Review by smedway

"Really Fun, if you can actually play it."

I really want to give this game a 10 star rating. I really -REALLY- do. I have waited excitedly for the release and really enjoy most Lego games. However, there has been a marked decline in these games, starting with the release of the first Harry Potter game. (A game, I might add, which could actually win an award for "Game With Most Glitches" to date.) Lego has begun a trend with the release of the past major movie based games (Harry Potter 1 & 2, Batman 2 and LOTR) in that the quality of the games has gone down hill to the point of absurdity. The reliance on shoddy programming and coordination with cinematic releases has created games that even my four year old cannot play without screaming obscenities at the television.

Traveler's Tales does not offer any type of glitch reporting system that I can find, in fact they do not even have a support section on their website. There have been no meaningful game patches to address any problems, only one that added network playability to Harry Potter 1, but ignored all of the numerous flaws and glitches that made the game unplayable in areas.

And with the debut of Lego Lord of the Rings we have returned to the industries new system of retail-player-based-beta-testing. As if spending 50$ dollars on a game isn't enough of a challenge. In Lego Lord of the Rings there are glitches so severe the game must be restarted. There are also numerous others which lock up the Playstation so that a hard reboot is required. A hard reboot has the potential to damage data on your system so it should be considered a serious issue but FAQ's, Reviews and Official Release information are all ignoring this fact.

On my current playthrough I am caught in a feedback loop at Amon Hen. The Uruk Hai boss fight continually locks up when he jumps down to fight you. The loop occurs when the autosave/savepoint returns you to beginning of the same fight. So, in essence, restarting the game lands you back in a mission in the midst of a fight, which locks up... This version of my game is now completely unplayable and must be restarted from the beginning with a new save file, if I can stomach it. This will be the second time I have restarted since there are also other bugs and glitches throughout the game.

Overall this game is really cute and should be enjoyable. Traveler's Tales has imbued this game with their classic humor making the cut scenes fun. The overall operational controls seem to be the best to date and they have changed up the game play, allowing different features, quests and a huge map for exploration. Traveler's Tales has even added daytime and nighttime specific events to add more replay value. With these additions and perfections this game should be one of the best releases to date. It makes it all the harder to accept as a genuine disappointment. I was so certain that this game would break the cycle of bad releases since the corresponding movies had already been out for some time but looking on it now it is clear they rushed out yet another game timed with the cinema release of a movie, The Hobbit. Traveler's Tales and Lego it is time to get your head out of your rear. I did not pay 50$ for a worthless game with cute cut scenes - I had actually intended to play it.

All I can say is shame on you.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 12/20/12

Game Release: LEGO The Lord of the Rings (US, 11/13/12)


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