Tuesday, January 6, 2004
The Hobbit is a genuine effort to combine the atmosphere currently popularized by the Tolkien novels-come-movies and Zelda gameplay. For the most part it succeeds and provides a nice diversion for Lord of the Rings fans.
You are the little Bilbo Baggins on an adventure out of the Shire to eventually thwart the evil dragon Smaug with the help of our favorite wizard Gandalf. You use your walking stick, stone, swords and other items along the way to help you combat the evils run amok on your quest.
The levels follow the search-for-item-to-get-here formula pioneered by the Zelda series. And although the world designs show true brilliance at moments, the game is all too easy. Also different is that the world is not cohesive and sprawling like a Zelda map; the game unfolds in a linear stage-by-stage fashion which, if true to the book, wouldn't give you much freedom anyway.
That aside, what can make this game a success is the wonderful presentation and great use of sound and voice acting. No, you won't get Ian McKellen as Gandalf, but those who were chosen are superb. The integration of all the presentation elements truly feel like a companion/predecessor to what we have been fed as the Lord of the Rings atmosphere in Peter Jackson's ambitious project.
The graphics range from beautiful fields accented by nice lighting to muddy repeated textures. Everything is functional but you won't be left awe inspired, especially next to the great audio.
Overall, a great effort worth a once-through. Sierra needs to feed Inevitable Entertainment more money to develop another title. There is much potential there.
First Play: B
Last Play: C
Overall: 78% C+