(WBIE for PS4)
By Mike Delano
The world of The Hobbit is a perfect fit for the Lego games. It’s the kind of dense fantasy world that you want to see Lego-fied. The dusty corners of Bilbo’s house, the glistening natural materials of Erebor, the sea of gold in Smaug’s lair. And now that the franchise has moved to next-gen consoles, all of the loving details crammed in by developer TT Games are even more brilliantly realized. The halo of light around Gandalf’s staff, a crackling bonfire surrounded by trolls – everything is crisp and pops off the screen.
The basics of the game will be familiar to any fan of the previous Lego titles: You and your constantly-changing crew of adventurers will bust up enemies, solve puzzles, and build countless contraptions as you make your way through different scenarios from the first two Hobbit films. It’s a winning formula that doesn’t need changing, and the franchise is built in such a way that it’s able to avoid tedium since it keeps hopping from one great franchise to another. Just when you think you’ve collected your last trinket and are ready to walk away from the Lego games, they apply their secret sauce to Star Wars or DC Comics or Marvel, and you’re hooked all over again. Lego The Hobbit certainly keeps their winning streak intact following last fall’s excellent Lego Marvel, and the care and polish on display here further proves that, while the Lego name is lucky to be associated with so many beloved licenses, these beloved brands should also consider themselves lucky to be receiving the royal Lego treatment.