|Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PC, 2011)|
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|Players return to the best-loved realm in all of fantasy literature for a new epic of monsters, magic, and brutal medieval melee, in Warner Bros.' Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The game follows three player-designed heroes on an original adventure through the lands of Middle-earth, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and the movies that followed. In the main online cooperative mode, three players form a new Fellowship to explore and battle through the story together, controlling their own custom heroes. Character choices include Elf, Dwarf, and Human, each with innate strengths and weakness that complement the fighting styles of the other two. As characters progress, they may acquire more powerful weapons and armor, and earn experience that can be used to upgrade their abilities or purchase new ones.|
Set in the time of Frodo's dark journey to Mordor, the parallel adventure reveals the previously untold legend of three uniquely able heroes who travel north to face the gathering armies of the evil Lord Sauron, in a desperate attempt to prevent them from advancing across the realms before the ring bearer can complete his quest. Intended for older players, the game's gruesome swords-and-sorcery battles are violent and fierce. Away from the story, a "Challenge Mission" mode presents a series of pick-up-and-play survivalist situations, designed to test tactics, teamwork, and endurance. War in the North was developed by Snowblind Studios, proven creator of action-RPGs based on established fantasy franchises, including Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest and the Baldur's Gate games for consoles.
|Game||Lord of the Rings: War in the North|
|Control Elements||Gamepad/Joystick, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Number of Players||1-3|
|Game Special Features|
Average review score based on 1 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Multiplayer in all its forms is where the game works best, though. The computer, AI, does an OK job, but the action only really comes alive when two or three gamers are teamed up. This is especially true given the game's later difficulty spikes. Taming these is easier and more satisfying with a human-controlled team. Poorly paced save positions serve to punish and antagonist if you fail.
The game itself looks surprisingly pretty. OK, the dark hues and gritty art design won't win any originality awards, but the vistas are impressive and the locations varied enough not to outstay their welcome.
Familiar locations from the books – such as Rivendell – are here, although they never offer enough depth to deter you from driving forward in the action. The weak storyline is a disappointment, too. Yes, the action doesn't really require deep characterization but given the source material it feels like a missed opportunity.
Once you finish the campaign you can play the game again with all your new gear (and harder enemies), but War in the North doesn't really warrant the effort. However in short doses and with a good team, War in the North is not without its compulsive charms.