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Lego goes RPG in Middle Earth With Impressive Results
on December 27, 2012
UPDATE 12/24/13: This game is $7.49 for Amazon's holiday sale.
UPDATE 05/16/13: This game was on sale during Amazon's mayhem sale for $7.50(Regular price $19.99).
UPDATE 01/23/13: On sale for $9.99.
Excellent Lord of the Rings Lego game based on the 3 motion pictures combined, released in November, 2012. This is the first Lego game to use actual audio from the films for the voice acting. New climate changes and lighting effects create a more immersive and visually compelling feel to the game. It also has more of a role playing feel to it as there are more than 80 playable characters that can each have their own inventory. Each character has at least one special ability/skill and you must switch between characters to find the right one for a given task. Mithil bricks can be scavenged from open exploration areas and there is a blacksmith that can forge them into useful weapons. Lots of weapons, some magical and other items are acquired as the story unfolds.
This is only the second Lego game to have actual talking characters. The game closely follows the movie but with nice doses of little humorous twists. It contains cutscenes that are well integrated into the game. There are puzzles and fighting and missions that must be completed to advance the story. Once a level is completed in story mode you can repeat it in open mode which allows you to select any character you have and explore the many nooks and crannies and complete mini-quests that Middle Earth citizens give you. Local co-op is supported.
If you love the Lord of the Rings and/or Lego games I am sure you will enjoy this game. I'm not even a big Lego fan and I'm finding this game incredibly fun. Both adults and kids will have a great time with this game. The use of the actual music and character voices from the movie makes you feel like a party member experiencing this epic adventure all over again in a fresh new way. Even just being able to explore The Shire is immensely satisfying.
NOTE: I am currently playing this on Windows Vista-64 system with no issues. Will try on Win7 and update later if I encounter any problems. If you have problems with the game the Steam Forums are a good place to get help or find answers.
I strongly suggest playing this game with a controller as there is no mouse support in this game, it's keyboard only. Best choice is an Xbox 360 controller if you have little or no experience using other brands of controllers with PC games. The Xbox 360 WIRED controller does not need any special drivers installed to work. You just plug it into a USB port before you start the game and you're good to go. You can also use a wireless Xbox controller but you need the extra wireless dongle(receiver). Other controllers can be used but you'll need to use something like motioninjoy to map the controls.
This is a Steam game that comes with a Steam key. The nice thing about how this works through Amazon is that you can buy this for yourself and activate it via Steam. If you already own it or would just like to give it as a gift instead of keeping it, you can give the key code to a family member or friend. Once you enter the key on Steam it is tied to your account though, so if you want to give it as a gift, just copy the key code from the screen and send it in an e-mail to whoever you want to gift it to. You don't have to rush to activate the game or even gift it right away. The key is stored in you Amazon Account-->Games & Software Library and won't expire. You can choose to activate it on Steam right away or wait and do it later when you're ready to start playing the game.
This PC download version does NOT use the SecuROM DRM.(The PC retail boxed version does) It uses only Steam which is basically just a downloading site for this game. The game DOES need to be activated on Steam the first time you start it, but after that it can be played in "offline" mode and you do not need to have an online connection to Steam while playing it unless you are into getting the Steam Achievements(there are 48 of them).
Note: To download using Steam you have to first create a Steam account(which is free) and then install their Downloader. The games can also be downloaded through Amazon(using their downloader) and then activated on Steam. (Amazon downloads always take longer for me though) Once activated, Steam will automatically apply games patches/updates(when and if needed).
The System Requirements for this game are:
OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3, Vista, or Windows® 7
Processor: Dual Core CPU @ 2GHz (Pentium D or better)
Memory: 1GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB free HDD space
Video Card: NVIDIA® 7600, 7800, 8800 GT or ATI Radeon(tm) HD 1950 or higher
Sound: 16-bit Sound Card
Historical Data: This game was $7.49 during the 2012 holiday sale. Hope some of you got in on the fantastic deal.