Lego The Hobbit just might be the film that the overlong, barrel-scraping but still pretty damned enjoyable movies should have been - at least based on the evidence of this latest trailer, which packs more beautifully observed knockabout humour in its 1 minute and 41 seconds than Peter Jackson's epics managed in their combined 300 years running time. Stripping the plot back to the Oceans Eleven fan fiction Tolkien originally conceived it as back in the 1930s, this latest Hobbit trailer focuses on the game's predominantly dwarven main characters, and their various powers, tools and luxurious beards.
Oh phew. After the news drought of the last few days, I'd assumed an evil wizard had cursed digital entertainment, ensuring no new game releases would ever be made. Thankfully, the spell has been broken by the aptly prolific Traveller's Tales and their unstoppable Lego series. Lego: The Hobbit is to be the latest in their catalogue of blocky retellings of all things cinematic.
Lego Lord of the Rings is an emphatic reminder of just how many iconic moments there are in Peter Jackson’s fantasy epics. Recreated in blocky form – as simple puzzles, short platforming sections and quaint cutscenes – and lifting the trilogy’s score and dialogue wholesale, the Helm’s Deep siege, Balrog showdown, and, er, bit where Gandalf bangs his head on Bilbo’s lamp all make the cut.
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...
"I wonder if that's Captain Cold, or if Robin just roundhouse kicked a regular Eskimo" I thought aloud while watching the LEGO Batman 2 launch trailer. I'm pretty sure it's the former, but with Traveller's Tales everything-and-the-kitchen-sink attitude I wouldn't be surprised. The trailer shows off a number of the DC universe characters that'll be available in the new game, including Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, The Flash, and Superman. It also does a good job of putting to rest any fears that adding voiced characters would rob the LEGO series of its charm: there's at least one genuinely funny line in there.
LEGO Batman 2 is out today in the USA and on Friday in Europe.
The LEGO Lord of the Rings trailer is proof of something I've long believed: that the more plastic and adorable a wizard becomes, the more awesome they actually are. Also, LEGO Sean Bean makes me want someone to make LEGO Game of Thrones. Just think of the intro sequence.
LEGO Lord of the Rings is due out in the Autumn and will cover the full trilogy. It'll be the first LEGO game with voice acting and, as per series tradition, will include full co-op.
If anyone makes a 'LEGOlas' pun in the comments I will give you a stern look over the internet. You can do better.
How good can Lego men really look? They're little low-polygon men that live in a world of cubes. Somehow, in spite of this, Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars looks fantastic. You'll find the latest selection of screenshots below, packed full of Jedi riding giant Lego lizards, and lightsabers aplenty.