The Lego Lord of the Rings videogame is set to hit stores on Oct. 30, and I’m as anxious to play it that day as my kids are about the following day’s Halloween festivities. Which is to say: very. This newest addition to Traveller’s Tales’ Lego videogame series has enough promise that it could finally unseat the Star Wars ones as the best in the eyes of the general public.
Today, we on GeekDad have two awesome, related items to release:
First, we’ve been given a one-day exclusive on the reveal of the villain artwork for the game, which you can see above (click the image to expand). Note that everything you can see is a villain of some kind. Among others, there’s Saruman dead center, orcs, Uruk-hai, a troll, Balrog, Nazgûl, the Witch-king on his Fell Beast and of course the Eye of Sauron staring balefully down at you.
Second, I was able to chat with Nick Ricks, executive producer of the game for Traveller’s Tales. Here are five things I found out from him that you probably don’t know yet about the game, in no particular order:
1. Traveller’s Tales is obsessively recreating all of Middle-earth for the game. Yes, all of it — even the parts that don’t actually appear in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sort of like how in Lego Batman 2 you could explore all of Gotham City, in Lego Lord of the Rings you’ll have an entire world to wander about. Ricks promised they were putting in extra puzzles and other goodies here and there, so that all that wandering doesn’t get too dull.
2. It’s a long game. This is what you’d certainly hope for in a game based on a series of books totaling over 1000 pages. But, after the brief playing time of Lego Batman 2, you’d be forgiven for wondering if they were going to continue to sacrifice game length for quality or speed of release. Worry no longer: Ricks told me the game takes their testers 20-22 hours to go all the way through, and that’s when you know the optimal path; he said it should take 40-50 hours to complete for those who don’t.
3. The developer is adhering closely to the movies, more so than to the books. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who paid attention to the trailers, which clearly used dialogue from the films — how could the developer use lines from the movies for a scene that wasn’t filmed? And besides, as Ricks said, this is the first time Traveller’s Tales has ever adapted a Best Picture Oscar-winning movie, and it’d be tough to second-guess decisions that led to that result. Despite sticking to lines from the movie, the game will have the usual humorous vein running through it — because even though Ian McKellan’s voice sounds serious and certain when coming from his mouth, it sounds funny when coming from the mouth of a Lego minifig.
4. At least two special abilities have been revealed. One should probably come as no surprise: Frodo is able to put on the Ring, and in so doing turns invisible in the “real” world and becomes able to interact with hidden objects that can only be seen in the realm of the wraiths (or whatever you want to call the sort of alternate dimension wearers of the Ring enter).
5. Traveller’s Tales is adding RPG-like elements to the game. Tired of your characters in Lego games only being able to carry one item of any given kind at once? In Lego LotR you’ll be able to equip and unequip items just like in RPGs. Tired of only being able to build specific items, and only when you encounter a pile of pieces? Now you’ll be able to craft certain magical items, and not necessarily at pre-assigned times.
So, what questions do you still have about the game? I can’t promise I can get an answer, but I promise to ask if I think it’s worthwhile.