Lego Lord Of The Rings demo builds on movies, doesn't worry about finding its own voice(s)

Richard Cobbett at

Since it's been a couple of busy days for various reasons, what with big announcements, launches fireworks, a presidential election, and that secret alien invasion they're covering up at the moment, the recent Lego Lord of the Rings demo may have slipped your notice. Is it the same basic game as ever? Yep. But with one interesting twist to make it closer to the films than you might expect...

Specifically, voice acting. Not having followed this one, I didn't know much about it save the obvious when I fired it up - that it was likely to be the usual T-T-Template, with cute Lego characters running around, using unique skills like bows and wall-crunching axes to find secrets and solve puzzles, with a cinematic flair for making Lego worlds that's only improved with every new game.

Press X to toss dwarf.

As in Lego Batman 2, everyone is now voiced - and voiced by the original cast. However, rather than spending the million dollars or so required to pull the likes of Ian McKellen back into a booth, the voices are ripped straight from the movie and made funny by having the characters' actions play off them - casual comedic cruelty, surrealism, or just bits in the gap, like having everyone wince and take a moment to go "Ooooh! Nasty!" as a Lego arrow spears an invader through the chest.

It's a clever approach, and while the demo level - Helm's Deep - obviously only goes so far, the arch-seriousness of Lord of the Rings is ideal for bouncing slapstick and goofy jokes off. And of course, as with Star Wars, it's not as though anyone's going to play this without knowing the original context. No sensible, people anyway. Some silly person out there probably will. Ignore them.

Download the demo here. The full game is due out on November 23rd.