Reviews and Problems with The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
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The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
2 September 2013
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.
Excerpt: Eradan, the human ranger, drew back his bowstring and unleashed a flurry of arrows at the charging orcs. His shots hit their target, though the foes continued to rush. Some stopped to fire off ranged attacks of their own, but their missiles bounced harmlessly off the elven Loremaster Andriel’s protective magical shield. Finally, once they were close enough, the dwarven champion Farin met them on the field of battle, hacking apart the orcs.
Pros: The bloody combat, Being immersed in Lord of the Rings lore, Loot drops, loot drops, loot drops!
Cons: Repetitive battles, Poor ally managment, Playing alone
Conclusion: In many ways, War in the North is a Gears of War version of Lord of the Rings. In fact, the game introduces an enemy type that looks and functions identically to the Ticker and there are wave-based Horde modes to play through. Like Gears of War, however, the game’s saving grace is the three player co-op because it is much more fun to slay Orcs with friends.
Excerpt: It's not fair. Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, and the rest of the fellowship get all the glory, but without the brave struggles of so many others, they never could have succeeded on their vital errand. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North tells the tale of three new heroes who helped make the fellowship's success possible, and it gives you much of what you'd want from a hack-and-slash role-playing game set in Middle-earth.
Pros: A good assortment of Middle-earth environments and characters, Leveling up and acquiring new abilities is rewarding, Fun to collect powerful new weapons and gear
Cons: Automated save system leads to infuriating setbacks, Problematic revival mechanic, Frequently odd enemy behavior, Technical issues with multiplayer
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.