LEGO: THE HOBBIT Video Game Coming in 2014
A few days ago, there was a rumor that a Lego: The Hobbit video game was in the works due to a series of leaked screenshots from the instruction booklets of some of the new Hobbit 2013 Lego sets (which look amazing, by the way). That rumor was officially confirmed when Warner Bros Interactive and TT Games, the publisher and developer of the Lego video games series, announced a Lego: The Hobbit video game for all major systems coming sometime in 2014. That’s a long way off, like my tsundere waifu’s Watch Dogs and South Park: The Stick of Truth, delayed most foul into the cold, dark netheregions of next year.
Here’s some screenshots to tide you over:
The (right now) generically named Lego: The Hobbit will only cover the first two films in Jackson’s furry-footed trilogy, with a second, unannounced game most likely covering the third film. I’ve always been an armchair fan of the Lego video games as light-hearted, loving spoofs of major pop culture icons, such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, the Marvel Universe, and Harry Potter. They’re simple, they’re fun to play, and most importantly, they’re a good way to get kids interested in creative toys like Lego. I was a huge Lego kid, and still am as a man-child. I approve for the most part.
The one thing I feel the Lego video games are completely lacking is the open-ended, creative nature of Lego play. They’ve never done an actual Minecraft-style building game as far as I know, and most of their games tend to be simplistic platformers wrapped only in the goofy aesthetic of Lego itself. They’ve done a few browser experiments, such as Builder’s Island, a laughably simplistic browser-based point and click game for little, little kids. There’s the more robust Digital Designer, but its presentation seems stale and clinical, like you’re designing a toaster or a waste disposal plant. And you can no longer order sets you design with the tool.
If Lego would be willing to merge the impressive Digital Designer with the goofy fun of their platformers, to “gamify it” if you will, they’d basically have an ATM for all my money. I have the cynical, sneaky feeling that any sort of Lego building game would be predicated on, at least be tempted by, obnoxious microtransactions in the form of “buy bricks for bucks” or some other ignominious “Premium Season Pass” nonsense. I certainly hope not. My seven-year old self would never forgive them. May they step on their own product in their bare feet for such treachery. Maybe they don’t want to diminish the fun of their physical flagship product, and Minecraft seems to have the lion’s share of the open-ended building game market.
But lucky for us right now, we have the next best thing: actual Hobbit lego sets. And Lego: The Hobbit in 2014 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Vita, Wii U, 3DS, PC, and Mac. Basically, everything except Linux and your microwave.