Warner Bros. has two new video games that will expand J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has unleashed The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. The second film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel featuring the adventures of Bilbo, Gandalf and the Company of Dwarves and their quest through Middle-earth is just the beginning for gamers. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has a pair of new adventures coming to video game platforms: LEGO The Hobbit from developer TT Games out this week and Middle-earth: The Shadow of Mordor this fall.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the number one 2013 home entertainment title across physical and digital accounts in the U.S. Now comes the critically acclaimed sequel, which is much more action-packed than the first film. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. They embark on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all–a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself–The Dragon Smaug.
Jackson has always been open to fans about his filmmaking process, using livestreaming and the Internet to connect during the production process with production videos. With the new home entertainment release, he brings viewers to the set to explore Mirkwood, Lake-town and Dale. “New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2” offers fans a chance to explore the beautiful New Zealand, where Middle-earth has come to life for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and now The Hobbit films.
Fans are about to get even more LEGO The Hobbit across game consoles. The disc-based game will recreate the action from the first two films in brick form. The game will retain the tongue-in-cheek humor that Traveler’s Tales has instilled with the LEGO Lord of the Rings game. Parents will be able to sync up with their kids and explore Middle-earth, brick by brick, cooperatively. The game features all of the characters from the movies in LEGO Minifigure form.
On December 17 when The Hobbit: There and Back Again opens in theaters, WBIE will release DLC for LEGO The Hobbit that will encompass the environments and characters from the third film. Fans will be able to extend the game experience and get the entire trilogy via digital download.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the first extension of Tolkien’s storytelling, but it won’t be coming to the big screen. Developer Monolith has created a brand new video game for current and next gen consoles that introduces new characters and spans the universe beyond the books and films. The game begins on the night of Sauron’s return to Mordor, as his Black Captains brutally execute the Rangers of the Black Gate. Players become Talion, a ranger who loses his family and everything he holds dear, only to be returned from death by a mysterious Spirit of vengeance. As Talion’s personal vendetta unfolds, players uncover the mystery of the Spirit that compels him, discover the origin of the Rings of Power and confront the ultimate nemesis.
Monolith has created the Nemesis System. Every enemy players face is a unique individual, differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. These enemies are shaped by their encounters with the player to create personal archenemies who are unique to every gameplay session. Players must outthink each distinctively different enemy they encounter to infiltrate the ranks and dominate within the dynamic world that remembers and adapts to their actions and choices.
WBIE has released the Palantir App free at the Apple App Store. A partnership between WBIE and Wikia, Palantir will sync with game assets and the final game, to reveal additional layers of information, insights and fan-authored content, creating a unique second-screen experience.
With the third film coming this Christmas, Tolkien fans have plenty to keep them busy throughout this year. If the new Middle-earth game does well, WBIE is likely to extend that new franchise with sequels – giving fantasy fans even more to look forward to in the coming years.