Excerpt: Developer Snowblind Studios, best known for the PlayStation 2 action RPG Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance , has not released a major console game since 2006. This drought ends after five years with Lord of the Rings: War in the North . In another hack-and-slash RPG, Snowblind Studios aims to expand on The Lord of the Rings mythology and deliver an RPG as engaging as the PlayStation 2 classic. Five years may have been a little too much time to take off.
Pros: Co-op play is enjoyable, Different character abilities diversify play
Cons: Combat becomes tedious and can be mild, Narrative isn't strong, Characters are less so
Excerpt: Middle-earth has seen many incarnations in films and video games. Unsurprisingly, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North takes almost all its cues from the Peter Jackson trilogy, and also unsurprisingly, it's all the better for it. It can be gritty and violent at times, but it has its own understanding of the fiction's extended universe. War in the North isn't a technical marvel, but neither is it an eyesore.
Conclusion: Which is a shame, as it’s certainly my favourite action RPG this year, leaving previous best Dungeon Siege III in the dust thanks to a sensible camera angle and Agandaûr being a far cooler villain than the unimpressive JAYNE KASSYNDER. If only the single-player wasn’t so easy, the story was so uninvolved, the characters so frickin’ dull and the gameplay didn’t get predictable halfway through.
Excerpt: The Lord of the Rings games have been a little hit and miss. Older games, like the attempt to make an RPG out of Fellowship of the Ring , were pretty poor attempts to get fans of the series to cough up their money. The movies brought on another bad Fellowship game, but they also brought us the Two Towers and Return of the King action games, which were fairly good.
Summary: In a month packed full of huge videogames releases, it's borderline suicidal for any new game to consider joining the pack. Warner Brothers, however, has the Lord of the Rings license under its belt with the desire to flaunt it. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North tells a tale that runs parallel to the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary trilogy and subsequent Hollywood interpretation.