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Me being a big fan of the Lego games, I was excited to get hold of Lego Lord of the Rings. Like their past games, Lego LOTR has continued the tradition of improving since the last game. At the time of writing about Lego Batman 2, I was super impressed and even chose it as possibly my favourite Lego game of all time, and although I’m not ready to take that title away from Lego batman 2, LLOTR is definitely a contender.
So what is still the same?
Free roam, that’s right, you can free roam the whole of Lego middle earth between and after levels, collecting and just faffing if that’s what you want to do. Puzzles and builds are still the same.
Character select in free roam and free play, once you have that character, press and hold △ and select the one you want.
True Adventurer- yes, thankfully, they have kept it the newer way, where you only have to get True adventurer in Story OR Freeplay and not in both.
Completion time. Even with some of the newer additions, completion time is round about the same as the older games. Play it flat out and it would take you about half a day to complete the story (35%).
Bonus Level- Fun little level where you can destroy everything. I found it quite easy to get to 1,000,000 studs in this game and I can’t quite remember if this is the same in previous games, but you get to keep the studs afterwards.
So what’s new?
Well, new-muro uno, quests. Whilst on your free roam or faff, you will come across characters, some out I the open and some hard to find, who will want you to find or forge items for them.
Which brings me onto two other new additions. The first is the backpack or treasure trove, which houses collectables and weapons. Some of these weapons will be character specifics that once found or forged any character can then use by accessing the treasure trove and some will be Mithril items, for example, Mithril Boxing Gloves which will give any character the strength to open any item with the orange bar.
The items that you can forge can only be forged once you have found the corresponding Blacksmith designs and then taken them to the Blacksmith in Bree.
This takes me to tell you about another new addition. White Bricks. Wait, what? Yep, white bricks. You collect white bricks throughout the game, these bricks serve as payment in the Blacksmith to forge your items, once forged, you can then take the item to the person that requested it and they will, most of the time, present you with a red brick.
The final ‘lot’ of new things I’m going to tell you about starts with Knightstones. These are statues dotted throughout Middle-Earth, normally one in each town/area. Once you have discovered a Knightstone, it will tell you where all the nearby white bricks, quests and buyable characters are. They also allow you to access the map and fast travel to any town that you have discovered a Knightstone in, and, you can choose whether you want to go there in the day or at night. Some of the collectable items are only available during one of these times, so if you are missing something, try going to a town at night to see if it is available.
Apart from all this, the graphics have had another notch of improvement and look so good that sometimes, you would be forgiven for forgetting that you are playing a Lego game. Although I did get a little bit of pop up sometimes, but not very often.
Do you remember those overly frustrating parts that are in every Lego game? You know the ones, where it seems really simple, but, if you’re like me, you will often over think it and end up wanting to physically hurt someone until you realise what it is and feel like a right numpty. Yeah, they’re still in there.
The one downside I would say this game has, and I did struggle to come up with any, are the loading screens, mainly between levels. They seem to take a lifetime to go to the next level and you could easily watch your life drift on by whilst waiting for these (not exaggerating I promise).