UPDATE 4/1/19: It sounds like Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego The Hobbit's digital download versions have been removed from sale permanently.
Hitman: Absolution has been held from the top spot in this week's UK all-formats chart. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 continued its reign on top despite an 87 per cent drop in sales from last week.
The Lord of the Rings, it turns out, is the perfect source material for a Lego game. A story in which small things turn out to hold great power and small people prove to have enormous courage, the core ideas of inverted scale that have made TT Games' series so popular are woven through Tolkien's tale like strands in elven rope.
TT has risen to the challenge of adapting such a vast saga with characteristic aplomb. Eclipsing even the sprawling virtual Gotham of Lego Batman 2, this game sees Lego embracing the open-world principle in full. Following an epic prologue that mirrors the battlefield opening of Peter Jackson's movies, you find yourself in the bucolic idyll of Hobbiton, tiny Lego hobbits scurrying around its rabbit-warren lanes, drinking and dancing at Bilbo's birthday party. Beyond its boundaries, a ride on the Bucklebury ferry away, Middle-earth stretches before you in all its dark majesty.
The game eases its young players in, however, with story missions that lead you through the land in a more or less linear fashion. Trails of pale blue studs take you to the next level, but the destination can be changed on the map screen, setting waypoints to whatever point of interest you fancy. Map stones en route act as fast travel points and also mark all nearby collectables and quests when activated.
Today has not been a good day for game distribution. First some copies of Black Ops 2 contained the second disc of Mass Effect 2 rather than Treyarch's shooter, and now there are reports of Xbox 360 copies of Lego The Lord of The Rings coming with the demo disc instead of the full game.
Lego Lord of the Rings launches on Friday 23rd November 2012, Warner has announced.
Is it secret? Is it safe? Gandalf can rest easy on the second count, but Lego Lord of the Rings just got a lot less secretive as Warner Bros has started trumpeting about the new gameplay features included in the game, the thirteenth in the hugely successful series of brick-based adventures.
Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons will make an appearance at the next GameCityNights event.
Lego Lord of the Rings has been officially confirmed in a trailer and slice of artwork from publisher Warner Bros.
It's coming to DS, 3DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 this autumn.
Lord of the Rings is the latest Lego title from regular developer Traveller's Tales. It includes voice acting and music from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.