be utterly impenetrable if you don't "get" Tolkien.

    3. __________

      I have

      And I'm not the only one.

      It's not a novel, or even a book of short stories, though there are stories in there, but it's good for background info on the world, as are some of the other "Hey, look what I found in dad's waste paper backet" books that Christopher Tolkien brought out.

      That stuff is background and of more use to obsessives, but not necessary, the Appendices are different

      I found in conversation with my wife about some things, like the significance of Gandalf helping the dwarves, or what he was doing when he wasn't around, she had no clue what I was on about. Found out her 1st volume set lacked the Appendices, which is a bugger because there is stuff in there that Tolkien though vital to understanding Arwen & Aragorn and how the Hobbit fits into the Lord of the Rings that he couldn't work out how to fit into the main text.

  10. John Tserkezis

    I'm not into games, but...

    I stumbled across someone who took all the video cuts within the game and patched them together into an hour and half length movie.


  11. Spoonsinger

    That goat picture reminds me...

    "Boggies seldom exceed three feet in height, but are fully capable of overpowering creatures half their size when they get the drop on them."

  12. Grease Monkey

    "It adds a whole new level with open world exploration in the exciting and stunning world I know and love."

    Hardly new to lego games. I haven't played them all, but I know Batman 2 had the same sort of "hub" where you could explore the whole world of the game. With all the lego games I've played so far I've found that new features in each release make it into each subsequent release.

    FWIW although I enjoyed the game I found many of the levels a little tedious. Some of them were very linear in that there was a single path you could follow with puzzles to solve to move on. In these levels you can't explore and find the puzzles you just have to go straight from puzzle to puzzle. In that respect it's less fun than some of the previous games in the franchise that I've played. I suspect, however, that this is because there is more content to this game and so no room on the disc. I would happily lose the "fully" explorable hub world for more entertaining levels. My son OTOH is happy with it just the way it is and he spends hours exploring. He's the target market so I'm sure Tt have got it right.

  13. John 62

    Good review

    Good stuff, Ms Orr, your writing has improved considerably.

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